Technology in and For the Active Music Classroom

Music education, in some form, goes aback as far as apprenticeship itself. While sometimes disturbing for legitimacy, it nonetheless has had its champions. Added recently, as technology has flourished aural education, abstruse applications advised accurately for the teaching of music accept been developed. While abundant of this technology is advised primarily for the classroom there are programs advised for the apprentice to advance in the home, admitting bound to those accepting with a home computer and internet access. 

The teaching of music in the American educational ambience dates aback 1838 if Lowell Mason alien singing classes to Boston grammar schools. Active music appeared in fits and starts over the next fifty years but was never included during the academy day; rather, it was relegated to the ranks of extracurricular activities. About the about-face of the century, active music began to see some accepting into the classroom, admitting generally was able by those blooming in the breadth of music education. Moreover, little if any acclimation of the chart or music abstract existed. (Rhodes, 2007) 

Near the cessation of World War I the above of academy music began to increase. This was due primarily to veterans who, afterwards accepting been musically able in the assorted account branches, began to ample music teaching positions in the schools. Band, however, was still admired as an extracurricular activity. (Ibid)
In 1907, the Music Supervisors National Appointment or MSNC, (now accepted as the Music Educators National Appointment or MENC) was organized to abutment academy music. In 1912 a angle was fabricated to include, as accepted subjects, a amount of music activities including choruses and accepted music. Bandage was included - but at a abundant lower priority. Later, however, at the Cleveland MSNC appointment in 1923, Edgar B. Gordon stated, 

"The top academy bandage is no best an accidental academy action prompted abundantly by the advance casework of a top academy abecedary who happens to accept had some bandage experience, but rather an adventure which is assigned to a audible abode in the academy agenda with a circadian chic aeon beneath a able adviser and with acclaim accustomed for satisfactory plan done." (Ibid) 

In the above year, and acceptable due to the admission in both accepting and importance, Carl Greenleaf (then arch of C. G. Conn Ltd.) helped adapt the aboriginal National Bandage Contest in Chicago. Later, in 1928, he directed the Conn aggregation to accord to the founding of the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan and after accurate publications advised to abutment bandage directors. While these endeavors may accept appeared somewhat egoistic in ablaze of his position with Conn, they nonetheless helped authorize academy bandage as a cogent allotment of academy curriculum. (Banks, 1997) 

Despite a gradual, while still limited, accepting of active music aural the academy curriculum, account cuts accept generally concise or even abandoned these programs. Further, with the contempo added accent aloft "teaching to the test" due to the pressures of No Child Larboard Abaft (NCLB) and agnate accessory requirements, abutment for the admittance of music in schools has amorphous to wane. Michelle R. Davis, in "Education Week," declared "The federal No Child Larboard Abaft Act is bidding abounding schools to cut aback on capacity such as amusing studies, music, and art to accomplish added time for account and mathematics..." (Davis, 2006) This is a lot of adverse because that the abstraction of music, abnormally active music, has accepted to be benign for all accepting - even accretion their adeptness to acumen and problem-solve. 

Many theorists accept contributed to the acclivity of music as axial to education, or at the actual least, approved that attached the academy ambiance to the "Three R's" is short-sighted. Howard Gardner accepted his "Multiple Intelligences" approach with the compassionate that accouchement do not acquire identical propensities for learning. Not abandoned do they accept differing capacities for acquirements but accept differing capacities for acquirements in abounding areas. These areas, as he explained, are the capricious intelligences of which he speaks. Originally anecdotic seven intelligences (of which music is highlighted) he articular two accurately (linguistic and logical-mathematical) as "the ones that accept about been admired in school." (Gardner, 1999, p41) Obviously, Gardner accustomed that the educational arrangement was not extensive all accepting - abandoned those that could "do school" well. Gardner did not absolute his study, of course, to the simple actuality of assorted intelligences but approved that a accustomed being can be able in added than one, enabling those intelligences to collaborate one with the other. He explained that, "there are added means in which altered intelligences can affect anniversary intelligence can arbitrate and constrain the others; one intelligence can atone for another; and one intelligence can activate another." (Gardner 2, 2006, p219) He added acclaimed the advantages of a agreeable intelligence by answer that "...a able agreeable intelligence may advance a being affianced in a linguistic assignment to be added acute to the adroit backdrop of accent as able-bodied as its meaning." (Ibid, p223)

While abounding may accept that music and the abstraction thereof is associated primarily to that which is heard, it is aswell accompanying absolutely carefully to mathematics. Dahlhaus, absorption Rameau declared that "music had its origins in the Pythagorean proportions; (i.e., music is a mathematics)." (Gargarian, 1996, p137, 138) Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the approach that music is algebraic in toto, there should be little altercation as to the relativity of music characters to mathematics. Indeed, introducing the coordinate, or Cartesian, even appears to aid the new music apprentice in compassionate the accumbent (x), and vertical (y) axes of music notation. Simply stated, the accumbent (x) arbor on the music agents relates to continuance while the vertical (y) arbor relates to pitch. This, of advance is a absorption aloft Gardner's above approach of intelligence interaction. 

There is added affirmation that active music abstraction is advantageous for the student. In 1995, Gottfried Schlaug, et al, arise a study, "Increased Corpus Callosum Admeasurement in Musicians" wherein they declared an admission in neural fibers beyond the Corpus Callosum (CC), accidental to its enlargement. They added were able to actuate that this admission in fibers/CC admeasurement was attributable to active music study. (Schlaug, et al, 1995) Obviously, the apriorism can calmly be fabricated that, if there is greater cross-talk amid the two hemispheres of the academician (specifically, the larboard - anticipation to be the analytical, and the appropriate - anticipation to be the creative) the aftereffect would be a being with a greater, added creative, analytic ability. 

Reflecting aloft Gardner's theories, as able-bodied as those of Schlaug, et al, it should abruptness no one that others accept accepted links amid music and added skills. Bahr and Christiansen in their commodity "Inter-Domain Transfer Amid Algebraic Skill and Musicianship" arise allegation demonstrating that accepting who had advised music approved above accomplishment on algebraic tasks provided there was some structural overlap with music. (Bahr, Christiansen, 2000) This "structural overlap" could be about anything, including the accord of adding measures or addendum into fractions, apropos angle to frequency, or, as aforementioned, establishing the hotlink amid the alike (Cartesian) even and the music staff. 

With this added analytic ability; this added acquaintance of algebraic concepts, it would not be a admirable bound to accept that music accepting ability accomplish able-bodied with classroom technology. Indeed, music accepting should be accepted to do at atomic as able-bodied as added accepting with attention to technology. If that is true, again the next footfall would be to accept that they would do abnormally able-bodied with technology geared abnormally to them. 

Somewhat recently, technologists, acquainted a absence of technologically-based music applications began to advance computer programs for music education. Music approach websites began to appear, abounding accepting been produced by, and affiliated to, symphonic organizations. Others accept been produced by agents and alum accepting either as allotment of coursework or conceivably for their own use (and anyone adulatory to advance the application). A quick seek of the internet reveals that there are absolutely a amount of accessible abstruse accoutrement produced and arise for the music student. There are alternate music games, in-class keyboard music approach applications, endless online angle and accent websites, and, conceivably a lot of powerful, applications accepted as "computer assisted instruction" (CAI)" accurately for the music classroom and student. In January 2005, Steven Estrella arise the allegation of a abstraction demonstrating how music agents in the U.S. acclimated music technology. Among his findings, he apparent that about twenty percent of the analysis participants acclimated some anatomy of CAI as allotment of their instruction. The analysis added apparent that the absolute software appliance was "SmartMusic." (Estrella, 2005) 

SmartMusic is a teacher/student alternate appliance acceptance accepting to practice, at home, with a actinic bandage or agreeable accompaniment. The affairs can also, with an included microphone, almanac the student's efforts and brand them appliance accent and angle data. The apprentice can anon see their after-effects and can retry if they wish. The recording and the accompanying brand are again emailed to the student's teacher/director and automatically entered into the teacher's database brand book. The affairs includes accessories for about thirty-thousand compositions including bandage and orchestra adjustment book pieces. (Nagel, 2007) While aboriginal reviews of the affairs were mixed, the aggregation that produces SmartMusic, "MakeMusic," was allegedly acknowledging to teacher/consumer complaints and suggestions. The affairs requires that the home adaptation be installed on the accepting own computer and, in beforehand versions, installation, setup, and microphone adjustment were problematic. In the latest version, SmartMusic 11, abounding of these issues were addressed either by simplifying the action or with added user guides. (Whaley, 2008) 

For the classroom, SmartMusic holds a abundance of applications. The a lot of basal functions of the affairs cover a displayed tuner and metronome. (A music classroom with an alternate whiteboard can accomplish able use of SmartMusic's utilities.) The abecedary can again play a pre-recorded adaptation of a section to be advised and, while the accepting are arena along, can instantly almanac them absolute of the pre-recording for after playback. The affairs aswell includes fingering archive for all instruments so a quick analysis for the accepting conceivably defective added apprenticeship is calmly accomplished. Keys and tempi can be afflicted easily, if necessary, and if a individual aerialist wishes to play with a pre-recorded accompaniment, that accompaniment, "listening" to the aerialist via a microphone, can chase the performer's changes in bounce - not clashing what the aqueduct of a symphony orchestra would do in a reside performance.

As important and able as SmartMusic is in the classroom, its a lot of able appliance - and the primary purpose for which it was advised - is that of a home convenance and appraisal tool. There are in fact bags of accessories and scales included in the software as able-bodied as bags of music titles. Once the accepting accept subscribed, downloaded (or installed from a CD), and set up the home adaptation of the program, the abecedary can architecture arena assignments which the apprentice again accesses at home on their own computer. 

Playing through a microphone to the program's accessory gives an burning beheld and aural response; while the recording of the student's accomplishment is played, their actual addendum are displayed in blooming while mistakes are displayed in red. The apprentice can adjudge aloft and set their own tempo, again convenance with the computer-generated accessory as abounding times as they ambition above-mentioned to recording for a grade. In short, the apprentice is in ascendancy while at home. Accepting accepting admission to broadband internet and a analytic abreast computer can absolutely apprehend the abeyant of the affairs - as able-bodied as their own. (Rudolph, 2006)

But what of those accepting not advantageous abundant to accept a computer at home - let abandoned internet access? 

Obviously, the ability of SmartMusic would be abundantly absent on those accepting after a home computer or internet access. The amount of the home adaptation is small, and some districts accept even provided the cable chargeless of allegation for their students. (Nagel, 2007) However, can districts accommodate a applicable computer and internet admission or all of its students? 

David Thomas declared that schools accept fabricated abundant advance in the addition of computer and internet access. However, that access, for disadvantaged students, charcoal at school. (Thomas, 2003) Thomas added quoted again U. S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige: 
"We charge to abode the bound admission to technology that abounding accepting accept alfresco of school. There is abundant added we can do. Closing the agenda bisect will aswell advice abutting the accomplishment gap that exists aural our schools." (Thomas, 2003) 

A 2007 abstraction in New York appear that amid seventy and eighty percent of accepting accept computers at home. (Traber, 2007) One ability advance that the absolute numbers cross-country are in fact abundant lower. 

There are abounding music accepting abased aloft school-provided instruments, adjustment books, and even apparatus food such as reeds and valve oil (usually provided out the teacher's own pocket). These accepting are already abaft their added flush counterparts and cannot allow clandestine lessons, let abandoned a applicable computer and internet access. These are the accepting who could account a lot of from a affairs such SmartMusic. However, as advantageous and able as SmartMusic is, it cannot by itself arch this "digital divide" that still exists. 

Educational technology holds abundant affiance for the apprentice artist but until a adjustment for candid admission is discovered, asymmetric accomplishment will persist.

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