Peter Carney | Designing Curiosity

Search engines have created the largest spike in information resources in human history, and the classroom learning experience should be fundamentally retooled. Today, students have immediate access to an ocean of digital information, but the classroom experience is still modeled in the traditional approach where the teacher delivers information to those without access to information. Pete Carney discusses his method of interactive listening, and explores how the modern classroom can be remade into a creative space for teachers and students to respond to the growing digital forest.

Pete Carney was a music history teacher at City Colleges of Chicago from 2007 to 2013, and was frustrated with the boring textbooks available for his students. Knowing his students would rather read their smartphones than textbooks, Carney worked for two years in his basement to design a new approach that reached and challenged his students.

Carney and fellow adjunct music professor Brian Felix created a groundbreaking iBook, Interactive Listening, that was immediately named by Apple Inc. in 2014 as the #1 Editor’s Choice in all categories of iBooks. It was the first music education method ever to be featured on Apple's iTunes website. Created for digital-savvy students, Interactive Listening is now taught in over 200 schools nationwide, featuring Hollywood-style graphics, an orchestra of 3-D instruments, and interactive games.

Carney also enjoys a distinguished career as a professional saxophonist and composer who has worked with Grammy winners Kirk Franklin, Tito Puente, the Winans, and the Plain White T’s. His greatest musical experience was touring the Chitilin’ Blues Circuit with Little Milton and opening for B.B. King. He lives with his wife/editor, Caroline, in Chicago where he is currently finishing a doctorate in music at the University of Illinois.