ONLINE MUSIC LEARNING: INFORMAL, FORMAL, AND STEAM CONTEXTS
Download print version Jul 25 2017 Authors: Carol Johnson, Scott H.  Hawley
DOI: 10.1615/IntJInnovOnlineEdu.2017015989

The increased development and learning benefits of online learning technologies have prompted music educators to rethink the possibilities of learning music online (Crawford, 2013). Found throughout the Internet on sites such as Online Academy of Irish Music Online, BanjoHangout.com and MusicTheory.net, online music learning has firmly established a base of informal learning. The informal online music learning context has been built through specific affinity groupings - online communities and websites that promote learning music through identity, community or curriculum skill sets. The innovation of formal online music learning (i.e. post-secondary credited courses) utilizes the academic learner's affinity for music. According to preliminary data as identified in this paper, formal online music learning is currently increasing at an exponential rate of inclusion. While formal online music learning is not a fix-all for niche faculty programs like music, it can present opportunities for offering students flexibility in time and location, community of collaboration, and assistive learning modalities for broader ranges of students (Crawford, 2013; Johnson, 2016). Dove-tailing on the innovations available in online music learning, we conclude by highlighting the field of audio engineering - a discipline that requires both music and mathematical skills. As a connector to STEAM education, online learning becomes an important learning support for audio engineering students taking physics as they can better experience audio, visual and practical aspects of music and physical mathematics.

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