Music Education

A classroom music teacher I know says that using computer activities in music class will deny the students real life musical experiences, and that teachers will sit there while the software interacts with students.

This is an attitude some people have towards technology, perhaps because it’s how technology was often used in early days (1990’s).  It’s certainly possible to deny students real life musical experiences with traditional or modern strategies, but if the software activities are carefully selected, they can greatly enhance the real life musical experience.

The key is to create a balance that includes intelligent use of high quality software, so the software can help with certain aspects of the class, like providing low level feedback while students are learning to read music and perform on an instrument. It is possible to overdo use of the software, and if the balance is removed, student interest will suffer over time, and students won’t get what they need.

For consistent success, the Adventus teacher guidance recommends the following balance:
1/3 of class time used with instructor leading activities like singing, listening to or moving to music, rhythm work, introduction to music theory concepts, music history.
1/3 of class time used with high quality interactive music software for specific objectives, focused on reading, understanding, performing, composing and improvising.
1/3 of class time used in group performance activities, with instructor leading activities like preparing a piece for the class to perform at a recital, perhaps with 1/2 the class singing while the other half plays. Students love this part of the class, their eyes light up when they find out that other students are hearing what they’re playing. Other activities that fall into this category are doing technical work together, and improvising together. The class feels like they’re in it together.. a positive social experience – and – a real life musical experience.

The Adventus approach makes use of a keyboard connected to the computer. Each class includes hands on use of an instrument to develop reading and playing skills and inspire creativity. These are high quality musical experiences, and they’re complemented by the other activities in the class for a near-ideal balance.

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