How to Improve Technology in Music Education
By Ricardo De Saracho, sponsored by StudiosoTM
“As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.” –Yo Yo Ma
Technology surrounds us: in the workplace, at home, and ever-increasingly, at school. In recent years, technology has evolved and grown to become integral to all of us. However, advancements in education have remained stagnant for most of that time, and we now see the tech industry playing catch-up, with new tools for teachers and students emerging daily. Although this growth is both necessary and beneficial, developments have only been taking formerly business-oriented tools, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and digital planning, and slightly modifying them to fit some of the needs, and few of the wants, of education customers.
Though most current tech applications in education lack purpose and proper execution, technology offers some of the most effective ways for students to interact with peers, connect with teachers, and enhance overall engagement and performance. With a new generation that has known mobile devices their whole lives, technology plays a crucial role in the engagement of students in and outside of the classroom.
Music education is the most dynamic field in the education industry. For example, most students and teachers have access to mobile devices utilized to tune instruments, download sheet music, and listen to countless pieces of music. A couple decades ago, such functions for a mobile device were unfathomable. Technology has grown to facilitate the lives of musicians and their mentors as more people have entered the ever-changing, lively world of music. A tech-focused learning base has educators and pupils excited and passionate about their future of music education.
In Arlington, Virginia, PBS conducted a survey of teachers and asked how they feel about educational technology and the implementation of it: “Seven in 10 teachers surveyed said educational technology allows them to ‘do much more than ever before’ for their students.” The survey also revealed that a vast majority of students report that educational technology motivates them and inspires creativity.
There are numerous ways for a musician to learn and grow. Each musician, teacher, or student, is unique. Yo Yo Ma stated, “As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.”
Given the vitality and fluidity of music, diverse teaching methods for various learning styles are essential. Therefore, any technological solution must have the flexibility to adapt to various teaching methods and learning styles. The model for passive learning where students enter a classroom, listen to a lecture, leave, and are expected to retain all the information is being phased out. In music education, it is paramount for students to be dynamic in their learning in order to succeed. In music education, students often report frustration and lack of motivation outside of the classroom. They report having trouble remembering their assignments, doubts regarding efficient practice methods, and difficulty tracking their progress to stay motivated. The lack of out-of-classroom resources is one of the leading causes of student frustration. Therefore, as technology is incorporated in the classroom, we must equally integrate it outside classroom.
At Studioso, we focused on three values to guide our innovation: flexibility, efficiency, and tradition. First, any new tech application should be seamlessly adaptable to work for any teacher and their teaching style. Second, it should help both teachers and students be more efficient, allowing them to strive for a higher level of artistry. Finally, it should harness the rich traditions of music education, rather than try to replace it. We are elated for the future of music education. With the help and input of music teachers and students of all levels, we have developed an illuminating understanding of the needs and wants of the music education community. Every teacher and student is unique. The key is to provide them the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century.
Every teacher and student is unique. The key is to provide them the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century.
The Studioso team of musicians, have focused on one question: What if the application wasn’t just retrofitted for education, but designed for it from its inception?
At Studioso we have tailored an application to the needs and wants of students and teachers. From the very first line of code—and even over 15,000 lines later—every intention has been to design a unique and original application that maximizes efficacy and respects tradition. Like the composition of a symphony, we have considered how each of our features will contribute to the whole. Our app motivates students and empowers teachers. With the fusion of technology and artistry, the future of music education is bright.
About the author:
Ricardo De Saracho has had a passion for music since he could pick up a guitar. He is a Business major and working on minoring in music. Currently, he is Director of Marketing and Sales at Studioso. Ricardo has done extensive research on the history of music and is determined to help passionate musicians, like himself, to find the tools they need in order to prosper in their art.
Studioso was a Silver Sponsor of the 2017 National In-Service Conference, which took place November 2017 in Dallas, TX. The 2018 conference will take place November 11-14, 2018, in Dallas, TX; sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are available. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.
Elizabeth Baker, Social Media Coordinator and Copywriter. October 13, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)