(Online Courses, Videoconference)
Alexandra Fol (McGill University)
Learning Composition Online: The Vermont MIDI Project and a 21st Century Vision of Music Education
This paper will examine the technological foundation of the educational model proposed by Dr. Sandi McLeod with the establishing of the Vermont MIDI Project. Launched in Vermont in 1996, the online-based Vermont MIDI Project has grown to unite institutions from across New England, which work to infuse composition into the elementary, middle and high school music curriculum. The Vermont MIDI Project operates on two levels – in the classrooms of affiliated schools and online, where students openly discuss their work, seek input and implement revisions suggested by professional composers. Selected works receive premieres at biannual all-day events called Opus, which feature open rehearsals, lectures, talks and a concert. My paper will evaluate the educational methodology employed by the Vermont MIDI Project and its potential for further growth and expansion in view of the developing interactive technologies. I shall use actual student composition to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of using notation software as compositional tool and the influence of MIDI on music conceptualization. In conclusion I shall propose two possibilities for enhancing the teaching model to allow for more personalized communication and real-time group discussion.
Erin Parkes (McGill University)
Developing Techniques for Teaching Piano via Videoconference
Beginning in 2003 and ending in 2007, a group of eight young Inuit students were taught keyboard from Ottawa through videoconference. The students were only five- or six-years-old when the classes began, and only one spoke English. They were taught using the Yamaha Music Education System, with the goal being to provide a well-rounded approach to music for these students who would not have the chance for any exposure to music lessons of any kind. This project was unique both in the young age of the students involved and also in the fact that they were given weekly lessons over the four years. The results were that although there were many factors which would suggest that the students would not advance at the same rate as students taught the same program in live lessons, they were in fact able to keep pace with the regular curriculum. The technical and educational challenges of teaching music through videoconference will be explored, as well as a detailed account of the students’ progress and suggestions for future projects of this nature.
Valerie C. Cisler (University of Nebraska Kearney)
Online Pedagogy: Breaking the Barriers of Time and Distance
A growing number of teachers and students have expressed interest in pursuing pedagogy coursework to satisfy degree requirements, attain or renew national certification with MTNA, or simply to enhance their teaching abilities. However, both time and distance have been barriers to many who run busy studios, have family obligations, or do not live within reasonable driving distance of an accredited institution where specialists in music pedagogy hold on‐campus classes. These teachers may feel isolated from their peers and thirst for an opportunity to enhance their teaching skills through a thriving learning community. In response to the rising need for well‐developed distance education opportunities for teachers and students of the 21st century, this session explores philosophical considerations related to online instruction; practical considerations related to course development, design and structure; successful strategies for the delivery of online pedagogy courses, including highlights from the Summer Institute for Online Teaching, a review of online course terminology (such as a/synchronous communication, modules), a demonstration of the various instructional tools available through WIMBA (E‐Board, Live and Archived Lectures, Polls) and Blackboard Academic Suite (Content Areas, Course Tools, Discussion Board, Assessment, Digital Dropbox, Gradebooks, Content Collection, The Electric Blackboard, Electronic Portfolios, and Collaboration Sessions including Chat Rooms and the Virtual Classroom); and the incorporation of an ever‐expanding array of internet and library resources (including external links, streaming video, and electronic reserves). Demonstrations are drawn from online pedagogy courses developed by the presenter since 2005.