Teaching with Technology

Blended Music Instruction

Enhancing Music Courses with Web-Based Activities

Methods and strategies for integrating web sites to support traditional classroom music learning. 

The term “blended” refers to the use of various media types that complement instructor-led activities.  It is also known as “hybrid” instruction, which may involve online components and a course management system.  A survey of non-commercial internet sites that provide drill and assessment of music fundamentals is presented, along with tables comparing features.  The knowledge and skills addressed by these sites, and in the classroom, are of two general types: written and aural.  The written component refers to the identification of notes, scales, key signatures, intervals, chords, rhythms, and relationships between them.  The aural component is the ability to identify musical elements by ear.  These basic materials are addressed in integrated music theory courses that teach literacy and musicianship.  Advantages offered by online support for such courses are identified.  Pedagogical strategies for the classroom component of blended music theory courses are proposed.  Methods for online diagnostic testing are discussed.  These tests determine the level of knowledge and skills students possess, a critical factor in planning instruction, setting goals, and advising students for proper placement.

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