Monday, March 23, 2009

CAL 2009: Information and communications technology in the music classroom: How theories of multi-modality can illuminate classroom practice

Captured live at #cal09, posted late.

N. M. Breeze University of Worcester and University of Bristol

Composing music with ICT tends to be a group activity in schools with children spending five to six weeks on a composition. Students use computer software to compose. Music is a compulsory element in England and every child is expected to compose. The composition activities typically split into two functions with one student playing the midi keyboard and another pupil playing with the software. {Interestingly, the presenter corrected himself and said, "not play with... I mean operate the software" - but I like "playing"!}

Multi-modality - Two aspects of the theory were applied in this research
  • Modes of communication, e.g. linguistic, visual, gestural, spatial and musical.
  • Design and transformation - available resources for design, importance of prior design and interested action (i.e. what motivates them)
The classroom is a site of multimodal signs. Methods used to capture this was primarily video but also included music notation files, screen grabs, field notes, pupil interviews. Researcher developed his own analysis tool {as you do!} which he felt allowed him to explore his very rich data set more effectively than existing tools such as nvivo.

Findings: The whole learning environment was important in mediating the composing process. (Previous studies have focused on only one element but this researcher found it impossible to separate the aspects out. Headphones can preclude both inter and intra group collaboration. Pupils brought their own musical ideas into the classroom and this motivated them to transform. A lot of detail is missed if you only appraise the product - it is therefore important to appraise all the stages of the composition process.

1 comment:

Logicalis said...

Interesting Post and Idea behind the research. I would like to give credit to the author and also to the researcher who has initiated to take on this uphill task and produced good results.