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Authentic Approaches to Music Education with Technology

Savage, JPJ (2015) Authentic Approaches to Music Education with Technology. In: The Oxford Handbook of Technology and Music Education (Online). Oxford University Press.


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Robert Benchley, the famous American columnist, once quipped that ‘there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't’. I was reminded of the quote when approached to write this chapter that addresses, amongst other questions, whether ‘music technology’ should be taught as an independent subject or should it be integrated across the music curriculum? It does seem to be the case that human beings are prone to like to categorise things; music education is no exception. But, as we will discover, this can lead to many unhelpful, although perhaps unintended, consequences. So, this is an important question but, in many senses and in the United Kingdom’s schools and colleges at least, it has been answered in recent years through educational policy and resulting curriculum frameworks. However, this does not mean that the questions are not worthy of further consideration. Given this mix of experiences, this paper will begin with an examination of the current curriculum framework in the United Kingdom and analyse some of the consequences of this separation between Music and Music Technology. Following this, I will present two alternative visions of musicianship, drawn the work of two writers, and argue that a more coherent approach to the development of music technology skills within a music teacher’s pedagogy is urgently needed.

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