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Final Paper

Introduction: The Application and Utility of Online Environment for Music Education

Eunhee Kim

Boston University


Last year, I once opened a social group chat for my 12 and 13 years old class to

converse for a class subject discussion and it was welcomed by students. After all, the
conversation kept going even after finishing the subject talking. In fact, it brought us

the feeling of community. Have you ever used online environment to facilitate or

promote your music teaching program

In the article of Australian Curriculum,Assessment and Reporting Authority it

states, “students should learn to use ICT [Information and Communication

Technology] effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate

information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning

areas at school, and in their lives beyond school”(ACARA 2015b).//. The

significance of online educational environment in digital age, however, was

stressed by many researchers. (2017) said, “The necessity to rethink teaching

and learning pedagogy for education in the twenty-first century has emerged as

a result of the growing and changing needs and requirements of society.” In

other words, the convergence of online and face-to-face education is inevitable

in the fast-paced society. In such context, we all need to consider how music

educators can utilize online environment in their teaching. According to

International researches, “teachers’ use of ICT in music education is not only a

low level of usage in a digital age, but in turn minimal pedagogical change.”

(Mills and Murray 2000; Pitts and Kwami 2002; Hargreaves, Marshall, and North

2003; Ho 2004; Button 2006; Crow 2006; Savage 2005, 2007; Voogt, Knezek,

and Somekh 2008). Generally, we have understood the application of online

environment as the answer of the distance learning where students are difficult

to get touched with instructors caused by physical distance. However, we

might have neglected the application of online environments to face-to-face

music education for its better efficiency. According to Waldron(2017), students

who do not know where or how to begin learning are turning to the Internet to

search for initial resources. Some of music instructor might think the use of

online environment lose the practicality of education. Though it is not that all

musical communities can benefit from online connection, many music

educators’ interests converged on online platform to increase the efficiency of

teaching and learning.

In this paper, the hybrid models of learning where face-to-face teaching approaches to

online platform demonstrate the significance of applying online environment for music

education, that is, it improves the methodology of music educators to build their musical

communities and promote the efficiency of teaching and learning. To better understand the

situation, we should look over some of researches of combining online and offline platform for

high efficiency of education. Among many online platforms, social media has greatly influenced

to popularize affluent educational communication records. Waldron examined the online

learning and teaching experience in the Banjo Hangout community which used social media for

communication. The group exemplified the online model which results in building the

participation of members in offline community. The active online responses of group members

fostered their offline community activities and participations. Through the form of postings,

blogs, YouTube videos, vlogs and fanvid, Banjo Hangout members are mutually stimulated to

pursue their learning process in both online and offline platforms. Online connection also

allows them to have opportunities to share music freely regardless where and which groups

they belong to. Another benefits of online environment is to acquire a wide range of contacts
and resources. In his research, members of Banjo Hangout are inspired by other members and

their resources and appraisals. Moreover, it ensures the autonomy of individual learning

methods. Online platform, of course, provides easier connections to learners who are difficult

to find a connection in their local areas. This study shows the view of learners and participants

who utilized online platform to join in musical community. Another research identified how

music instructors utilized online environment to their class. O’Flynn (2015) examined a choir

master’s use of Facebook to strengthen the communication in choral group. The study shows

the integration of face-to-face and online activities in a choir and the positive impact of social

media which result in increasing face-to-face conversation. The author asserted that “Internet

affords (rather than determines) new ways of communicating, performing, learning and

teaching amongst pre-existing music groups.”(p.76) According to his research, the use of social

media not only strengthened the bonding of current group members but also maintained social

capital for past members of the group.

In addition to that, open learning resources(OLRs) in online platform is one of the factor

to increase the efficiency of teaching and learning in music educational program. Due to the

proliferation of internet, a growing number of teachers distribute their educational resources in

online platform. Through online platform, teachers can openly share resources as well as

building the sense of belonging without requiring physical presence. O’Byrne et al.(2014)

argued that online open network plays a critical role for teachers to share teaching and learning

materials for students and other peer educators. The process of sharing promotes open

feedbacks to further the credibility and validity of learning materials. As students and educators

create and revise new learning processes and products, they have become to take more active
roles in their learning. Schmidt-Jones (2012) reported in her survey that a large number of

recipients of open learning resources(OLRs) are students and self-directed learners. The use of

OLRs is an increasing trend to help musical community to grow.

By understanding the utility of social media and OLRs, music instructors would better

facilitate their music class with the help of online platform in the era of social media and new

technology. Though online communication would not substitute for bonds and communication

of offline community, it would help to build community easier and present the new direction

for future education. Online environment would be used more and more in our future

education according to its purpose and features of learners.

Mills and Murray 2000; Pitts and Kwami 2002; Hargreaves, Marshall, and North 2003;

Ho 2004; Button 2006; Crow 2006; Savage 2005, 2007; Voogt, Knezek, and Somekh


ACARA 2015b

Archambault, L. (2009). K-12 Distance Educators at Work: Who's Teaching Online Across the

United States. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(4), 361-391

Cayari, C. (2017). Connecting music education and virtual performance practices from

YouTube. Music Education Research, 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/14613808.2017.1383374

Seddon, F and Biasutti, M. (2010) Strategies Students Adopted When Learning to Play an

Improvised Blues in an E-Learning, Journal of Research in Music Education, 58(2), 147-167.

O'Byrne, W. I., Roberts, V., LaBonte, R., Graham, L. (2014). Teaching, Learning, and Sharing

Openly Online, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58(4), 277-280

O’Flynn, John. (2015). Strengthening Choral Community: The Interaction of face-to-face and

online activities amongst a college choir. International Journal of Community Music, 8(1), 73-

92. DOI: 10.1386/ijcm.8.1.73_1


Schmidt-Jones, C. A.(2012), An Open Educational Resource Supports a Diversity of

Inquiry-Based Learning, international review of research in open and distance

learning, 13(1)

Waldron, Janice. (2012) YouTube, fanvids, forums, vlogs and blogs: Informal music learning in a

convergent on- and offline music community, International Journal of Music Education, 31(1),

91-105. DOI: 10.1177/0255761411434861i

Crawford R. (2017). Rethinking teaching and learning pedagogy for education in the

twenty-first century: blended learning in music education, Music Education Research,

19(2), 195–213