The technology is a powerful agent in moving

The
impact of new technologies within music education has been enormous and there is an urgent need for research that
investigates the far reaching implications of this technological revolution. If music education is
to respond to the opportunities offered by the digital age, we will need
thoughtful and reflective teachers. These will be teachers who are able to
research their own practice, ask questions about the role of music technologies
as part of their own professional development and in the development of their students.
Digital technology is a powerful agent in moving the minds of teachers and
students alike. Today’s competitive world markets require workers of a
knowledge economy to possess ICT literacy, the “ability to use technology to
develop 21st century content knowledge and skills” (Partnership for
21st century Skills, 2006, p. 11). Schools are seen to play a critical role in
producing a workforce that is highly educated and skilled to support a
country’s economy. This recognition of education as a key contributor to the
economy has led school curricula in many countries to mandate ICT as a central
component, with teachers being increasingly expected to infuse ICT into the
teaching and learning processes. No matter what else may divide us, most music
educators are agreed on one general point. A central aim of defining how
effective music educational practice should happen in the digital music
classroom is an imperative; a view which is emphasized in policy and widely
acknowledged in teacher training. Yet, the critical roles played by creativity
and technology in supporting the promotion of pedagogic change is less clear.

Abstract

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Introduction

The
introduction of new information and communication technologies (I&CTs),
such as the Internet and multimedia devices has had an enormous impact upon
modern culture (Hargreaves, Miell & MacDonald, 2002). This is particularly
apparent within the music industry. Indeed, modern technological advances mean
that now, more than at any other time, music is pervasive and functions not
only as a pleasurable art form but also increasingly provides a soundtrack to
our professional, social and private lives (Hargreaves & North, 1997,
Frith, 2000; MacDonald & Miell, 2000; Sloboda, O’Neill & Ivaldi,
2001).  Moreover, almost every aspect of
the music industry today involves the use of I in some shape or form.
For example, the use of digital recording hardware and computer based recording
and sequencing software occurs extensively in professional, amateur and
educational contexts (Folkestad, 1996). 
a technological revolution has taken place which affects all aspects of
music performance and listening 
(Folkestad, 1998). This
enormous change in the way in which we listen to and produce music has
generated a research imperative to understand the impact that these
technological advancements have on all aspects of music making (Byrne &
MacDonald, in press). The impact of new
technologies has been particularly influential within educational environments
and, in the music classroom for example, the range of possible uses of
keyboards, computers and recording technologies are extensive  (Byrne & MacDonald, in press, Mills &
Murray, 2000).

Literature Review

There have been many efforts to explore the possibilities
that music technology offers in education, in spite of the synchronous nature
of music performance (Dammers, 2009). In 2009, Dammers summed up the
conundrum of using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the field
of music education, stating that because music performance is, by its very
nature, synchronous, the use of ICT is problematic at best (Dammers, 2009, p.
22). Before
examining how technology is being used in music education, it is necessary to
lay out parameters for the term. Rees (2001) defined music technology as “the
systematic study of tools and techniques for music production, performance,
education, and research” (Rees, 2011, p. 154).

Discussion

In the last few years many tools have become available
to the music educators that can significantly enhance student learning. It is
important for music educators to be aware of the full competences of such tools
that can help students to better performance, creativity and understanding
music. The word technology applies to and describes a wide variety of devices
and applications in music and music education. In the past 100 years,
technology had a great impact on music education. In 1983 the Carnegie
Foundation published A Nation at Risk. This publication cited that changes must
be made in our approach to education. One of the suggestions that this
foundation offered was to embrace technology. If we are to make the most of the
opportunities that technology affords us, then a broader view of technology is
needed. Such a view would attend not only too well-established methods,
software resources and hardware solutions; but also to new and developing
trends. Digital technologies that can be useful in music education are systems
that:

“encourage active learning, knowledge construction, inquiry, and
exploration on the part of the student, as opposed to being exposed to
information delivery systems” (Greaesser,

Chipman et al.
2008: 211).

Technology has impacted almost every aspect of life
today, and education is no exception. Or is it? In some ways, education seems
much the same as it has been for many years. A 14th century illustration by Laurentius de Voltolina depicts a university lecture in
medieval Italy. The scene is easily recognizable because of its parallels to
the modern day. The teacher lectures from a podium at the front of the room
while the students sit in rows and listen. Some of the students have books open
in front of them and appear to be following along. A few looks bored. Some are
talking to their neighbors. One appears to be sleeping. Classrooms today do not
look much different, though you might find modern students looking at their
laptops, tablets, or smart phones instead of books (though probably open to
Facebook). A cynic would say that technology has done nothing to change
education.

However, in many ways, technology has profoundly changed
education. For one, technology has greatly expanded access to education. In
medieval times, books were rare and only an elite few had access to educational
opportunities. Individuals had to travel to centers of learning to get an
education. Today, massive amounts of information (books, audio, images, videos)
are available at one’s fingertips through the Internet, and opportunities for
formal learning are available online worldwide through the Khan Academy, MOOCs,
podcasts, traditional online degree programs, and more. Access to learning
opportunities today is unprecedented in scope thanks to technology.

Opportunities for communication and collaboration have
also been expanded by technology. Traditionally, classrooms have been
relatively isolated, and collaboration has been limited to other students in
the same classroom or building. Today, technology enables forms of
communication and collaboration undreamt of in the past. Students in a
classroom in the rural U.S., for example, can learn about the Arctic by
following the expedition of a team of scientists in the region, read
scientists’ blog posting, view photos, e-mail questions to the scientists, and
even talk live with the scientists via a videoconference. Students can share
what they are learning with students in other classrooms in other states who
are tracking the same expedition. Students can collaborate on group projects
using technology-based tools such as wikis and Google docs. The walls of the
classrooms are no longer a barrier as technology enables new ways of learning,
communicating, and working collaboratively.

Technology has also begun
to change the roles of teachers and learners. In the traditional classroom,
such as what we see depicted in de Voltolina’s illustration, the teacher is the
primary source of information, and the learners passively receive it. This
model of the teacher as the “sage on the stage” has been in education for a
long time, and it is still very much in evidence today. However, because of the
access to information and educational opportunity that technology has enabled,
in many classrooms today we see the teacher’s role shifting to the “guide on
the side” as students take more responsibility for their own learning using
technology to gather relevant information. Schools and universities across the
country are beginning to redesign learning spaces to enable this new model of
education, foster more interaction and small group work, and use technology as
an enabler.

 

Technology is a powerful
tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it
easier for teachers to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for
people to learn and work together. With the worldwide reach of the Internet and
the ubiquity of smart devices that can connect to it, a new age of anytime
anywhere education is dawning. It will be up to instructional designers and educational
technologies to make the most of the opportunities provided by technology to
change education so that effective and efficient education is available to
everyone everywhere.

Many researches have been
made on the effects of technology on music learning. The Yamaha Corporation conducted
a research related to the use of technology in music education, and several key
findings have emerged from this study. These include:

o  
Students who receive hands-on instruction had greater comprehension of
musical concepts compared with students taught with traditional approaches and
methods.

o  
Long and short-term music achievement, is significantly increased when
compared to existing approaches of classroom music.

o  
Student attitudes toward classroom music are not only positively enhanced,
but also the level of interests and motivation are sustained across the
academic years.

o  
Music instruction provided through the use of technology assisted program
contributes to a sense of professional development and personal growth on the
part of the music educators.

o  
Also, from this study showed that technology improved concentration on
students, maximized time on-task, developed and enhance cooperative learning,
and raised higher level thinking skills.

Conclusion

Clearly
there are many possibilities for the use of ICTs/music technology in the world
of music education. From streaming audio/video to the more traditional CDs and
DVDs; from online research to software programs that deliver immediate feedback
on aural skills training; from the use of notational software like Finale or
Sibelius to the use of GarageBand or Dance eJay, there are
many possibilities to integrate ICT into the music classroom – whether that
classroom is face to face or online. However, there is a gaping hole in the
body of research that needs to be addressed. A new paradigm needs to be
created, whereupon the extensive audio and video records are shared via the
internet – perhaps YouTube or set up on special website with private sharing
sights (with parental and student consent). In cases where actual sheet music
has been created, that needs to be shared as well. Music is aural by nature,
and until there is a way to share the aural results – until these changes are
made, we cannot have a full sharing of ideas. Perhaps the community of practice
via social media will be the best way to informally share the results of these
different experiments, with teachers enthusiastically showing off the work of
their students and convincing other teachers in the process.