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Tom's story: Developing music education with technology

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Tom is a keen, young guitarist. When traditional methods of musical instruction failed, he sought out alternative approaches using online social tools. These transformed his learning, engaged him and helped him develop his playing in significant ways. Tom's story is unremarkable in many respects. However, on reflection, it does reveal four important ideas that will continue to drive forward music education. First, the Internet is the most powerful technology available to us today; second, making and learning is all about connecting; third, teachers and learners need to be careful about the technologies they choose to use in their work; and, finally, curriculum development is inextricably tied to teacher development. In the United Kingdom, music education as a core entitlement for all young people as part of their formal education is under threat. The development of a rich, varied, broad and balanced curriculum and the skilful, professional role that teachers play in delivering this are inextricably linked. As teachers and researchers, we have a responsibility not to fail young people like Tom.
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Keywords: curriculum development; instrumental learning; internet; musicality; social networks; teacher pedagogy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MMU

Publication date: 16 February 2012

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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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