Music Education: Whats New?

October 22, 2008

Music education exists in many forms all around the world from nursery schools through to post graduate education.   Most societies value musical expression as a vital contribution to culture and in many parts of the world teaching is standardised and has become an important aspect of  the school curriculum.

At the heart of teaching is communication.  The communication of a system from one person to another and what I’m interested in is looking at how the Internet can and is being used as a tool in the pursuit of musical enlightenment.

To do this I’m going to take a look at whats happening online…

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Online Resources

www.musiclessonsonline.co.uk declares itself the Uk’s number one music tutor directory.  According to the website it has over 20,000 visitors per week all using it’s facilities to search for a tutor in their area.  The site houses plenty of resources including information on exams, qualifications, courses and  music theory.  There is information on genres, instruments, studio production and the history of music.  Users can subscribe to a newsletter or utilize RSS feeds.

www.justinguitar.com is a website set up by professional guitarist Justin Sandercoe.  Justin has written tracks for Katie Melua, played at the Brit awards and had many other professional appearances.  His website hosts a wealth of resources for guitar playing including links to his youtube channel which provides instructional videos.  You can find tips on songwriting and composition, scales, arpeggios, rhythm and various different techniques.  You can join the mailing list, visit the site on myspace or post comments in the forum.

www.nowplayit.com allows users to view video tutorials made by artists who write popular songs.  You can view tips and techniques performed by artists such as Supergrass, KT tunstall and Blur.  Tutorials on the site are split into three categories…

full Tutorial

A full 15/20 min video lesson with the artist.

Recap – For guitar based tutorials.

Play through – Video lesson with tablature overlay.

Lite Tutorial

Play through – Video lesson with tablature overlay.

Recap – Less detailed.

In House Tutorial

Same as full tutorial but performed by an in house tutor.

Full tutorials cost £3.99 each and lite tutorials cost £1.99.  There is also a section which provides free downloadable content.  You can connect with other people by setting up a profile and using forums.

www.djtutor.com/index.php contains a large selection of video tutorials for aspiring Dj’s.  There are instructional videos on how to mix records, scratch using turntables ect and there are loads of videos on the basics of Dj equipment.  Users can log in and post comments on videos, subscribe to email and RSS feeds and even contact the site via skype.

There are many more examples of websites who aim to provide browsers with access to a wealth of educational material.  From Guitar, piano and voice training exercises to turntable, Midi and studio tuition, there are a host of websites that provide video content and modern features such as RSS feeds and user comments.  However these sites all feel like they are missing something.  Web 2.0 has the ability to enhance the way we share and learn musical knowledge and this opportunity has yet to be fully realised.

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