NEW HORIZONS IN MUSIC TECHNOLOGY PERFORMANCE EDUCATION

R. McLennan, R. Sholer

The University of Canberra (AUSTRALIA)
Today, the use of specialised music technology in live performance is ubiquitous. Professional musicians now routinely use equipment including laptops, looping pedals and harmonisers to augment or replace the traditional "band" setup of vocals, guitars, bass, keys and drums. Technology also affords an unprecedented level of centralised performance control that extends beyond musical devices to systems for lighting and staging.  One consequence of rapid technological development and adoption in music performance contexts is that traditional instrumental tuition is becoming increasingly inadequate. As a result, we are approaching a crossroads in music education; when the evolution of music technology outpaces educators’ abilities.

This paper explores variations to the traditional master and apprentice standard by exploring an innovative peer-learning model currently being applied in the University of Canberra’s Bachelor of Contemporary Music Practice program. One unit in particular, Technology on Stage, combines students proficient in new technologies with traditional band instrumentalists to create a community of practice based on complementary skills and knowledge sharing in an environment filled with the latest music technologies with which to creatively interact. This paper details the design of the Technology on Stage unit, the peer learning strategies utilised in delivery and student outcomes.