Cart before the horse : technology disruptions in group piano practices and curriculum

Stephens-Himonides, Cynthia and Young, Margaret (2018) Cart before the horse : technology disruptions in group piano practices and curriculum. In: MET 2018 : Researching Music - Education - Technology; 26-27 March 2018, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Undergraduate group piano programs are the most common means through which music majors in the United States fulfill the National Association of Schools of Music's (NASM) requirement of keyboard competency (NASM, 2015). As found in previous investigations, the group piano curriculum and its implementation have not completely undergone the needed modifications to fully prepare students with relevant and useful skills at a greater proficiency. In what ways might technology use serve as a cause or an effect on group piano teaching practices and curriculum development? Given the interest in adapting the music curriculum to address the needs of the 21st Century musician, it seems an ideal time to examine the curriculum and its implementation. As part of a call for change in group piano curriculum and its implementation, we have undertaken a longitudinal study examining student perceptions and learning outcomes in these piano courses. From the examination of the initial findings of the longitudinal study of curricular change in group piano in relation to the use of technology, we hypothesize that that the rapid inclusion and adoption of technology in the group piano classroom disrupted and, in essence, surpassed the curriculum and teaching practices. In other words, the existing pedagogies have not been in line with the digital teaching tools incorporated, which have continued to develop and provide further enhancements of group piano classroom practices and curriculum. We discuss this within the perspectives of both imperative of disruptive innovation (Selwyn, 2017) and technological determinism (Ruthmann, Tobias, Randles, Thibeault, 2015; Smith & Marx, 1994).

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