Over the past 7 months, I have been involved with an Action Research project for part of my requirements for a Master’s Programme.
Here is the abstract if you are interested. Please contact me if you would like to know about my findings.
Students have challenges applying basic music theory to build the fundamental musical literacy skills to communicate their creations in traditional notation form. This paper describes my investigation of tablet technology, specifically Apple’s iPad (for the specific purpose of using GarageBand), to observe student engagement with numerous apps that aid in writing music, rhythmic notation, and music appreciation in a variety of forms.
Forty-five Year 5 students attending the German Swiss International School in Hong Kong participated in an action research study exploring the question, “What is the effect of using mobile technology in the teaching of music composition and theory?” A two-group comparison design measured student retention of music concepts eight weeks after a unit was taught. The experimental group consisted of a Year 5 class who were taught using specific mobile technology music apps. The comparison group consisted of a Year 5 class taught the same topics using traditional lecture-style approach, less specific music apps, and worksheets. The two groups were tested on basic music notation and rhythmic identification. A Likert Scale survey was also administered to measure their attitudes about music theory before and after the unit of study eight weeks later. Paired t-test data analysis indicated that the scores of the Treatment Group went up slightly on average 8 weeks after the unit was taught, while the average scores of the Control Group showed significant improvement.