An investigation of groups composing music in a computer learning culture using micro-processor based midi systems : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Education, Massey University
Composing music appears to have been marginalised in many secondary school music programmes. Music research on composition and student learning fares no better. The advent of information processing technologies and knowledge based systems offer powerful compositional tools with the potential for transforming the face of music education. However, if the context for this change is overlooked these tools may be wasted.
By themselves micro-processor based MIDI systems can do nothing. When viewed as part of a learning culture, computers, teachers and students interact together to enhance student learning. Cognitive gains may depend on the type, extent, and quality of interaction taking place within the computer learning culture which surrounds the use of educational software tools. The role of the teacher is to create socially interactive and reflective learning environments.
This study explores how groups compose music with computers in such an environment. It aims to observe what happens - or can be made to happen - under natural conditions where powerful roles are played by the cultural, social, and institutional contexts. The emotional aspects of student learning, attribution theory and metacognition are discussed in more depth.
It is not enough, however, to simply use composition tools in the classroom. Effective thinking and learning should be accompanied by direct teaching of efficient strategies and problem solving techniques. Recently several researchers have drawn attention to the importance of social factors in the development of thinking skills. The following research follows this line of enquiry.