Monday, February 25, 2008

Does Music Technology Improve Learning?

We all know how fun and motivating it can be to bring a music class to the computer lab and have them experiment with Finale, GarageBand, Audacity and more. But, do these experiences increase student learning and musicianship? Can a program like SmartMusic really improve student performance at concerts? I think that these are important questions for us to address as music educators. 
I found blogging to be a great tool for my music theory class. I was able to organize ear-training links and skill-building sites in one place for my students to explore. It was great to have a central site that they could be involved with. Composing with the assistance of Finale gave my theory students an opportunity to write for small ensembles and to preview their pieces. My orchestra students enjoy visiting my website where they can listen to past recordings and be inspired. These activities are great, however they just scratch the surface with where we can go with technology. And at this point there isn't much written about how utilizing technology translates to learning and musical achievement. I hope that by posing this question we can get a conversation started. Where do we go with technology in music education and how do we measure its effectiveness?

1 comment:

randall said...

I think technology, whether it be music or other definitely helps the learning process.

I mean, think back to when we used to sit around the turntable the night before Music History exams practicing for "drop the needle" questions. Now with the help of tools like the Naxos Music Library, students are doing this from the comfort of their own homes. This along with what SmartMusic is doing are really revolutionizing the way we are studying and learning about music.

I say bring on the technology!