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Open Access Technology and the transmission of tradition: An exploration of the virtual pedagogies in the Online Academy of Irish Music

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

The Internet is now a central resource in the transmission of Irish traditional music (ITM), with over 80 per cent of Irish traditional musicians citing that they use online resources. The Online Academy of Irish Music (OAIM) is a website that offers online tuition, and employs innovative virtual pedagogies including Virtual Classrooms, Virtual Sessions, Jam Sessions and Virtual Reality Sessions. Through ethnographic means and focusing on the OAIM as a case study, this article highlights the connection between music and social learning in the ITM tradition. Informed by the work of ethnomusicologists Turino, Rice and Merriam, it documents how the virtual world is attempting to mimic social experiences for the learner of ITM. Documenting this process of mimicking reveals the challenges of holistic online learning, which could prove informative for all stakeholders in the pedagogic process as OAIM endeavours to address the shortcomings and inform the broader investigations into online music education.

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Keywords: Irish traditional music; informal music learning; online learning; socialization; transmission; virtual pedagogy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 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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