Affinity spaces are the physical, virtual, or combination of locations where people come together around a shared affinity (interest) (Duncan & Hayes, 2012). Online affinity spaces can act as a participatory hub for music making and learning through social networking and sharing. Although music affinity spaces exist in myriad informal spaces, little scholarship explores potential applications of affinity space characteristics within formalized learning spaces. This chapter introduces characteristics of an affinity space and questions the role of the framework in relation to another framework commonly used in online music learning communities: communities of practice. This chapter concludes with a discussion on practical and theoretical applications of affinity space characteristics within formalized educational contexts.Read More
"When considering the potential of technology for musical engagement, teaching, and learning, music educators can acknowledge a range of contexts and ways of being musical to inform their practice. Video games offer a compelling locus for musical experience and engagement. Video games are digital, interactive, and immersive multimedia or intermedia that people play, and often in a social context. Characteristics of play, interactivity, immersion, and social engagement are critical to understanding the popularity of video games in contemporary society and their potential in music education. Video games are not simply media objects, but designed experiences with rules and mechanics which create systems that often invite problem solving, creative and critical thinking, and meaning making (Squire, 2006).
Though video games are a popular and established form of media in contemporary society, scholarship addressing video games in relation to music teaching and learning is at an early stage compared to the corpus of research addressing other aspects of music technology such as music creation or performance (Finney & Burnard, 2007; Webster, 2011). Building upon existing discourse in music education, this chapter draws on scholarship beyond the immediate scope of music teaching and learning to address the following three areas: 1) video games and music education; 2) game-based learning and learning theories; and 3) music and musical engagement within video games. Throughout this chapter we refer to video games in their myriad forms along with the devices on which they are played such as console systems, computers, and mobile devices."Read More