You were introduced to the DAW (or sequencer), the step sequencer, and a range of notation software. Do you feel you would like to explore any of these technologies further?
In my case, I am already familiar with these types of software on a recreational basis. What I had not thought about until now was the possibility of using them in a classroom setting. I love the idea of Project Based Learning, and for my sector (English as a Second Language), I can imagine setting a group of students the tasks of reconstructing their favourite song, recording and then performing it.
Have you been persuaded that the DJ-producer does have an awful lot of sophisticated musical skills?
I think this question is something of a double-edged sword. In the early days of computer music, there was as much of the computer programmer as there was the virtuoso. Nowadays, GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) have made the software more like a computer game. As a result, bedroom production has become democratised, but also lost the need for any real understanding of musical theory.
Do you agree with David Price that learning has gone “OPEN”?
This point is really a continuation of the previous one, but maybe as much a side-effect of it. We want to use a piece of software, but we’re too impatient to read manuals and then practice, practice, practice. So what we do instead, at least we techno-savvy/millenial/silver-surfer types, is go on Youtube and watch someone else show us how they do it. If you like the music of Deadmaus, for example, you can watch videos of him actually composing the stuff and then try it yourself.
What were the best examples of OPEN learning that you found either in the course content, in your own searching, or the work of your peers?
I think the best examples of Youtube’s potential as an educator tool are Khan Academy and VSauce. Khan Academy started out as a set of videos by a young Indian (Sal Khan) showing how to improve your Maths results, and soon spread to being a fully fledged online university. VSauce is a different case. A young American living in London (Michael Stevens) set out to popularise science by asking simple questions and then giving big complicated answers.
What does Project Based Learning (or the other BLs) have to offer Music Education? And what does Music Education have to offer Project Based Learning, and all learning, in the 21st Century?
I’ve learned a lot from this course, but I think the concept of Project Based Learning is the one I will be applying to my own classrooms with the most vigour. But focusing specifically on Music Education for a moment it seems to me that playing by ear needs to be encouraged much more, and setting challenges for small groups of students to disect and reconstruct music and then to perform it before an audience, would be of much more practical significance than focusing on paperwork and theory. Music is a practical skill, and needs a practical approach to the way it is taught. The 5% with academic success that James talked about in an earlier module, will always be the 5%. But a more hands-on approach will bring more of the remaining 95% towards the true goal of education – an understanding of and enthusiasm for the subject that continues beyond school and enriches the student for the rest of their lives.