AR Rahman, Music Hackspace and Cycling ’74 partner to deliver free online courses to students in India

Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut

KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, founded by AR Rahman, teams up with London-based online teaching platform Music Hackspace and California-based software company Cycling ’74 to deliver free music programming classes in May 2021. As part of the partnership, Cycling ’74 will provide free 1-year licenses of its flagship programme Max to KM students. 

India is home to one of the most dynamic music scene in the world, but still relatively cut off from the US and the UK. As the pandemic rages in India, most students are continuing to learn online. With this new course, we aim to help music technology students engage with new technology with a long term perspective of exchange and training.

AR Rahman says: “There is a huge appetite for music technology in India, but there is a scarcity of tools and teaching professionals. Musicians in India will be able to join in a global community that gives them the opportunity to develop life-long skills. “

Public registrations to the course are open on a first-come first-served basis (register here). The course will be offered to students for free and will be taught by Max Certified Trainer Phelan Kane who has years of experience teaching music technologies. 

Cycling ’74 offers a free trial of the software (download here), making this accessible to anyone who is curious about music programming. There is no obligation to buy the software to participate in the workshop.

JB Thiebaut, CEO of Music Hackspace, adds “Our mission is to empower everyone to learn creative technologies and we are proud to enable this partnership on our platform, where visitors will find more free courses on demand to continue their learning journey.”

Max is an ubiquitous software that is taught in over 1,500 institutions around the world. Max is also integrated with leading production software Ableton Live. 

Getting started with Max Workshops 

The series will have 4 sessions of 2 hours each. Participants will learn how to get started with interactive audio and MIDI, and discover the possibilities of the Max environment.  They will learn how to manipulate audio, MIDI, virtual instruments, and program their own interactive canvas, and will learn from guided examples and live interactions with teachers and other participants. 

Session overviews:

  • Session 1, 5th May – Understand the Max environment
  • Session 2 , 12th May – Connect building blocks together and work with data
  • Session 3, 19th May – Master the user interface
  • Session 4 , 26th May– Work with your MIDI instruments


About KM Music Conservatory

KM Music Conservatory (KMMC for short) is the first institution of its kind in India. A higher education institution established in 2008 by the A.R. Rahman Foundation with A.R. Rahman serving as Principal and Fathima Rafiq as Executive Director. Situated in brand new, state-of-the-art facilities at the heart of Chennai’s film and music industry, we offer a range of part-time and full-time courses in Hindustani and Western classical music and music technology. Faculty are drawn from around the world, with specialisms in musical performance, musical theory and analysis, music history and music technology in order to meet the highest standards of international education.

About Music Hackspace 

Music Hackspace’s mission is to develop the largest online learning platform  for music technologies. It was founded in 2011 by Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut in London, as a collective of artists and engineers. Starting with weekly meetups and seminars, Music Hackspace now curates over 20 live and online workshops every month on music programming, instrument design, and DIY electronics, for a growing number of artists and hobbyists. 

About Cycling ’74

Cycling ’74 creates software for the specialized needs of artists, educators, and researchers working with audio, visual media, and physical computing. Our visual programming tool Max serves as the creative engine behind thousands of innovative projects. Its iPad app Mira allows the user to expand beyond the Max environment for increased flexibility. 

For more information: 

Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut; Founder & CEO @ Music Hackspace


Lilli Wessling Hart

MIDI Innovation Awards 2022

Jean-Baptiste Thiebaut

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The Music Hackspace has a new home!

Our residency at Somerset House ended in 2019, and we’ve found a new home at Goldsmiths University. I (JB Thiebaut) am now a research fellow in the computing department, where I will collaborate with academics and students to continue to organise seminars, workshops and artist-engineers collaborations.

Long time collaborators of the Music Hackspace, Tadeo Sendon and Susanna Garcia, are now focusing on their respective practices. I am thankful for their outstanding work and look forward to collaborating with them in the future.

I have been working closely with Max for the past 12 months, and I’m excited to organise meetups and workshops starting in April 2020.

We will organise regular seminars and workshops. If you are interested to give a workshop, or would like a topic to be represented, please send us an email.

Workshop topics might include: Artificial intelligence for music, Virtual Reality, Machine learning, Max, Pure Data, Super Collider, MIDI and MIDI 2.0, modular synths, VST instruments and development, Live coding, and more.