Creating Collective Virtual Ensembles

Below is an account of the first PurdUKEConn Virtual Ensemble (Viva La Vida originally by ColdPlay)

The instructions

To assess our students, we asked them to create a video of them strumming along to the chord progression used to play Viva la Vida, which was made popular by Coldplay. Little did they know my collaborator, Cara Bernard and I intended to create a virtual ensemble of their submissions. Here are the instructions we gave our students:

To make sure everyone was able to have a successful experience, we allowed students to choose their own level of difficulty. Here are the practice videos/guidance videos supplied to the students:

Giving Options

Challenge 1 - Quarter Notes
Challenge 2 - Syncopation
Challenge 3 - Palm Mutes
Challenge 4 - Choose a strum

Here are examples of our students playing their tracks:

Creating a Virtual Ensemble

After all the videos were submitted, Dr. Bernard and I recorded vocal tracks and got the help of Andrew Yuan (synth) and Dr. Matthew Thibeault (ukulele). I then mastered the audio and created the final product:

© 2020 by Christopher Cayari created on