Before considering how much music technology should be integrated into music lessons, it must be first considered what the objectives of music education are and what we want it to look like. For myself, music education should be inclusive, where all students of different backgrounds and abilities can be involved in music and be able to perform and create. Technology allows teachers to create opportunities for learning for all students, it also allows students to be autonomous in their learning to allow for inquiry, authentic learning and skill development.
This is where Richard Gill (2016) said that in music education there is not one size that fits all and we should not teaching one style of music. Music is also consumed by people differently as many more people are using streaming services and especially during the Co-Vid 19 pandemic (Westcott Grant, 2020)
This has also meant the way we teach music has been different and we have had to rely on technology to give students any form of music education. From personal experience, having to rely on technology so quickly lead to a lot of problems, and having to share ideas, problems and solutions with other teachers going through the same process.
Going through the pandemic had given me a better understanding of music education. The most successful projects we encountered with teaching online involved working as a community and collaboration. Programs like Soundtrap were more successful than GarageBand for the reason that students could collaborate on the same project. Also, as a teacher, I could drop in on a project at any time. See the conversations and give immediate feedback. I believe that the technology programs that allow a level of collaboration and allow development for various levels are the most successful.
Moreover the experience of music is charging and is different. Bauer (2014) highlights that students can have a more ‘do it yourself’ attitude to learning through technology, that they can make music using mobile technologies and online. What can follow is that students develop through constructed and experiential learning.
From understanding the learning objectives of the students, it follows three understanding of what the technology can be used for. The SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition) model is useful in categorising and understanding the types of music technology in their varied forms (Puentedura, 2008.)
From Schrock’s (2013) visualisation we can see how it is a useful tool to relate to other critical and creative thinking models such as Blooms. Purely using technology to substitute or augment tasks, function within the lower orders of critical thinking. Where technology has new functionality where it is modified or redesigned, it allows students to access the higher order thinking skills such as analysing, evaluating and creating. This is why initiatives like maker-spaces are so exciting because it allows students to problem solve and be more critical in their learning. Therefore when looking at the technology we use we should consider how are we going to make students use their higher lieder critical thinking skills as well as developing performing and creating skills which are equally important in music.
Bauer, W. (2014) Music learning and technology. New Directions: A Journal of Scholarship, Creativity, and Leadership in Music Education 1 (1). Available at: http://nd.music.msu.edu/music-learning-technology-william-bauer/ Accessed on: 1st August 2020
Puentedura, R. (2008). TPCK and SAMR: Models for enhancing technology integration. In, As we may teach: Educational technology, from theory into practice. Maine Department of Education.
Schrock, K. (2013) SAMR Model and Bloom's Educators design. Available at: http://www.schrockguide.net/uploads/3/9/2/2/392267/2797403_orig.jpg Accessed on: 1st August 2020
The University of Sydney (2016) The Place of Music in 21st Century Education. Available at: https://coursera.org/share/756064bb20bc2b5141b902b7e6011188 Accessed on: 31st July 2020
Westcott Grant, K (2020) The Future Of Music Streaming: How COVID-19 Has Amplified Emerging Forms Of Music Consumption. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinwestcottgrant/2020/05/16/the-future-of-music-streaming-how-covid-19-has-amplified-emerging-forms-of-music-consumption/#43fbf7b0444a Accessed on: 1st August 2020
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I am the Projects Coordinator and Senior School Music teacher at XCL World Academy in Singapore. I have over 10 year of IB teaching experience and working on bringing great learning experiences and opportunities to students.