About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5879-5889
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

THE ADOPTION OF SONGHI MUSIC COMPOSING GAME IN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS: TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SOFTWARE DESIGN

O. Vallo

University of Helsinki (FINLAND)
In the last two decades music technology has progressively gained visibility in the field of music education research, and the researchers commonly see music technology as an immersive, inclusive, and creativity-awakening factor in the classroom. However, music education is still dominated by conservative uses of ICT and more practical tools such as pedagogically designed music composing environments are needed in the field of music education. This article presents a new game-like environment for elementary classroom composing and pedagogical approaches to use it.

The action research was carried out in seven Finnish elementary schools where 199 pupils (ages 9-12) were using SongHi – music-composing game in music lessons throughout a school semester. Game was designed to work as non-fixed tonal environment that allows all kinds of musical ideas to be accomplished. The developmental work of SongHi leans on the main findings of the research.

None of the teachers were familiar with the game beforehand. However, they were given optional ready-made practices to be used in lessons. All teachers promptly started to form personal teaching strategies for supporting pupils’ learning. The study shows that pupils were highly motivated to produce their own musical content, but efficient pedagogical approaches were needed for linear musical progression. In lesson design it was important to find the balance between sufficient organization and sufficient randomness when guiding pupils’ compositional work. More organized guidance was needed especially when composing rhythm sections and random experiments were emphasized when creating melodies and harmonies. As the pupil was able to see the created notes on the screen, teacher had to make sure that the aural stimuli still became first. Otherwise some pupils were rather drawing pictures with notes than composing music. Analytical and interactive listening of ready-made pieces motivated pupils to try to copy others' ideas, which eventually seemed to lead to developing new musical ideas.

Most of the teachers experienced that pupils became familiar with game features faster than themselves, which caused the feelings of uncertainty and loss of expertise among teachers. On the other hand this lead to peer-oriented learning which was reported improving the sense of community. In the long-term usage teachers found it hard to keep track of pupils’ progression and come up with new multi-leveled composing exercises. Teaching how to make steady rhythms, aesthetic harmonies and dynamic arranging was seen important but relatively hard. Some of the teachers thought that the gamification was unnecessarily complicating the compositional work but it was also seen to be one of the main factors of building pupils’ motivation.

Facilitating these challenges SongHi-game developers are developing “Teachers Toolkit” -application to effectuate the pedagogical use of the game. It helps teachers to organize and evaluate their pupils’ work and give new challenging tasks for everyone. Game developers have also designed artificial intelligence to help with aesthetic rhythm and harmony creation. The testing of “Teacher’s Toolkit” and the updated version of SongHi is due to start in the fall of 2013.
@InProceedings{VALLO2013ADO,
author = {Vallo, O.},
title = {THE ADOPTION OF SONGHI MUSIC COMPOSING GAME IN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS: TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SOFTWARE DESIGN},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5879-5889}}
TY - CONF
AU - O. Vallo
TI - THE ADOPTION OF SONGHI MUSIC COMPOSING GAME IN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS: TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SOFTWARE DESIGN
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 5879
EP - 5889
ER -
O. Vallo (2013) THE ADOPTION OF SONGHI MUSIC COMPOSING GAME IN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS: TEACHING STRATEGIES AND SOFTWARE DESIGN, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 5879-5889.
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