I found the first section of this week’s reading very confusing. While I find myself fairly proficient with using technology, I have a difficult time understanding how it works. The biggest question I have is; what is the difference between MIDI and Digital Audio? In my mind, I see them as devices used to compose, record, and playback music. I don’t understand what makes one different from the other. Is it the method of input? Is it the type of program used? Are they drastically different from one another?
In contrast, the portion of the reading that focused on composition was very enlightening. Bauer did a nice job at explaining the pedagogy to composition as well as to composition using technology. The twelve interactions between student-composer and the teacher lay out the ideal qualities we would like to instill within our students. Bauer has listed these strategies (pp. 61-62), and each of them helps to develop multiple ways of thinking and problem solving. The following three strategies were the three I feel are the most influential.
8. Prompt the students to engage in self-analysis.
9. Encourage goal setting and task identification.
10. Engage in joint problem finding and problem solving.
These three strategies are enabling and teaching students to become self-sufficient. This not only works in composition, but in all areas of education. A well-rounded education can be achieved using these types of strategies.
While using music composition software can be helpful, it can also be detrimental to a student’s musical education if not used correctly. It’s not enough that students can write notes down on paper, they need to be able to expect what they want to hear in their mind (audiate) before it is written down (Bauer, p. 66). Bauer presents icon-based software that can be used for students, particularly younger students, who may not be fluent in reading music notation yet (p. 64). I see this type of software being useful in my class to help support the development of my students’ ability to audiate music and develop an expectation of what they want to hear. It also fuels the ability to reason and justify why specific choices were made in composition. Not only do these programs make composing more accessible for children, it can also take away some of the anxiety that teachers may have had about teaching students to compose. These programs present composing in a fun and simple way to promote student creativity and individuality.