BASED IN CALGARY, CANADA, kenhoffmanlearning IS A BLOG BY SCIENCE, MATH AND MUSIC EDUCATOR KEN HOFFMAN. THESE POSTS PROVIDE INSIDE INTO CURRENT TRANFORMATIONS TO PUBLIC SECONDARY EDUCATION, WITH A SPECIFIC FOCUS ON STUDENT IDENTITY AND THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON IDENTITY FORMATION.

Part 6: Music Education as the Way Forward

Music education is ideally suited to drive Digital Global Collaboration, in part, for the reason outlined in Part 5: music is the age-appropriate, native content.  The exchange of music content on the Internet is the antecedent to all other content exchange (pornography notwithstanding).  Music education is further suited to lead because it is among the few subject areas in school that teach and promote creativity.  Content and creation situated in a digital medium is the essence of Web 2.0.

Why is music such a powerful mover of content?   Music, in addition to being content, is a means of communication and a way of knowing and, as such, has always represented a means of expressing social commentary on time, place and events: “We Shall Overcome”, “American Woman”, “What’s Going On?”, “Redemption Song”, “Fight the Power” and “Wavin’ Flags” are but a few examples from the past fifty years.  And so are “Gangnam Style” and “Chocolate Rain” (notably, a Darth Vader-inspired parody of “Chocolate Rain” has almost ten million YouTube views).

Students enter the learning environment, physical or virtual, with a well-established relationship to music as content and context: “Music-driven instructional activities support students’ construction of conceptual knowledge within a personally relevant and meaningful context, enhancing long-term memory and transfer” (Dunlap 62).

Dunlap, Joanne C. and Patrick R. Lowenthal. “Hot for Teacher: Using Digital Music to Enhance Students’ Experience in Online Courses.” TechTrends 54.4 (2010): 58-73. Web.

© K.C. Hoffman and learnersinadangeroustime.wordpress.com, 2013.

Part 7: Walking the Talk – Show Me the Pedagogy

Part 5: A Brief History of the Internet