Incorporating technology in teaching musical instruments.

Author:Prodan, Angelica
Position:Report
 
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"Technology inspires art and art challenges the technology"

John Lasserter, chief creative officer at Pixar

I grew up at a time when today's technology was a product of science fiction. The rapid developments enabled technology to permeate every aspect of life, from medicine to transportation, arts, learning, teaching, entertainment, to name just a few. In the tech-driven world we live in, the machines are projected to change the future of work as we know it. In my presentation I will explore some of the uses of technology with the benefits and limitations, applied to teaching music in general and piano in particular.

The amount of information and research available to us with free access is overwhelming. The internet makes time and distance irrelevant. The tools available, from eLibrary research, CNN Student News, Encyclopedia Britannica, Fact Master, Internet Public Library, iTools.com, one has seemingly unlimited access to all of that combined knowledge.

More particular for music, there are available sources offering instructional videos like: Online Music Lessons, Your Space Music Lessons, musiclessonsanywhere.net, web lessons and MusicTutorial.in, keyboardwellnessseminar.com, musictechteacher.com, musicgamesonline, MusicLearningCommunity.com. YouTube, the worldwide social networking website where anyone with internet access can upload videos, is a handy source for the music student wanting to become familiar with new repertoire. With its universal music library, even though the quality of the presentation or interpretation may vary greatly, it still allows one to hear and compare various pieces of music. Wikipedia, the largest reference work, ranked among the ten most popular websites, covers a great variety of subjects, from music history to theory to pedagogy or music notation, instrumentation, composition, etc.

For teachers, learning is a lifelong process, offering renewal, inspiration, validation. Between participating to conferences, subscribing to professional magazines, using online blogs, webinars, ejournals or e-conferences, they can stay in touch with the musical world's latest developments. Another useful tool is a personal website, as students and their parents can stay updated regarding events, dates and other useful information, without the teacher having to contact everyone individually. In addition to that information, I also used it as a source for my students to download practice tests in preparation for the yearly theory tests for one of the state programs they were enrolled in. The students today learn to communicate information very differently than we used to in school or music lessons and it seems that technology dictates the way we learn. Actually we have already accepted and used it in many aspects, like email and social media, so it would be just natural to use these tools and mix them with our traditional methods of teaching.

Faced with the situation of a student's family relocating to the other coast, we looked into the possibility of continuing learning together through skype. As I learned from other teachers' experience, this may be the solution when the distance or the area doesn't give the student access to a teacher. To the student's advantage, it doesn't require extra time or transportation and he can use the instrument he practices all the time, thus increasing the sense of wellbeing by not having to adapt to another instrument and being in the scrutinizing presence of the teacher. Through Call Recorder for Skype, a program for Mac that enables you to record audio or video, the...

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