Music technology in higher education: different models, common issues and future trends

October 2nd, 2003

ATMI 2003 National Conference in Miami, FL.

Co-authored with Peter V. Swendsen.

EXCERPT – Programs in music technology certainly have individual approaches to teaching their students, emphasizing different aspects of the field in their curriculum. However, the differences are magnified in part by the multiplicity names these departments and research centers use to identify themselves. Names and acronyms such as CCRMA, TIMARA, iEAR and CARTAH come to mind. With their differences in the foreground, it can be difficult to see what they have in common beneath the surface. This paper will examine the differences between specific music technology programs in an attempt to identify the similarities in their approaches to the topic, as well as common issues that face these programs. We will also synthesize our observations about these programs and attempt to develop a theory for comparing these emphases within the field. Based on our findings and conclusions, we will then turn our discussion to how technology can act as a hub for arts pedagogy as a whole and not just music.

One question that we should address before diving into the topic is our motivation as authors and the unique perspective our experience allows us to bring to the topic. We are both, admittedly, young scholars at the beginning of our academic careers. But we are also part of a newer breed of students that have been able to pursue music technology as our subject of primary interest throughout our student careers. We were able to seek degrees up to the PhDs that we currently pursue that fall under the umbrella of music technology, a relatively new phenomenon for our field. It is from this perspective that we present our findings, as students who had to search through the myriad of schools offering programs fairly recently in order to choose the best fit for ourselves. We also present this paper as young academics, finding our way in our chosen field of study, and humbly submit it to those more established in the field in the hopes that it will encourage more dialog on these issues.

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