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Connect Resound: Using online technology to deliver music education to remote communities

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This article describes an action research project that aimed to widen participation for music education in schools in England (United Kingdom). The Connect Resound project involved a pilot stage in North Yorkshire (England, United Kingdom) followed by a roll-out to four further geographical regions of England: Cumbria; Durham/Darlington; East Riding of Yorkshire; and Cornwall. The project involved testing a technological framework created to bring music education to schools with little or no music instrumental lessons within primary schools at key stage 2 (pupils aged 7‐11 years). The pilot and roll-out phases refined the approach and established a business case for a grant to roll out the project nationally in 2017. The approach used in the study provided not only the instrumental lessons but also continuing professional development for teachers, on-demand technical support, and access to music performances and masterclasses. The research team designed and tested several scenarios for using technology in this environment some of which were using single cameras and others that used a multi-camera set-up. One of the approaches used technology to allow the teachers and pupils access to different camera angles and high-quality audio to deliver the lessons which proved beneficial. The project team captured both video data as well as interviews and questionnaires with participants in order to better understand and refine the approach developed. This article reports upon the challenges and opportunities provided by the project in terms of the technology and environment, an evaluation using a case study approach of how the teachers used the technology, and feedback in the form of questionnaires from pupils and parents/carers concerning the lessons. Issues around the technology concerned time lag, initial technical problems, and background noise in the teaching environment amplified by the technology. The different camera angles adopted in the project proved valuable for teachers, potential issues with assembling and tuning instruments were considered, and beginner technique could be demonstrated using this approach.

Keywords: Connect Resound; Music Technology; instrumental teaching; music education; music pedagogy; online learning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 0000000404128669University of Hull 2: 0000000419369668University of York

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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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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