This research has considered several aspects such as background of students, the experience of using technology to learn music, and even the perception of the approach. The literature review conducted notes that technology has played a significant role in determining the success of the teaching and learning processes of music. It is evident that the music teachers have a positive perception of technology use in the classroom. This is because literature notes that the technology is not only simple to use, but also enriches the teaching and learning process. The students have also showcased an interest in this technology use for music education. They perceive it as a learning activity which is fun, lively, and relaxing for the students. Therefore, they claim that it improves their effectiveness and chances of achieving their set learning outcomes. Although most scholars have noted that majority of the teachers and students have embraced the use of technology in the music class, there are those who seem to find it less interesting.
Salavuo (2008), for example, has some reservations basing on the fact that technology is appropriate. This author argues that technology will promote an online kind of class which will mean less face-to-face time between teacher and student. The fact that it may promote a lot of possible destructions and prevent cooper4ation with others is viewed negatively. With regards to the students, there is a given percentage which is reluctant to embrace the use of technology in their music classes. These students are uncertain about this approach because they feel like it is complex, requiring the purchase of the relevant software. Some are also worried that technology in music is a newly innovated approach; hence the teachers may not be competent enough to offer tutoring services on the same. Finally, it is indicated that the technological approach will only be effective for students who are actually interested in learning music.
The theoretical framework obtained from this literature review has been reflected in the research findings of the paper. Just as is the case with the theoretical framework, it is evident that there are some students who do not seem to support the use of technology as they just cannot seem to understand any long term benefits it is meant to bring about. Almost half of the total number of participants said that they were not interested in continuing with piano lessons out of school. Such a response is enough to create a better understanding of the picture which indicates that some students are just not interested in music. Therefore, introducing technology and expecting them to learn how to use it will not have an effect on them as they view it as a waste of time.
However, there are another small percentage of students who have had the opportunity of learning how to play piano with friends and family. These students seem to show interest in learning how to use technology to facilitate the learning process. For these students to actually embrace technology use in music education, they must first show that they have a passion for music by attempting to learn the traditional way. Unfortunately, all students are mixed in the same class where some do not have any knowledge on how to use the piano, thus it will be even more complicated for them to incorporate technology.
Another important point to note from this research is that majority of the students are not taking “out of school” piano lessons. This indicates the possibility of a teaching problem it supports the argument that only a few students have a passion for learning music. This problem is further magnified by the realization that majority of those studying piano outside of school have only been doing so for approximately two years. Hence, they are yet to become conversant with the equipment. Fortunately, this fact also presents an advantage in the sense that such students with a history of learning piano out of school will be amazed and interested in using technology during their lessons. They will most likely be curious to experience the feeling of using technology. This is especially true because it is argued that technology makes the learning process simpler. Hence, any student who develops a new interest will be curious to see ho9w their experience will be while using this technology to learn how to play the piano.
Other results based on the employment of technology in teaching music students show that it is becoming quite a common approach. Since all students are expected to learn, the application of technology has probably made the process much easier for those who do not seem interested in it. Hence, even if many are planning to drop the lessons after high school, they will still graduate with a set of new musical skills that were learned much faster and easily than what would have been the case without the use of technology. The use of technology in music education not only teaches the students to play the piano but also to cooperate with others and learn to understand and interpret their feelings effectively. Therefore, these results indicate that it is indeed an important factor to consider in schools.
The limitation of this research is that the choice of participants may have been biased. It is possible that the volunteers for this research from the Mc Devitt Middle School may have been pre-dominantly those interested in Music. A different sampling strategy should have been employed to ensure that an equal number is chosen from the group of students with a history of out of school learning, and those without. This would have enabled a more thorough comparison, leading to accurate results. Unfortunately, in this case, there is a high chance of bias as all the necessary features were not controlled for. It is also the reason why there seems to be biasness in relation to the gender of participants. Since it is already known that gender would impact the resulting interest in technology use for music education, it would have been better to pick a similar number of male and female respondents.
This study has implications for practice as the teachers will know what to expect from their students, and how to encourage them to embrace music. For example, the teacher will check the musical educational backgrounds and identify students with no history in the subject. These will be given extra attention as they will definitely need to be given beginner lessons to ensure they can catch up with the rest and even develop an interest in music.
This research has focused on technological employment in piano lessons. It has simply identified and analyzed the perceptions of the teachers and students. However, in future, more research should be conducted on other musical items and even compare whether there are students who hated piano lessons but seem interested in other instruments. This is because it is likely that these results are only for the piano lessons. Therefore, the idea of preference of musical instruments makes it inappropriate to generalize the findings of this research to all instruments.
Salavuo, M. (2008). Social media as an opportunity for pedagogical change in music education. Journal of Music Technology & Education, 1(2-3), 121-136. doi:10.1386/jmte.1.2and3.121_1