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Skype music lessons in the academy: Intersections of music education, applied music and technology

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The purpose of this particularistic case study was to examine the phenomenon of conducting collegiate-level piano lessons over Skype. Specifically, this research explored (1) the benefits and challenges of piano lessons as experienced by one graduate student and (2) one piano instructor, and considered (3) the feasibility of implementing distance learning in the music academy and beyond. Data were collected through observations, interviews, e-journals and video artefacts. Findings revealed four themes that chronicled synchronous reality, catalysts to discovery, obstacles to implementation and redefined roles. Benefits included a natural feel to lessons, the evolution of imagination and enthusiasm and the mastering of equipment and music, while challenges included technological complications that impeded instruction along with literal and figurative disconnectedness. Implications include examining the feasibility of implementing technology-mediated lessons, acquiring knowledge of equipment tendencies and exploring the possibilities of long-distance learning opportunities.

Keywords: Internet MIDI; Skype; distance learning; music lessons; piano; video conferencing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of North Texas

Publication date: 2013-04-01

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  • The Journal of Music, Technology and Education (JMTE) explores the issues concerning the use of technology in music education. It examines pedagogy at all levels and across genres such as composition, musicology, performance and music production. It is the only journal specifically dedicated to the educational aspects of music technology and the technological aspects of music. Peer-reviewed, with an international editorial board, JMTE aims to draw its contributions from a broad community of educators, researchers and practitioners who are working closely with new technologies in the fields of music education and music technology education.
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