Connecting learners, employers and practitioners through emergent digital technology

Mark Thorley

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    The major impact of technology upon music composition, production and consumption has shifted from production tools (the project studio, DAWs etc.), to the digital technologies which facilitate the digital distribution and streaming of music. This has altered the commercial landscape (and therefore, the skills needed) for music practitioners, recording studios and record companies amongst many others. The traditional barrier between music composer or producer and the audience has been bridged by emergent digital technologies, and there are now many ways in which music can be showcased, demonstrated, shared or collaborated upon. These same facilitating technologies offer a significant opportunity for learners (and therefore, educators) particularly where the aim is to develop capability in composing or producing music in the expectation of working in the 'real world'. Despite this, (and possibly for cultural and structural reasons), the potential associated with adopting such technology is largely unrealised in educational contexts. This is particularly surprising given the push towards Employer/Higher Education Partnership by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, a general increased emphasis upon the skills required for employment (Dawes and Jewell, 2005), and the documented difficulty which students have in articulating their skills to the outside world (Brown, 2007). This paper describes the realisation and outcomes of a project funded by the UK's Higher Education Academy (HEA) designed to embed employer and practitioner involvement in the development and assessment of final year Music Technology portfolios. The rationale and methodology (project realisation and research examination) are described before turning to an examination of the key outcomes which have found application nationally and internationally in a variety of disciplinary contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Sempre MET2014: Researching Music, Education, Technology: Critical Insights.
    EditorsEvangelos Himonides, Andrew King
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherInternational Music Education Research Centre (iMerc)
    ISBN (Print)978-1905351299
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2014

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