Reconceptualizing “Music Making:” Music Technology and Freedom in the Age of Neoliberalism

Recent initiatives by for-profit corporations and funding measures instituted by governments intend to support the preparation of students for careers in computer science and technology. Although such initiatives and measures can indeed increase opportunities for students’ engagement with computer science and technology in K-12 schools, we question whose needs are being served, for what purposes, and at what cost. In particular, we ask whether music educators might be complicit in advancing technology that subordinates human needs—specifically students’ interests in making music in their own creative ways—to modes of production that benefit certain dominant commercial interests in society. After discussing how current computer technology narrows students’ choices, we counter this determinism by highlighting a music subculture that creates and appropriates music technologies for music-related purposes. Our example of the “chipscene” illustrates how music educators might reconceptualize “music making” through modification of existing music technology and thereby restore students’ freedom to “reclaim making” in the age of neoliberalism.

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From Coding Puzzles to Interest-Driven Projects

Coding environments and curricula with puzzles and challenges often utilize engaging platforms which guide young coders to learn fundamental coding concepts and practices. These environments and curricula often progress from simple through complex algorithmic sequences with clearly defined solutions. This approach not only provides useful resources for young coders new to coding, but for adults new to teaching, facilitating, or evaluating coding classes. Articles continues . . .

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Sonic Participatory Cultures within, through, and around Video Games

This chapter is concerned with the diverse ways that people engage with music or sound within, through, and around video games. It begins with a review of literature on games as a leisure activity and sonic space, followed by highlighting various frameworks of participatory cultures. The bulk of the chapter connects these participatory culture frameworks with examples of engagement in sonic participatory cultures and sonic participation within, through, and around video games. Although these categories of sonic participation are divided into three sections, the chapter concludes with a discussion on the overlapping nature of sonic participation and implications for leisure as sonic participation.

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