ONLINE MUSIC EDUCATION STREAM INTRODUCTION
Download print version Jan 01 2017 Authors: Carol Johnson

Carol Johnson

Werklund School of Education


Online music has become a part of our culture. The sheer volume of iTunes songs, learn-to-play guitar tutorials on Youtube.com, and apps like SoundTrap.com for making music across the Internet tells us that our culture still has a musical mooring. But how is our postsecondary educational culture changing with the high level of technologies available for music, and consequently, music learning? The Online Music Education stream portion of the International Journal on Innovations in Online Learning seeks to provide some answers to that large, yet focused question.

Over the course of our volumes, we will take time to highlight some of the interesting ideas and research that are taking place across the globe with regard to the use of the online learning platform for teaching music.

This stream, while focused on postsecondary music and music education, will look at exploring the innovative ways that faculty are transforming their traditional music teaching pedagogy to the online platform. This may seem like an easy task, but let us briefly consider the philosophical connections of apprenticeship, mentoring, and the artistic nature of music itself. The educational foundation of music learning is based on a direct student-to-master teacher experience. So, how is it that music can be learned in an online platform? That is what we will be discovering through our journey.

Scholars continue to debate the importance of technology as the vehicle for learning (Clark, 1983, 1985) and the necessity of the medium (Kozma, 1991, 1994). Yet it is clear that music education has adopted technologies across the centuries (de Vaney and Butler, 1996) to be both culturally relevant and focused on meaningful learning. Looking at the current kaleidoscope of formal online music learning, we have MOOC music course offerings from the University of Rochester, fully online bachelor′s degree programs such as Valley City State University and Berklee Online, and various online courses offered at institutions around the world. Although a quick Web search can locate universities with online music courses or programs, deeper learning questions surface: How is music being taught online? What technologies create a meaningful music learning experience for students? What are essential teaching components that create a motivational learning experience for music students? These questions become more and more focused as we seek to understand the intricacies that are held within teaching an artistic discipline within an online context.

Beginning with Issue 2 of International Journal on Innovations in Online Education, we will start our journey into exploring the landscape of online music learning. Our first paper will present three aspects of online music learning. First, it identifies informal and formal ways for learning music online. To better position our understanding of the impact of online learning in music education, the second part of the paper evidences the exponential rate of increase of online music course offerings for undergraduate students. Finally, to provide a referential frame through the eyes of STEAM, the paper identifies the connection of online music learning to academic disciplines, such as physics, at the undergraduate level. Filled with examples of websites you can use to extend your own research knowledge, this paper provides a springboard toward our learning into online music education.

To start off our journey into exploring the landscape of online music learning, our first paper presents three aspects of online music learning. First, it identifies informal and formal ways for learning music online. To better position our understanding of the impact of online learning in music education, the second part of the paper evidences the exponential rate of increase of online music course offerings for undergraduate students. Finally, to provide a referential frame through the eyes of STEAM, the paper identifies the connection of online music learning to academic disciplines, such as physics, at the undergraduate level. Filled with examples of websites you can use to extend your own research knowledge, this paper provides a springboard toward our learning into online music education.

We hope to hear your comments about our new stream and look forward to new submissions throughout the year.

REFERENCES

Clark, R., Reconsidering Research on Learning from Media, Rev. Educ. Res., vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 445–459, 1983.

Clark, R., Evidence for Confounding in Computer-Based Instruction Studies, Educ. Commun. Technol. J., vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 249–262, 1985.

de Vaney, A. and Butler, R., Voices of the Founders: Early Discourse in Educational Technology, Jonassen, D. H. (ed.), Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology: A Project of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Macmillan Library Reference, 1996; http://www.aect.org/edtech/ed1/pdf/01.pdf.

Kozma, R., Learning with Media, Rev. of Edu. Res., vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 179–211, 1991.

Kozma, R., Will Media Influence Learning? Reframing the Debate, Educ. Technol. Res. Dev., vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 7–19, 1994.

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