first reading assignment

Here is your first to reading assignment:

1. “Playing digital:Music instruction for the next generation

Please read the whole article and post a comment before Tuesday’s class. Here’s your prompt (please address both parts in your post):
1. What part of the article do most agree with? Is there something you strongly disagree with?
2. How was music technology used in your own school? What did they have? Was there a class, and did you take it? Was technology embedded in your ensemble experiences?

[Update: make sure you have created an account on WordPress in order to post! (And don’t use your UIUC password!) Also, any time a post comes from a new reader, I need to approve it. In other words, your first post will be delayed until I approve you as a recipient, but your subsequent posts will appear immediately]

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36 Comments on “first reading assignment”

  1. lvalade2 Says:

    1. I really enjoyed the article concerning music technology in schools. The part I like the most was when they discussed how music techology classes allow students who are not enrolled in band/music classes to express their love for music without having to play an instrument. When they said 99% of people are interested in music, but only 12% are involved it really upset me because everyone should be allowed to participate in music in some form. All of the different programs allow you to create music without necessarily knowing how to play keyboard or even how to notate music. I also liked how some schools are incorporating music into other areas of study such as English, Art, and Math. It forces students to think outside the box and utilize their talents in more way than one. Also, the schools that are starting music technology as early as elementary school are encouraging students to use their imaginations while improving listening and motor skills. Any exposure to music will only have a positive influence on students at any age. I did not really disagree with anything in the article.

    2. My high school offered three music technolgy classes that were set up similar to those mentioned in the article. A lot of students who took the class were non music people and were the most successful in the class. We were in a computer lab set up for 25 people with keyboards and computers. We were given various assignments throughout the semester and had to create music for different situations. i.e. music for a commercial, to accompany a story, and music to accompany a video clip. I took the first two levels of the course and enjoyed it, but I am not not very creative so it was hard to think outside of the concert band setting. We used programs such as Finale and Sibelius and my director asked me to arrange or transpose parts for our concert bands. Music technology was not used in the ensembles unless you had to rewrite a part for a song.

  2. charous2 Says:

    1. With the latest gadgets selling by millions, our world today has become extremely technologically advanced. Whether it is the latest iPod, cell phone, or computer, our world is caught up with these new inventions. I found it interesting that our generation is taking technology to the next level and is even trying to advance a long-lived tradition of music education by creating classes that focus on finding new ways to explore music in our everyday lives. It was surprising to read that only 12% of students are involved with music which led me to agree with the part of the article where it talked about how you don’t have to be a performer or play an instrument to still be involved in music. However, what concerned me as I was reading this article was the idea that the foundation of music education would be lost. The idea that we teach our students the basic fundamentals about music theory and notation could be lost if we only focus on the technology aspect of this new concept. However, I strongly agree with Mary Hochkeppel when she states: “I wouldn’t want to use it solely. I think it’s important to have the traditional instruments as well as the technology. This is an enhancement of learning. It’s important to go from the concrete to the abstract” (4). Therefore, if we were to bring this new idea of music education and technology to schools, it is essential that we do not lose the values that originated in music education. Combing new ideas of technology with old values will enable students who once thought they wouldn’t be interested in theory, to incorporate it with something they are interested in- computers and other technology.

    2. I feel that although this idea of music education and technology is brand new, we have to give it a chance and explore its possibilities. In my high school, we did not have any classes in which we were able to explore. However, we did use technology to help us improve our performances. We would record each concert we performed and then the next day evaluate and discuss our performance. By using technology to record, we were able to come up with ideas of how to improve and better our orchestra. When you play your instrument in such a large setting, you really only hear one thing and that is whatever is going on within your section. However, by listening to the recording, we were able to get an overall feel of how all the pieces to the puzzle fit together. In addition, I was so fortunate to be involved in an organization called Midwest Young Artists located in the northern suburb of Highwood in the north shore of Chicago. All of MYA’s members are required to participate in a chamber group or ensemble. I was placed in a quartet and our chamber coach happened to be very interested in this new age of music and technology. Her daughter is a cellist living in New York who plays in a group called DBR & the Mission. Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is a composer who writes 21st century music using the basic string instruments as well as a laptop computer and other technological gadgets to generate other sounds. We were fortunate to obtain rights to a quartet entitled “Powell” which DBR wrote just a few short years ago. It is a quartet: two violins, viola, and cello. This music exemplified new thoughts on rhythm, articulation, melodies, among many other things. Before playing this piece I was very hesitant about this new music because I questioned the idea if this was considered music at all because most of the music was coming from the computer. But after I played it, and got a feel of what DBR was trying to convey to his listener’s, I understood. Musicians cannot just throw a new idea off the table if they’ve only given it one chance.

  3. saramal14 Says:

    1. This was a very good article on music technology because it gave a lot of good reasons for integrating it into schools. Like Lauren, one part that I found shocking was the fact that nearly all students are interested in music, but that “only 12 percent are interested in the school music program.” I think there are a lot of reasons for those results that weren’t mentioned in this article, but I definitely agree that one of them may be that some students want to be creative and involved with music without having to perform. Music technology most definitely allows more students to get involved, and it is a shame that a majority of schools are not able to offer this area of study because of financial difficulties. Also, I totally agree with Dr. Reese in saying that it should be “both-and” instead of “either-or” when it comes to traditional music and electronic music. I would hate to see traditional music classes get lost to electronic music, and I’m sure plenty of people feel the same way. But that is no reason to stop the use of music technology either! Although I have not done a lot with music technology, this article definitely showed me that it can be very beneficial.

    2. We did not have any music tech class at my high school, nor did we ever really speak of it in our traditional music classes like band and choir. I’m sure my band directors used programs like Finale here and there to rewrite some instrument parts, but I was never introduced to it in high school. Our music department was undergoing budget cuts every year that I was there, and we were struggling to keep positions for our music teachers. So it doesn’t surprise me that we don’t have a music tech lab or anything like that since we always seem to be struggling to maintain what we already have.

  4. lgoldbe2 Says:

    1. I strongly agree with the comment that High Schools are mostly set up for performance students. Technology greatly expands the amount of students that HS music education can integrate. Many students that have never touched a classic band/ orchestra instrument or sung on stage, and would not be interested in doing so, are already playing with the GarageBand software that comes standard in all new Macs. Why not tap into that interest and mold those students into more well-rounded musicians?
    The other comment in the article that I found interesting was when it talked about the focus on acquiring the hardware necessary for these classes. The general feel is that using computer technology is above and beyond, so if music educators want to use that, they should train themselves on top of all of their other work. But the school will work on supplying the hardware. That seems a little backwards. Why have the hardware without people trained to teach it? There wasn’t anything in the article that I strongly disagreed with.
    2. My high school offered very little in technology. Some students who were interested in composition/ arranging on their own would do that at home and the teachers would try their best to get it performed by an ensemble or at least recorded during a lunch hour. There was one small room that had a single computer with music notating software that was able to hook up to a keyboard. Students could use it to arrange/compose music during their free hours or after school. It was mostly used by students arranging for the men’s a cappella group or by the teachers themselves.
    As students, we were exposed to music technology in our ensembles, but there was never enough to use it. For example, directors would play videos and recordings pretty regularly and would periodically record us playing/ singing, but we wouldn’t use the equipment ourselves. In marching band, we would watch drill movements off of a drill writing program, but we never used the software ourselves.

  5. jsove2 Says:

    1.) For the most part, I thought that this article made a very good point. My friend Sam from back home was in a pretty generic band, but once I introduced him to Anvil Studio (a freeware composing program), he has begun to actually write and experiment in different styles. And even from a very young age, many children seem to prefer toys that make music, either manually (tiny keyboard) or automatically (music box).

    One comment that I had an issue with is the supposed price of creating and maintaining a decent music computer lab. I know for a fact that there is a good deal of excellent free software for Windows. And on Linux, the possibilities expand even further, to the point of being able to easily and quickly download professional level free license sequencing and composing programs. I know the prospects of Linux are often daunting for many casual computer users, but the Ubuntu project has made it VERY accessible. Plus, this would avoid the cost of licensing multiple copies of Windows, and make it to the point that the only costs would be hardware-related.

    2.) The only computer program in our music department was integrated into our AP Music Theory class. Even in that, the software was limited to a program called Practica Musica (sic?) for ear training, and an old version of Finale for the end of the year composition project.

  6. zgeller2 Says:

    1) The concept that music is beneficial for a person’s overal cognitive ability is absolutely true. I seem to be running into these theories pretty consistently in my musical career. I did a lot of research on this subject over the summer for a speech that I had to write, and I found that there is a very strong correlation between Math and Music. I strongly agree with the points in the article concerning the benefits recieved from having a Music Lab in schools. Since the effectiveness of music has been proven many times, it is becoming more and more important that schools have some sort of a music program. Furthermore, it is becoming more and more important the schools have programs directed towards those students not interested or are not capable of participating in instrumental performance of any degree. Every student should have the option of learning about music no matter what their background might be, and it is the obligation of school programs to provide the facilities to do so. Like the article says, music encourages creativity, and i strongly agree that music labs should be as common in schools as a chemisty lab.
    2) For my high school education i was privaleged enough to attend a school with some serious funding. The music department was very serious and the school did a very good job supporting it and supplying it with whatever it needed. Durring my high school education the music department underwent serious construction and addition. We not only got a brand new orchestra rehearsal room, but we also had a brand new, fully updated and functional MIDI Lab. The lab included brand new MAC’s with Large Flat screen monitors, Brand new full Keyboards with MIDI capability, the latest music software programs, Headphones, Screen and projector, and entertainment center including dvd, cd, video, record, and cassette players. Looking back, and hearing about other people’s experiences and facilities, i understand how privalleged i really was with regards to my high school’s music program and funding. We not only had the facilities, but they offered many music programs for a variety of students that met in the MIDI lab. These classes included, Beginning Piano, AP music theory, Composing and Arranging, and introduction to music classes. Each class used the computors and keyboards every day. Not only that, but the band, orchestra, and chorus departments set aside time for certain projects, such as composing a short piece of music, and improving basic theory and aural skills. It was pretty much the same facility that we meet in for this class.

  7. mladror2 Says:

    I agree that it is definitely important to learn about technology in music, especially because it becomes more sophisticated and influential every day. By keeping up with currently musical technology, we can discover new possibilities in music, like playing difficult lines that would not be humanly possible to play, and exploring new sounds and sensations. It is important for the younger generations to learn about this too, as it will influence them even more it does us. Many young students are interested in electronic music, and by embracing this, we can interest many students and encourage their creativity. However, I do not think it should be the basis for musical education. If students are forced into a class like that, many of them will fool around with the programs, and not achieve anything significant. A student has to have passion and interest for music before being introduced to technological music, and I think playing an instrument or singing is the best way to achieve this.
    None of my music classes or lessons before high school involved any sort of technology, except for playing recordings of pieces now and then. None of my generic music classes involved any sort of creativity exercises. One year I had to write a short composition for one solo instrument for band, but we didn’t have many creative tools at our disposal except our heads, our instruments, and a pencil. I think having more tools available would have really helped at that time. In my junior year of high school, we used computers for musical compositions as part of a Secondary Instrument Course. We were allowed to do whatever we wanted with the composition, and use as many instruments as we liked. We were already all devoted (or at least interested) musicians at this point, so we all put in a lot of effort. We had two projects over that semester – one was with finale, so we could create our own melodies, and one with garageband, so we could experiment with different lines and sounds.

  8. raryan2 Says:

    1. I most strongly agree with the fact that schools should begin to integrate music technology into their programs, especially in high school. In elementary and middle school, I feel that it is still important to have the students visually learning by seeing and hearing the real, acoustic instrument while also having the opportunity to have hands-on time with those instruments as well. Once the student progresses to high school, they have (hopefully!) had some introduction to music in their general music classes and will have the option to further their studies/talent. Music technology introduced at the high school level would allow for new realms of exploration of sound and overall creativity for the student. To back-track though, I do think that smaller, more subtle forms of music technology should be integrated in elementary and middle school so that it isn’t an abrupt change for the student to be shoved suddenly into a classroom filled with computers versus a real keyboard/guitar. I also agree that music teachers need to be more educated in music technology before even attempting to integrate it into their programs because otherwise, what use is spending all that money when the students can’t even be taught to use the resources they have at hand?

    2. The only extent of music technology that we had in my high school was in our Music Theory II class. In Theory I, you learned the basics of music theory, while in Theory II, you were expected to compose a piece for the final project. We used keyboards attached to the computers (which didn’t work half the time because we didn’t have the right adapters ordered) to record music onto a program similar to Finale Notepad. Aside from this, there were no other technological options for music at my high school, and definitely none in my elementary/middle school. Other than recording CD’s, we definitely did not have technology embedded into our ensemble experiences.

  9. geigegirl Says:

    1.) I agree with the point that music technology should not replace traditional music education. I agree that it should be “both, and” rather than “either, or.” Music technology according to this article sounds like a great way to combine music with the typical student’s enjoyment of technology such as computers. Modern students are generally comfortable with technology and combining this interest with music has the potential to make music even more enjoyable for certain students. Music has been shown to be beneficial to a student’s learning process, as the article points out. Thus, it seems like it would be benefitial to adapt music education to reach out to a variety of students, both those who want to learn a traditional instrument and those who would rather work with technology.
    2.) My own school did not have a music technology program, but I did some work on my own with Finale notepad. I enjoyed experimenting with Notepad, even with its limited abilities, but often found it difficult to create what I “heard” in my mind. I find it easier to create what I want now that I have begun a more formal music training in Theory and Aural Skills classes in college. This makes me believe that music technology is great, but like noted in the article it would be most beneficial if teachers have a strong background in the fundamentals of music and teach those fundamentals to their students to use while technology.

  10. cjensen2 Says:

    1. I found this article very interesting, and there was one part in particular that I strongly agreed with.
    “The high schools are set up for performance students, but very little is available for the kid who doesn’t want to perform or maybe doesn’t even want to play an instrument,” Letcher says. “For the children who don’t want to perform but have this creativity, computers just give them a new opportunity.”
    I think that this is a big problem in schools today. All school music programs that I have ever seen have been totally focused on playing only. Don’t get me wrong; playing SHOULD be the main focus. However, if there were classes that were geared towards composing, or listening, or just playing around with music on a computer, participation in schools would jump greatly.
    2. At my high school, there was no music technology instruction. Granted, if a person was interested in it, they could certainly ask one of the directors outisde of rehearsal, and they would be more than happy to help out. This does not change the fact that I would’ve rather had some kind of course. I would also like to throw in that not enough high schools have music classes other than band and chorus. I think we could open it up a little bit more than that.

  11. sgritz2 Says:

    1. Reading the article “Playing Digital” was both interesting and enlightening. I agree strongly with implementing technology into our music programs. Since technology is growing so rapidly and children are learning computer and technology skills at a younger age, I believe it is imperative that we help music stay with the times, especially with kids and even adults who may want to be involved in music, but may not play an instrument. However, I also agree with the fact that these technologies cannot replace traditional instruments and learning methods. Technology merely gives music another outlet, one that is more accessible to people who otherwise may not ever get to experience the joy of creating or analyzing music. There is nothing I disagree with necessarily in the article. However, it was disheartening to hear about the setbacks to getting more music computer labs in our schools. It’s a shame that so much money is needed to start a program for music technology, as it makes it harder for less fortunate schools to get the equipment, and those are some of the schools that I believe need it most.

    2. In high school, we had a small computer lab of about 15 computers between the choir and band room that could be used by the music students. The computers all had finale, but only one or two had a keyboard. We had no music and technology course, but we used it a few times in our music theory class to create songs. Although we did not have much equipment, our director did think it important to give our theory class a crash course in finale and the synthesizer. I believe that our director would love to have a music and technology course; however, we do not have much funding at my high school. Music technology was not used in ensembles either, although people were free to use the computers with permission whenever they pleased.

  12. loafman2 Says:

    1. I most agree with the overall theme that if using technology helps incorporate music into more student’s daily lives, then it should be done by all means. Using a computer and/or other technology removes from many students the unattractive barriers of making music with a ‘normal’, physical instrument. Writing and working with music in a technology oriented classroom may be a way to get many more students involved with music that they can relate to. I also enjoyed the section that mentioned music literacy. I believe it is important for people to learn how to actively and critically listen to music. Classroom activities mentioned in this article could teach students how to do that, even with little or no previous formal training. The ‘Mozart Effect” was mentioned, and although the potential cognitive benefits of music are great, I would hope the focus would be on music for music’s sake and for its enjoyment.

    2. There was not a formal class, however as I was in my senior year and exiting more attempts were being made to integrate it into ensemble classes. Our band director began having an annual composition project where students used Finale to write a short solo or small ensemble piece. Band in the Box was demonstrated to our jazz bands, though students who use it usually chose to on their own time. One use of technology we had that I throughly appreciated was the presence of a digital recorder and mixer in our band room. Through a few microphones we could record anything we wanted and have instant playback. This proved quite useful in rehearsals for identifying areas of success and necessary improvement.

  13. befrank2 Says:

    1. Overall I thought the article was well written. It hit on all of the details that I had in my mind when I thought of computer music in the schools. I really enjoyed the quote, “The high schools are set up for performance students, but very little is available for the kid who doesn’t want to perform or maybe doesn’t even want to play an instrument,” Letcher says. “For the children who don’t want to perform but have this creativity, computers just give them a new opportunity.” I really feel that, since 99% of students are interested in music, this gives them the chance to experiment and express their musical talent in a new way. The only part of the article I did not like was the part about the “Mozart Effect.” Personally, I think the Mozart effect is completely false and that students who are actually drawn to Mozart’s (or any other classical composer’s) music, will have a higher capacity of spatial reasoning.

    2. Music technology at my high school was not nearly as in depth and blessed with such nice equipment as James Blake HS, but I thought that I had a lot more than other high schools. We had an “ensemble room” in our high school that had 5 computers in it, all loaded with Band in a Box, Finale/Sibelius, and Garage Band. I was one of the few students who actually took advantage of these and learned how to compose music on Sibelius before I got to college. There was no class, and technology wasn’t really encouraged in our ensembles. I thought that Sibelius and Garage Band were such fun and interesting programs that I took it upon myself to learn how to use them.

  14. mraczki2 Says:

    1. What I agree with the most in the article is the idea that music technology will spark the interests of non-music students. It is a real good way for students who never had the experience of private music lessons to actually play something or even compose something. I can see how some people might think that this will discourage students from learning the basics of music, being that they do not have to use an actual instrument, but I do not think that this is case. I think that students whose interests in music have been sparked by the technology could possibly go and learn about the traditional aspects of music. I do not think that the technology will replace the other skills and aspects that there are when it comes to teaching music (such as theory and music lessons). The article gave me a very positive outlook on the ideas of teaching music through technology. There is not anything that I strongly disagree with in the article.

    2. We did not have any music technology programs at my high school. We did have choir, band, and orchestra but there was never any technology integrated with the classes or the ensembles. In my freshman year of college, I was in a different institution. It wasn’t until college that I experienced the use of music technology. We would use a program for ear training and we would also use composing software for homework. I think that both of the programs benefited me a lot. It was a good use of time because of the feed back that I got from it. With the ear training program, it would tell me what I got wrong right away and then it would tell me the correct answer. With the composing software I could play back what I wrote and change the instruments.

  15. dmig2000 Says:

    I really liked the idea the article brought up about addressing all of the students who wanted to participate in music but couldn’t before because they didn’t have the knowledge. It’s an interesting idea to add another level of music. Before, if you wanted to be a musician in school you had to either sing or play an instrument. Now with the keyboard and computer technology any student can participate in music if they really have a desire. In my high school there was a class for music technology, but I never got the chance to take it. However, the music theory classes did get a chance to work with finale and sibelius every once in a while. We were allowed to experiment with the chord progressions and harmonies we were learning about, but that was really the extent of our technological experiences in high school. There really wasn’t any technology used in the choirs and bands I was in besides basic record.

  16. marielemke Says:

    1. Coming into this class, I was not a supporter of using technology in music classes. Now that I have read this article my view has changed. After reading the article I believe that technology definitley has a place in music education. I agree that using technology can really help students who are not good at or do not want to play instruments. Since active involvement in music has been shown to have significant intellectual benefits, schools should try to have as many students involved in music as possible. Technology could definitely help non-performing students get involved in music. I also agree that all students should learn to be critical listeners so they can better understand music and technology is a great way to make that happen. Being able to use the computers to hear their compositions could help them compose pieces that performers could use. The only downsides that I agree with when it comes to using this technology are that it can be very costly and that the instruments are sometimes very different sounding from the electronic versions. Other than that, I think that using the technology that is available now is great to use in music classes.

    2. There was only one music technology class at my high school. That class was called electronic music. It was a class in which the students learned a little bit of music theory and composed pieces using the computers. I did not take this class in high school.

  17. danmorrison Says:

    1. I agreed with basically everything stated in the article. I think it is great that teachers are pushing the limits of music education. It is very important to get anyone interested in music involved in music in some capacity. I understand that not everyone wants to be in band or orchestra, but still want to learn about music, and the classes mentioned in the article seem to to give everyone an opportunity to learn about music.

    2. There was one class offered at my school that was held in a computer class that combined music theory with learning about the computer program finale. Students learned about music theory and applied it to writing their own compositions and transcriptions on Finale. I did not take the class because I didn’t have room in my schedule. The ensembles at my high school did not really focus on incorporating music technology.

  18. bhillho2 Says:

    1. I really liked how they showed that many people are very interested in music technology and a main issue is cost. In todays society, computer software is a common knowledge and most music software is very user friendly. It is a shame how money is holding back so much potential in music advancement. I strongly disagreed with the quote “It’s a very steep learning curve,” Letcher says. “It is really a very difficult thing to pick up.” Prove me wrong, but I believe this is only true to older people. Anyone who has been semi fluent with a computer and had access to one since the 3rd grade can operate a number of these music programs.

    2. My high school had no music tech class or lab. People who were interested in programs and using them often went to some churches or peoples houses which had studio equipment to record at free cost and learn the software. Although my school did not have a lab, they did have 15-20 MIDI keyboards (packed away in storage) that were intended for one. I had access to Sibelius and Finale at home in which I did some arranging in high school.

  19. vabaker2 Says:

    1) I tend to agree the most with the section referring to young composers. Not everyone is willing to practice an instrument in order to master it. There are other things out there that are possible for one to enjoy and be better at than music. Which is completely ok. However just because a student is not the best trumpet player in their 6th grade class does not mean that they still couldn’t develop/produce some sort of musical ideas. Even though a student may not know much about musical notation, it can still be taught to them rather quickly and easily.
    There really was not a place in this article where I strongly disagreed with something.
    2) Technology at my high school was actually rather impressive. When I was a freshman it was only in it’s second year therefore everything was all new for me. For the music wing we actually had a computer lab much like the room used for 243. It had the pianos with the computer system, etc. It really does not get as much use as it deserves. However I know they have been working on trying to utilize it more within the past few years. One of the biggest enrollment issues for the class was that most of the music students did not have enough room in their schedules for it. Which is one of the reasons why I was unable to take the class. As for ensemble purposes the only technology I experienced was being recorded through our sound systems at rehearsals and performances. Also the members of the band were eventually required to complete parts of a program similar to mac gamut in the computer lab throughout the semester.

  20. aklingl2 Says:

    The part of the article I most agree with is how they make the point of music helps kids ‘become smarter’. I’m a huge fan of that theory and fully believe in it. And there’s nothing I absolutely don’t agree with in the article.
    Music Technolgy was not especially offered at my high school. There was one music class room that had computers and I could not tell you much about what they did, if anything at all because I did not take the class. I never had the time. And I was never forced to take the class.

  21. pianostars10487 Says:

    1. I do agree that this new wave of technology is a very convenient medium to use in oder to expose people to the inner-workings of music. With the kind of garbage music being put out there today, I’m all for kids learning about how real music was composed/functions. However, I don’t think that “technology experience” can substitute private training on performing a real instrument. Sure they may be able to explain the general rules of part-writing in that kind of class, but I think a real musician has a natural better understanding of an instrument’s sound and its compositional capabilities.

    Kind of like that music video we saw in class, sure that guy must have a vast knowledge of how music works, but it’s not a real performance if he can’t reproduce those sounds live. I wouldn’t consider the kids that only learn “computer generated music” techniques to be real musicians, sorry. I would consider them to be “creative people with a strong interest in music.” So overall, yes, technology is a great way to generate interest to a very technology-savvy crowd, but I hope students don’t see this as a way to substitute learning a real instrument.

    2. Personally, I haven’t had a lot of experience with music technology. I do remember towards 5th or 6th grade in elementary school that they had some sort of “learn how to play the keyboard” program hooked up to a few computers, with keyboards plugged into them. Those seemed to be pretty effective.

    As far as high school, I believe they’ve recently gotten some sort of small computer lab for music use only. So, that’s open to composing and all of those sorts of things. I don’t think they have an actual class for it though. However, my high school band director is very enthusiastic about having cutting-edge technology/advantages for our music program though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they came up with a class like that in a few years from now.

  22. reclark3 Says:

    1. I agree that music should be implemented into music education. Computers are becoming more prevalent in most areas of study and music should not be an exception. I also agreed with the article when it said that students are most creative when they have full control over what they are doing. Have students write their own music and change timbre and tempo on the Bach Two-Part Inventions gives them this control. Hopefully this new technology will become less expensive over the years and be more available to all schools, even those with limited budgets.
    2. Technology based teaching was not included in our music education in highschool. Also, there was no class offered in music technology. Our highschool had a a small room equipped with one computer that had a MIDI keyboard and everything but you needed special permission to use it and was usually being used by a teacher. I did not even know we had this classroom until my junior year when another student told me about it- my orchestra teacher never even mentioned to us that we had it.

  23. mclancy Says:

    1. I think the new advances in technology are definitely beneficial for schools. The issue is brought up again of how you can still be musically talented without having to be able to play an instrument. Also, so much modern music today makes use of a wide variety of electronic equipment, and it’s not that uncommon to see a member of a band actually performing via a laptop, proving that many computer skills can be very beneficial to actual musical performances. Again, I was also surprised to see that the actual number of children interested in music in schools is as low as 12 percent, so surely getting as many children as possible interested in the topic is important, and technology seems to be a very successful way of doing this. However, I do think it is important not to let this become more important than learning to play instruments, and learning the basic skills and theory behind music.

    2. My high school (in the UK) only had a very small music department, and did not offer any specific ‘music technology’ courses; however, we did learn and use the music software Cubase VST. The work we did on this was similar to the school in the article, as it was to aid composition by being able to create tracks for several different sounds and instruments that you did not necessarily know how to play, or that might not be readily available. In my first year at Newcastle University I took the course available to us called ‘introduction to music technology’. In our small groups we learnt how to record each other in a studio setting, and edit the tracks using Pro Tools. We also learned how to adjust certain sound settings and effects, such as EQ and panning, and how to create a drum track out of short samples, rather than using an actual drum kit.

  24. jmcguir4 Says:

    1. I agree with the idea of reinforcement in instruction behind music technology in the classroom. This article makes it clear that a majority of music teachers would wish to include music technology in their classrooms, but have not agreed to it partially based upon their lack of knowledge with the technology themselves. If music technology does continue to expand among schools, which I very much hope that it will, I agree with skeptics in saying that teachers need to be properly educated on the equipment and that they must develop appropriate reasoning when utilizing the technology. If such reasoning is used, then the technology will coincide with what else is being taught in the music class, therefore allowing the software reach its highest level of effectiveness among students. It would be incredibly unfortunate for a teacher to include music technology in their classroom merely for the sake of having it, and not doing enough on their part to ensure its usefulness on the child’s musical development.

    2. In my high school, we had a music technology lab of about 12 stations. There was no music technology or general music class that would allow students to use them, but our music theory class used them for the final project of the year. This project, calling for us to compose an original piece consisting of at least four different instruments or voices, was done with the aid of Finale on the work stations in the classroom. It proved to be very time efficient, because you were able to arrange your piece via computer rather than having to edit with the use of staff paper and pencil. Also, you could play back and hear your score instantly, so making changes to your work was an easy task to accomplish. What would have taken about a month in previous years of music theory classes to finish the project took us about half of that time. Technology was not a part of my high school ensembles, but the ensemble that I have been in since I began college calls for me to arrange music for them, so I now use it on a regular basis.

  25. jmrush2 Says:

    I agree with the article when it says music notation software has taught people how to read and write music even if they wouldn’t have done so without the program. there was an example of a kid who was trying to write some music for a friend’s videogame, and through the experimenting with music notion programs, he bagan to learn how music looks, and what kinds of sounds go along with that. That’s one more musician in the world that might not have ever come around if it weren’t for music technology.

    Technology was used often in my high school. I took an AP music theory class equivelent to MUS 101 at the college level, and we used music notation software for several assignments. We had to compose a string quartet, a brass quintet, and ohter ensemble music, find players, and actually perform the compositions for the rest of the class. In order for the performers to sight read the music with ease, the software was a requirement. I became familiar with the Sibelius program, and I used Cakewalk at home for a few years. My school also offered a MIDI class which taught its students how to navigate many types of programs as well as using keyboards, microphones, etc. I did not take this class, but from what I hear, it was very helpful. I also had access to a Wenger practice room, with the different stage simulations.

  26. kohler18 Says:

    1. I strongly agree that music technology should be integrated into a child’s education. Whether that child be a beginner in music or a college studio musician, the advancements that technology (computer-based programs specifically) are playing in music is allowing for a much greater capacity for learning, even at a young age. Imagine if every 3rd grader taking piano lessons had a computer software that helps the when they practice or are outside of their lesson time, this technology is helping create an upcoming Liberace, so to speak…

    2. When I was in high school, we did not have any type of music technology at the student’s disposal. I personally, however, was an avid user of Finale notation software. I used this program to compose/arrange all percussion parts for my drumline while I served as the section leader. To this day, I still use Finale when composing for the area high school marching bands that I teach, as well as for composing battery parts for the Marching Illini.

  27. aldog10 Says:

    After having read the article, I think it is great that Music Teachers are pushing the boundaries of Technology and its uses in music education. It is allowing students, who have not gotten years of private teaching, to make creative pieces of music without the burden or years or musical training. It gives them control over music. They have the ability to adjust, play, and stretch their imagination on the meaning of music. In my highschool, we had a music technology room. We had thirty computers in this room and we had power macs. Overall it was a well integrated class. Except, it was difficult for students to get into the class cause of the limited amountage of space. This class was really fruitful allowing students to manipulate music in ways that they normally could not.

  28. kohler18 Says:

    1) I agree that Music technology plays a big part in a child’s education. Using computer-based music software is helping entry level students to college studio musicians expand upon their education in ways never thought possible 10-15 years ago. Any third grader wishing to learn piano can now learn to do so with relative ease fight from their own living room.

    2) In high school, I was not fortunate enough to have any technology-based music education. I was however, an avid user of Finale notation software. I would use Finale when composing parts for my high school drumline when I served as section leader. To this day, I am still a user of Finale when composing for the many area high school marching bands that I teach, as well as composing parts for the Marching Illini Drumline.

  29. rmelend2 Says:

    1. I thought the article was very informative regarding the integration of technology into music schools. I strongly agree that music technology slowly becoming just as important as playing instruments. With such technology, we can compose, strengthen our understanding of music theory, record, and expand our musical possibilities. I also agree that even though music technology is becoming prevalent, I would never just focus on the technology aspect. Also, I agree that setting up a music technology room is rather expensive, which doesn’t fit many schools budgets. It might be possible with grants, funding, etc. There was nothing that I strongly disagreed with.

    2. In my school, we had a MIDI lab, where in our music theory class, we had the ability to compose, record, etc. A lot of our technology projects related to what we were studying in theory at the time. The MIDI lab consisted of a computer keyboard, monitor, and synthesizers. Technology was integrated in our ensemble class when we recorded our rehearsal pieces and later listened and analyzed them. Also, we utilized Tivo in order to record various play tests and focus on what we need to improve upon.

  30. jlaw2 Says:

    1)I agree that music technology is becoming an integral part of music education. Midi labs and such are a great way to integrate students with little to no musical background into the fine arts program in high school. Even though this new aspect of music is very important, it should never eclipse the traditional band orchestra and choir.
    2)In my high school we had a music technology class where we were given assignments such as “take a famous poem and write a pop song accompaniment” There were a large number of non music students in the class, however they were not the most successful because they generally did not care about the course.

  31. cmcain2 Says:

    1. The article was really interesting. It gave me alot of ideas about the kinds of things I would like to incorporate as a music teacher in my own music program. I strongly agree with the statement made about kids interested in music but not necessarily want to perform. I like to teach alot more than I like to perform, and many of my friends are interested in music production (studio lab/ recording). I think that kids do need to play as well though. A student needs to get a 360 degree lesson on every subject, music especially. they need to learn history, theory, technology, performance, and leadership. I disagree with the statements made about budget and funding, I think that you can still incorporate all of these aspects of music to students without the expensive equipment or the man power. If there is a will there is a way, for example you can break down the week where everyday is a different aspect of music one day history the next, play, and the following theory etc. This way there is a full curriculum of music and maybe just maybe more students will be interested and then funding can go up.
    2. In my high school we have a music theory class, we learned music history, theory, and arranging. We used Finale to arrange a traditional Christmas choral song to a small ensemble (brass, woodwind, percussion, orchestral) and we had members play the arrangements after we arranged them on finale. Then for a composing assignment we took a silent film and composed a musical arrangement to it using the computers, either finale or sibalius, or a piano that you could record your tracks on.

  32. nesch2 Says:

    1) Overall, I think that music technology being implemented in schools is a positive way to allow any student to become more involved in the process of creating and making music. When music is able to be brought into the life of any individual, it opens up the opportunity for them to learn more about themselves. This is especially significant for the student who has no musical background whatsoever. For the musically trained individual, music technology would enable them to further solidify previously learned skills in theory as well as allow them to be more creative with their approach towards music.
    2) In my high school, there was not a significant emphasis placed on music technology. There were around eight computer stations which consisted of a computer monitor, keyboard and piano synthesizer. It was only until I took AP Music Theory that I worked with the programs available to create an original composition.

  33. kfitzge3 Says:

    1. I thought the article had some great points regarding bringing more technological aspects into music schools. Music technology is becomming a much more prevalent part of learning about music, producing music, and has quite an active role in the enjoyment of music. While playing instruments and performing live is still the most important part of music, music technology opens many doors for people to experiment with new sounds and helps to broaden the ideas of music and art. Technology should not be the focal point of music but a branch which strengthens music as a whole. Music technology is nice to have but it shouldn’t be requires due to the impracticality of costs and varying levels of talent within schools.

    2. In my high school, York Community high school, we had a computer lab in our piano lab which had all of the music software for composing and editing music. We also had a mini-recording studio to allow students to further compose and edit music. It really helped to further understand musical production as well as integrating composition into regular music study.

  34. thomas22 Says:

    1. I think it’s great for people to compose music on a MIDI keyboard hooked up to their computer. Having instant feedback when you compose music is a practical tool. If you think about past composers even at the end of the 20th century, there is no way they could have a production of their music without completing it and setting it in front of an orchestra or band or whatever. Even more, Beethoven having composes music deaf?

    For people who don’t have experience creating their own music, it seems that this power to experiment in programs like Band in a Box or Finale would generate immediate interest for novices while still allowing the more experienced individual to play around with sounds in their own way. Unfortunately, innovation (technology specifically) is costly, and students in schools without large budgets wouldn’t get an interesting encounter with music technology courses.

    2. I’m lucky for my school to have had a couple music technology classes offered. Although I only took the first level, it was a good experience. Our teacher had written his masters research paper on how to teach this very class, so he was familiar with a lot of programs: Hammerhead, Finale, Sibelius, Band in a Box, etc. We tried all of these out a little. Another interesting and slightly humbling process was learning that people who weren’t gifted band “geeks” were still capable of producing interesting works. For the most part, the non-band students in the class created both more interesting and aesthetically pleasing projects than those of us who were embedded in the music program.

    Another place that we used technology was recording music. It was a tool utilized in band and our music tech class. Obviously we recorded our music. Our director when then use it to find places in which we could improve, or it could be sent in to competitions. In music tech, we used to to record different sounds. Whether it be from a timpani, a tuba, a flute, a pencil being tapped on a desk, or a door being slammed, a soundwave is produced. Using one program could show what the waves looked like. To that extent, technology played a role in our high school, but I know they were going to invest more in getting a small music lab to accomodate the classes they were offering.

  35. S_Murray Says:

    1) I agree that technology for educational purposes are useful in music.
    2) I did not have any music technology or something of the like in high school.

  36. Matt O Says:

    1. I agree that technology can open doors for many people when it comes to creating or modifying music. I also think that it allows for a trial and error approach to music. I have not however come into contact with software that effectively replaces the instruction of a qualified teacher it can be useful in conjunction with a qualified instructor but should be handled with disgretion. On problem is that technology always has quirks and can often waste a great deal of time troubleshooting. The time inverted in trouble shooting maybe worth while in some cases, but the educational goals must be considered before hand. So I agree with the parts of the article that are more reserved in their excitement over music technology. I whole heartedly agree that even more important than the investment in equipment is the investment in training to use technology, otherwise it will be used ineffectively if at all.

    2. My high school had a fairly modern midilab that was used frequently of for a music theory class. however this class only served about 20 students per semester in a school of 3,000 students. It was open to ‘non-music’ students with the instructor’s approval if they already had a basic musical knowledge. The stations were also equiped with band in a box which was used on occasion by some of the jazz combos to help them learn new charts. I don’t particularly think the technology was used to the point that such a large expenditure was justified, though I did enjoy having it available. The only technology we really used in an ensemble setting was to recorder ourselves on playing tests, however I have more recently seen the use of smart music software to enhance personal practice sessions, every student in the band program has a copy of the software and they do their practicing with the software, they are also expected to prepare a solo with smart music accompaniment and perform that infront of their ensemble once a semester.


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