Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

The iPad and Music in the New Learning Environment

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

The iPad and Music in the New Learning Environment

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

1.1 The Internet as a new learning environment

According to Dittmar et al. (2012), the rapid development of music technology in the recent decades has dramatically changed the way people interact with and enjoy music today. Due to the enormous flexibility of digital music formats and the huge amount of available information, people's access to music has changed. For example, instructional videos have been recorded, which mainly featured famous musicians that o ffered some guidelines in terms of performance and practice (see Ruismäki, 2012).

The Internet has presented a new learning environment for those music learners who are able to use it (see Bauer, 2001; Ho, 2004). Computers and the Internet broaden the field of music education even further in the informal field of learning. Many computer programmes and software as well as the whole Internet have developed music-making, composition, and accompaniment, and made practice and improvisation easier and more meaningful than ever before (see Ho, 2007; Georgii-Hemming et al., 2010). Music and music making too is increasingly taking place in the field of informal learning (see Waldron, 2009; Salavuo, 2006b; Salavuo, 2008).

Using the Internet to learn music may be approached from different points of view. The Internet may be seen from a pedagogical, educational point of view as the effects on learning are observed. Alternativel y, one may concentrate on the technological aspects of the Internet that can be used to develop pedagogically useful, practical and efficient solutions for teaching and learning music, as in this case, guitar playing. What help could the Internet offer in learning instrument playing or making new notations? How could the learner practise guitar or piano playing, learn chords, free accompaniment, blues, and different styles of popular music at home with a guitar? What options does the Internet offer to learners?

Broadly speaking, the Internet and digital music formats can be seen as an open learning environment; it is usually informal, but in some ways, it is also a formal environment in which learning experiences can be seen as part of a life-long process (compare Tapscott, 1999). Vadeboncoeur (2006) also explores the difference between the concepts in the article. Often network learning is seen as a part of the formal learning environment. Learning through the Internet plays an important role in learning processes especially among the youngest learners. Network learning motivates young people (Joutsimäki 2006, 301-305), and offers essential support for home learning today. In this research, iPad learning is explored as an informal or formal learning environment (see Maarschalk, 1988).

Furthermore, learning through the Internet can be seen as information searching or more widely seeking information and expertise, and the different searching processes that are used by a novice learner up to an expert can be examined. Internet learning can also be seen as a part of learning through social media where peer learning is part of the learning process (compare Lebler, 2008). For example, countless video clips available online offer hints and tips on learning chord riffs by piano or guitar. The different applications and websites meant for music learning can contain different learning material: information and illustration material, interactive problems and practices as well as dynamic pages built by web-communities. There are many pages for learning different instruments, different styles, solos, scales, and chords or techniques of playing musical instruments.

Music technology develops all the time and the development gets even faster every day. It evokes admiration, confusion, fear and respect among other responses in teachers and everyday users. There is always something new developing in the world of music technology. The programmes and applications as well as devices develop ever more rapidly and they are available to more people as they become less expensive. …

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