Tonight’s edition of #musedchat had me in the mood for reflection. I graduated from high school in 2004. I finished my bachelor’s degree in 2009, and I’ve been teaching full-time for nearly two years. In that time, the field of music education has been rapidly evolving. We are capable of doing things now that were unthinkable when I decided to enter the field of music education.
This evolution was possible thanks to advances in music technology, as well as several very creative individuals constantly pushing themselves to find new uses for that technology. Music technology is serving to revitalize our profession and keep it relevant in the modern world.
Think back to just five years ago. There was no GarageBand, no iOS. Audacity was still in its infancy. We could record our students, but not with the ease of GarageBand, Audacity, or the multitude of multitrack recorder iOS apps. Once the recording was done, we couldn’t upload it to Soundcloud or a similar service.
There were a few pieces of music notation software available, but I don’t recall them being as refined as they are today. I used Finale and Noteworthy composer a little bit at the end of my high school career, but most of my composing was done with pencil and paper. Today, I can fire up my interactive whiteboard and have my students collaborate on a composition with MuseScore or Noteflight. That was our favorite project last year, and I plan on repeating it.
The key thing that music technology has done though, is make existing activities easier. With a few clicks, I can connect to another teacher or a clinician via Skype. I can post an audio recording of my groups online for them to check out and evaluate. I can put a group project on our IWB which the students can see grow and evolve. This ease of use is key as we look to draw more adapters to the available technology, and we look to evolve what we currently have.