Responding to: Tobias (2016) “Learning With Digital Media and Technology in Hybrid Music Classrooms” in Teaching General Music
“In the context of music education, a hybrid approach embraces overlaps, combinations, connections, and blurred lines among music and ways of being musical…A hybrid approach to music education reflects a comprehensive curricular model that allows for students to emphasize particular foci or specializations while developing multifaceted or hyphenated musicianship in varied contexts (Tobias, 2012a)” (pg. 113)
At the beginning of the semester, I was not sure what I would think about having music classes that were different from my own experiences. When took digital/hybrid lab, I didn’t think I was much closer to accepting new types of music classes because I didn’t get to explore it from the perspective of a student and a teacher. Looking at this quote, I am much more understanding of having classes that aren’t “normal.” The discussions that we have had in class about student-centered learning and having projects where we are the students taking more responsibility in learning and engaging with music have really helped change the way that I think of what it means to be musical. I have been struggling with how I feel as a musician, because I don’t enjoy just one thing, but even just reading this chapter has helped me look at myself as a “hyphenated musician” (pg. 113). Looking at this chapter a second time has helped me get past that mentality that I think a lot of classically trained musicians have of looking at contemporary musicians (or other ways of interacting with music) as being less “successful” somehow. There is this show called “Lost and Found Music Studios” that my little brother likes to watch on Netflix, and last year when we watched it, I kept thinking that there wasn’t anything special about these teenage kids being in bands and writing their own music, because it was just something that I thought people would do in their spare time, but looking at my internship and the way this class has taken us on different routes to be musical, I can appreciate the show a little more.
“By situating technology and media use in musical contexts, music educators can intertwine technical information with aspects of curriculum that address musical concepts, elements, or principles” (pg. 131)
It took me a while to think of a “facilitator” as a teacher, because they weren’t the “all-powerful” presence/authority in the class or the director that was there to tell everyone what they need to play. I started to think more of classes that exist for students, the ones that don’t necessarily want to be in traditional music ensembles, the ones that wanted a class for them in order to help them with their lifelong musicianship. I was reminded of the article we read earlier this semester, about participatory cultures with a low barrier to entry. As I was looking at this chapter again, I started to see more connections between the readings and how we keep having conversations about things like the balance between using technology and not using it, making sure that the end goal is the musical concepts that need to be taught using the specific technology rather than learning the technology itself (pg. 120). I’m seeing how this class is preparing us for applying this to our own teaching later on, because we don’t really learn about the technology (except when we did the exploration to teach each other) but we are engaging the process of learning things and why we might approach things a certain way but not really “finish” everything. A lot of the projects that we have been doing have helped me with my own assignments, and creating projects, because I am able to see the things that I do/don’t like and where I could possibly take a project like that somewhere in the future.
Drawing from this chapter, the Kratus article, and Tobias (Convergence), I want to keep thinking about new music classes that I could teach that actually have a relevance in students’ lives, where I can take things that they are already doing, and use the knowledge that we have been gathering on PBL and UbD to create classes, units, projects that allow students to develop lifelong music skills. One thing that I did not agree with in the Kratus article was the fact that only popular instruments like piano, guitar, ukulele were identified as instruments that allowed for these lifelong musicians. I believe that any instrument a person is interested in learning can be used throughout their lives. Instruments like violin and clarinet do take longer to learn/can be harder, but that doesn’t mean that students can’t still learn them and use them however they want.
My hybrid class probably wouldn’t be called “Creative Musicianship” because I don’t think that it would cater to everyone. I personally wouldn’t take it because I don’t think of myself as a creative musician or think that I would do well in a class like that. I think I would take more of the route of having a “Music Exploration” class or even “Music Appreciation” because it would cater to more students and offer a sort of relaxed feeling about what it could be. I want a space where students can feel free to explore what music means to them and if they want to be able to identify themselves as a hyphenated musician. I would like to have different “tracks” like students do at my internship, like “creating, covering, analyzing, etc.” so students can do what feels right to them.
If the class was as short as a quarter, I would have limited tracks, but still have students find what it is they want to do, with the resources the school has. Students could do “reports” of artists or kinds of music they like, if they just want to learn about what is going on in the field, they could do covers of songs and learn instruments or softwares that they want, or they could work on creating their own music if that is what they are there for.
If the class were only a semester long, I would have similar projects, but they would be longer and involve more class instruction and collaboration between groups and tracks so that students could have a more well-rounded experience. Thinking back to the article about learning aural skills through engaging with popular music, I think that I would like to explore integrating some of those practices in as I could, because students might be already doing things like that and could just be more aware of what they’re doing and learning.
If the class were a full year, I would probably keep the same idea as giving students a more rounded experience and have them do a series of projects that build on each other (even happening at the same time, like from the TGM chapter), and allow students to just refine their skills and work with each other to create or analyze at their own levels and just help them get to whatever the next step would be for them.
I have sort of outlined what I think is kind of the logic behind the way Dr. Tobias has structured this class, starting with seeing where we stand on the idea of thinking outside of the traditional box and making music classes that are for the students. We keep doing little projects that go along with the readings to get us out of our comfort zones and thinking more about project-based and student-centered learning. The assignments we have had are getting us ready for designing large-scale projects because the readings are getting more focused, and building off of each other, and I have seen how there have been common themes between my mini-projects that could potentially help me with completing the final. I plan on taking these posts and readings and going over what I came up with to see if I could come up with something similar or tracking my thought process to see how I might turn something small into something big. I might work with a group, and depending on the way that we think, and have been building our own little projects, we may be able to put things together and see if they can keep building off of each other. I think that by revisiting older readings, we might even be able to transfer things over and develop ideas there, like we did with combining PBL and UbD.
I find that I am still confused on TPACK, we talked about it in Digital/Hybrid Lab a little bit and kind of glossed over it in this class, and I would like to explore it a little more in the future so that I can have a better understanding on it.