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.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