This blogpost was adapted from guest Editor Mary Simoni’s introduction to a special issue of Organised Sound entitled ‘Best Practices in the Pedagogy of Electroacoustic Music and its Technology.’

The twenty-first century has ushered in an energised and prolific period in music history with the global creation and dissemination of music. The decreased cost of computer power coupled with increased processing speed has made the tools of music technology readily accessible to diverse communities worldwide, resulting in a multiplicity of musical genres. Alongside this global phenomenon, traditional youth music programmes forge ahead; many with curricular models developed in the mid-twentieth century serving local populations based on traditional acoustic repertoire.

This special issue of Organised Sound aims to advance our understanding of the pedagogy of music technology, in particular electroacoustic music. We hear from a variety of educators from around the globe who describe their philosophical foundations and espouse their best practices in the pedagogy of electroacoustic music both in and outside of the classroom. From the joyful discovery of children engaging in the creation of electroacoustic music to the struggles of traditionally trained classical musicians learning to integrate live electronics in performance, this issue will spark personal inquiry and assessment of what educators do: teach.

One paper explores EARS 2, which was launched by the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University as a successor to the original ElectroAcoustic Resource Site. This follow-up initiative is intended for a younger audience; it is a comprehensive youth-oriented curriculum designed to teach music using technology. The curriculum is publicly available on an eLearning website. Authors Leigh Landy, Richard Hall and Mike Uwins base EARS 2 on the pedagogical philosophy of constructivism – that is, students learn by doing. Web-based materials such as listening examples, tutorials and exercises support active learning. A key feature of the curriculum is cross-platform software entitled Compose With Sounds, which encourages creativity through musical composition based on sound objects (objets sonores) or sound cards in this software package. Students can interact with tutors and their peers from around the globe about music through a social media module contained within the website. EARS 2 will undoubtedly have a profound impact by making music training publicly accessible.

I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I have enjoyed considering the contributions of these experienced researchers and teachers. Reading about the theories, trials and tribulations of these pioneer pedagogues has roused a reconsideration of my own philosophical orientation toward the creative process of teaching.

Click here to access the issue.

Featured image: ‘Interactive Music’ students performing at a mid-semester concert at the Department of Musicology at the University of Oslo. This image appears in Alexander Refsum Jensenius’ article, ‘An Action–Sound Approach to Teaching Interactive Music.’

Comments

  1. I know there are many of you who have thought deeply about the state of pedagogical practice in electroacoustic music. This special issues highlights a snapshot of what is currently going on in classrooms around the world for students of all ages.

    If you’re teaching, what are you doing in the classroom that has been successful?
    If you are a student, what would be more helpful to advance your understanding of the field?
    If you’re teaching yourself, what kind of tools and materials would be beneficial?

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