The connection between music education and technology has always been really significant to me. Aside from (sometimes) being a teacher myself and having spent a few years doing training for notation package Sibelius, to me learning and teaching are fundamental to musical activity even outside schools.

I got to sit in as a guest on the excellent Music Tech for ME podcast last week:

Music Tech for ME 2008.07.01-#030

Be sure to check out the whole Music Tech for ME series. There’s some great stuff in there, covering educational issues, how technology is evolving and how it fits in with teaching, and broader musical and technological topics, as well:

Of course, on CDM we’re regularly pushing the envelope and getting as tech-specific as possible (hey, sometimes I actually lose myself). But it is important to realize that technological needs for teaching can be more modest — and as podcast host Keith Mason observed, music teachers are often way behind the technological curve, meaning starting with the basics is essential.

Another excellent resource for music technology educators:

It’s a blog network, and they’re trying to get 100 people blogging about music education. Your blog can be hosted wherever you like; they’re just collecting existing blogs.

Are you involved in music education? How do you work with technology? Are there specific issues you’d like to see covered on CDM? Let us know.

Photo: Oude School. (showing the traditional view of music education, though hey, putting in a portable digital recorder or adding computer notation could make all the difference)

  • spinner

    MT & education, God where to start ,)

    I teach mt to performance students in higher ed. I think one of the biggest issue in this area is how to make technology more accessible and more "plug & play". Most apps have a fairly high learning threshold some are as we all know outragesly complex. Put some kids infront of a computer and ask them to make music and 1 out 5 might succed. Put the same youngsters in front of a kit & hand them some sticks…………..

    I actually use a lot of material from CDM & other similar bloggs. I used the chewing gum drum machine video to introduce programming in Ultrabeat – instant hit.

  • Technology can be very useful in teaching certain aspects of music. It can also be a giant swindle that teaches the kid nothing except how to doink around with a computer. Everything depends on (a) FIRST identifying the musical skill you're trying to teach and (b) then SECOND figuring out how the machine will help students master that skill.

    Simple example: I use a Korg tuner with my cello students. It gives them immediate visual feedback on very small tuning discrepancies, which I feel will help them learn to hear the discrepancies. It also teaches them to make a firm, consistent pressure with the bow, because the tuner doesn't work worth beans if you can't do that.

    –Jim Aikin

  • It's the teacher who makes the music learning experience either a positive or negative one for the student. And, a good teacher will be successful with the barest of resources. That being said, I believe technology can make both the good and nominal teacher better able to convey musical concepts, especially to today's 'plugged in' students.

  • Jon


    I just listened to the Music Tech for ME interview. In fact, that's how I found this site. I listen to Keith on a regular basis for the reasons you mention, plus he's just a great guy – which comes across on his program. I just left a teaching job in a small college (21 years) to pursue a "second degree" in computer science.

    I agree that technology is great, but often faces the usability hurdle. I think the ipod is a great example of some geeky stuff filtering down to the masses. Music technologists / teachers need to keep hacking away at the usability issues. It will eventually filter down. Metronomes are ubiquitous, and most every music teacher and student knows how to use one.

  • Thanks for providing the music tech information my friend is very interested in music i will tell him about this site.