Theses Doctoral

Music Technology and the Conservatory Curriculum

Gaines, Jason Michael

Music conservatories play an important role in the musical development of musicians. Students often choose to attend a conservatory because they are seeking to focus their efforts on honing their skills as performers, composers, or both. The use of music technology has increased in recent years as hardware and software has become more user friendly, resulting in the incorporation of music technology into the professional practice of musicians. While the innovation of technology has been swift, the adoption of music technology by educators in music conservatories has been slow when compared to those in other institutions of higher education. With each passing year, conservatories are graduating an increasing number of musicians who are met with greater expectations than those of previous generations. This multi-site case study investigated the perceived role of technology in the conservatory curriculum as reported by conservatory students and faculty. Further, this study examined the supports that are in place, for both students and faculty, in regard to integrating technology into current and future curricula. Research has been conducted to investigate the integration of technology into curricula; however, the research tends to focus on challenges for technology integration rather than technology as a tool for supporting sound pedagogical practice.
Findings from this study indicate that students wish to see an increased presence of music technology in the curriculum as they hone their skills during their studies. Further, increased access to music technology, as well as support on using music technology in effective and engaging ways during instruction was identified. Conservatories can benefit from additional staff positions to support the use of music technology, frequent and relevant professional development for faculty, additional computer laboratories for student and faculty use, and increased communication between students, faculty and administration on the use of music technology throughout the conservatory. The implications of the findings and recommendations have the potential to positively impact the experience of students in conservatory communities. Future avenues of research might investigate the relevance of conservatory pedagogy in modern music performance and composition, pathways to support consistent and relevant professional development, and necessary supports to increase access to music technology for faculty and students.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Abeles, Harold F.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 13, 2018