Secondary PDPP student blends technology, music, and outdoor education in unique week-long summer camp

Youth hold musical instruments at the Found Sound Project camp

Secondary Post-Degree Professional Program student Sasha Ilnyckyj didn’t let the rapidly shifting educational landscape caused by the COVID-19 pandemic stop him from sharing his passion for music with local youth. An innovative educator, Sasha combined his love of music technology, outdoor education, project-based learning and mindfulness practice to design The Found Sound Project.

The Found Sound Project (FSP) is a week-long field recording and music composition camp for youth. Learners sample environmental and found sound in order to inspire and craft compositions.

"COVID-19 presented a need for music education to move from the traditional environment of the studio to the outdoors," Sasha says. "I wanted to create a camp where students came to appreciate the beauty, complexity and aesthetic richness of the everyday sounds that surround us."

Having discovered a love for digital music-making as a result of time spent at home during the pandemic, Sasha was excited to give youth the opportunity to learn at the intersection between technology and the arts. “It was a rewarding experience and a valuable opportunity to apply educational concepts including differentiation, personalization and place-based learning, while exploring authentic ways to combine the sciences and arts through a transdisciplinary design.” 

Sasha is no stranger to interdisciplinary education; he holds a BA in history and psychology from McGill, a diploma in classical music from Capilano, and has had significant supplementary education in biology from UVic. As a teacher candidate in the secondary post-degree professional program, Sasha has been empowered to weave together his many passions and areas of expertise to create meaningful learning experiences for youth.

Now that he has his first experience designing a summer camp under his belt, Sasha has some advice for educators wanting to try it themselves:

 “First, it pays off to work with others in the community. The success of the inaugural Found Sound Project was enabled by amazing collaborators including other music educators, local artists and sound engineers,” he says. “Second, I recommend taking the time to know your learners. In camps we are not bound by a strict curriculum and have the freedom to personalize instruction to empower youth in domains of personal relevance.”

In addition to designing and running a successful camp, Sasha also created a website where you can learn more about the project, find the campers’ original compositions, and view the resources he consulted while building the camp. You can find the website here: