Tidal workshop length

For those of you who have organized Tidal workshops, what length of time has worked well for you? I’ve done two workshops, and they have both been too short. The longest was a 2-hour workshop, preceded by a 1-hour “open hours” time to help with installation. I’m beginning to think that Tidal workshops need a good four hours, not including installation assistance. What do you think?

I’ve run tidal workshops inside a single hour with eight year olds (eight of them at a time), including recording a group performance. I’ve also run workshops over 2 1/2 days. I guess you have to tailor aims/expectations to match the time available…

Aims can include one or more of:

  1. Getting it installed for everyone (an important one I think!)
  2. Making a piece of music at the actual workshop, in groups or solo
  3. Learning enough to do a performance at the end
  4. or generally giving them insights about how tidal can be used to build a ‘set’/how to make it their own
  5. Giving them a taste of what is possible with Tidal, to motivate them to take it further (perhaps with signposting to other live coding systems in case Tidal isn’t for them)
  6. Going from beginner level to more advanced usage (a little difficult because everyone tends to come with different levels of experience)
  7. Giving them confidence, making them realise that live coding doesn’t have to be hard

I’m sure you can think of more…

To answer your question more directly though, I think 2 hours + time for install is a good minimum amount. It’s actually a pretty good duration, because more than that and you have to start thinking about breaks etc. It’s easy to keep piling on more detail, but actually in a given day you probably only want 2-3 hours of solid detail anyway, with the rest being about using it in practice, and time for experimentation, discussion, reflection. I think there’s a limit to what you can really take in without sleeping on it!

Kind of related, I think if you’re doing more workshops it’s good to get feedback from participants. Here’s a form we did recently: https://forms.gle/kALKWEPuWorTipmQ6

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