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  1. 1. THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN AUDIATION AS A PROCESS OF LEARNING MUSIC KABARAK UNIVERSITY 6TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CONFERENCE THEME: RESEARCH AND INNOVATION FOR SOCIETAL EMPOWERMENT ITEM NO: 6 (C) - Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise in Music and Performing Arts JOEL ORIMBO OSIR (author) (Post graduate student) School of Music and Performing Arts, Kabarak University, Kenya Prof. Mellitus N. Wanyama (co-author) Abstract This paper describes a teaching resource called An Electric Music Board as it influences the preparation of future music educators. The Board enhances audiation in the learners at all levels of music education. Grounded in the Music Learning Theory postulated by Edwin E. Gordon. Audiation is used by Gordon to describe the basic patterns within music that he believes represent the basic vocabulary of music e.g. sound patterns become the musical vocabulary for the inner ‘voices’, but instead of talking, the voices sing.(Colwell 2002, 293). Audiation is the foundation of musicianship and is not similar to aurals. It is a cognitive process by which the brain gives meaning to musical sounds. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer present. Although students audiate all aspects of musical sound e.g. timbre, volume, and style; Music Learning Theory is concerned specifically with the tonal and rhythm dimensions of music. An effective music teaching philosophy should be concerned with the thought processes in which students engage in while listening and make music. If the Electric Music Board is used, the students will audiate the intervals, rhythms, sol-fa ladder; major and minor scales etc. easily, than ever before. It stimulates learning in the absence of the teacher. Learning is made learner centered and sound before symbol approach is achieved in the learners. This stimulates collaborative learning in class. Throughout this process, students are empowered and the result is a transforming experience for students and their teacher(s).
  2. 2. Keywords: technology; audiation; aural perception; electric music board and circle of fifths. Introduction This project highlights the development and use of ‘An Electric Music Board’ to enhance audiation in learners. Audiation is anchored on Music Learning Theory postulated by Edwin E. Gordon a well- known researcher, teacher, author, editor and lecturer. He defines audiation as “the analysis and synthesis of the sequential manner in which we learn when we learn music"(Colwell 2002, 381). This is very similar to the process by which one learns a language (Language-music acquisition metaphor). Audiation is used by Gordon to describe the basic patterns within music that he believes represent the basic vocabulary of music e.g. sound patterns become the musical vocabulary for the inner ‘voices’, but instead of talking, the voices sing."(Colwell 2002, 293) He divides audiation process into pre- audiation skills, that is, Listening stage, Performing stage, Reading and Writing & audiation skills, that is, Stage 1- Momentary retention, Stage 2 - Initiating and audiating tonal patterns and rhythm patterns and recognizing and identifying a tonal center and macro-beats, Stage 3- Establishing objective or subjective tonality and meter, Stage 4 - Consciously retaining in audiation tonal patterns and rhythm patterns that we have organized, Stage 5 - Consciously recalling patterns organized and audiated in other pieces of music and Stage 6 - Conscious prediction of patterns. Gordon believes that audiation for both tonal and rhythms have similarities within the stages of each. Gordon says, “Audiation is to music while thought is to language" (Gordon 1999, 42). Audiation is the foundation of musicianship and is not similar to aurals. It is a cognitive process by which the brain gives meaning to musical sounds. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. One may audiate when listening to music, performing from notation, playing an instrument, improvising, composing, or notating music. Although musicians audiate all aspects of musical sound e.g. timbre, volume, and style; Music Learning Theory is concerned specifically with the tonal and rhythm dimensions of music. Teaching methods are designed to help students develop their ability to audiate tonal content–including tonality, resting tone and tonal function–and ability to audiate rhythm content–including meter, macro beats, micro beats, and melodic rhythm. Through development of audiation students learn to understand music. Understanding is the foundation of music appreciation, the ultimate goal of music teaching. It is on this premise that ‘An Electrical Music Board’ is founded. This board makes it easy for learners to understand the construction of Major and minor scales, modulation, Intervals, chromatics, key identification and
  3. 3. audible letter names in any music syllabus. It is made of a board with permanently embossed buttons, drawn lines and erasable details filled by different students during a music lesson. It is made by a white-board embossed with attractively coloured sharps (#) and flats (b) buttons which are the main sources of learning during the lesson. It is also very important in the construction of both major and minor scales. This could be useful as a new teaching aid in the colleges and universities on modulation to the related keys. It is helpful to the students in gaining audiation, aural perception and enhances psychomotor skills. Problem statement In Music Matters, David Elliot writes, ‘We don’t hear music as it is, we hear it as we are.’ This places the learner at the center of any educational strategy. It is a common misconception that the nature of music study involves mere learning skills related to performance or rote memorization of facts about the music aspect learnt. The process of acquiring music knowledge is complex and includes critical and reflective cognitive process such as listening, oral perception and audiation. An effective music teaching philosophy should be concerned with the thought processes in which students engage in while listening and make music. In constructivism, John Dewey says, ‘Educators need to think of their work in relation to theories of learning and knowledge.’ The central idea is that learners should construct knowledge for themselves. Each learner should construct meaning as he or she learns. This means we should focus on the learner in thinking about learning, but not subject matter as key consideration. It is this gap in music educators that propelled me into coming up with, ‘An Electric Music Board’ to bridge it in real classroom situation. This innovation played a key role in the audiation as a process of learning music in my teaching experience hence the topic, ‘The Role Of Technology In Audiation As A Process Of Learning Music’. Purpose of the study This project aims at creating a teaching strategy for music teachers at all levels of music education. Educators should make use of physical involvement of learners in most situations but this alone is not sufficient. He continues to say that, all hands-on activities must be minds-on. They should provide something to think about as well as something to do,’ (John Dewey). This principle of constructivism can effectively be applied to music learning.
  4. 4. I, at the time of invention, had a ‘Teaching Practice’ task ahead and was indebted to teach students better than before. This made me to shop for good teaching aids from the internet. The best I could find was the Circle of Fifths either drawn or painted. I borrowed this but wanted to put it as a hands-on activity by students in class. As this was not enough, I wanted it to produce accurate hierarchy of sol-fa sounds used in Aurals for assessment to replace the Grand Piano and other Electric Keyboards which were very expensive for the school administrators. Another purpose was to support the project by using other supportive teaching aids e.g. charts, flash cards, staves etc., to create a practical approach rather than rote learning.
  5. 5. Impact of ‘Electric Music Board’ The impact of this Electric Music Board was realized by the end of the teaching practice. The more complex concepts of Circles of Fifths taught to students theoretically on staff thus; Could now easily be taught using the Electric Music Board thus;
  6. 6. Materials Required Whiteboard Assorted saws for shaping the board Assorted sizes of wood pieces for internal framing Assorted nails/ tacks/ screws Hammer Screw drivers Sand paper Assorted paints Assorted brushes Piano mother-board Assorted electric wires/cables Solder wire / electric soldering bit Assorted coloured buttons Assorted function lights A simple amplifier An A/C adapter for power-source One Volume control One Switch Battery holder Size AA 1.5 volts six pieces of dry cells First Aid box for emergencies A strong leather string for hanging the board Whiteboard marker pens
  7. 7. Instructions on making an Electric Music Board 1. Shaping the whiteboard I cut a whiteboard 3ft by 3ft to be the frame and the writing board on the other side. Fig.1 Fig.2 3FT 3 FT 3FT 4FT 4FT 2. Fitting the Battery Holder I fitted the battery holder and screwed it to the internal frame. The positive plate and the negative spring will then be fixed and screwed firmly in position. 3. Fitting the Circuit Breaker Switch I then fixed the on/off switch to the back cover of the Electric Music Board. This helped save power when it was not in use.
  8. 8. 4. Soldering of the buttons This was the last step to ensure that the electric mother board and the buttons were communicative such that if you pressed a button, then sound was heard and classified by naming the key and also draw the sharps or flats. The Board was painted with blackboard paints to show well the writings the students would make on the chalkboard/ use the white board. Painting was also done to the two terminals of the battery/power supply. Significance ofElectric Music Boardto students The students could now audiate the interval, sol-fa ladder; major and minor scales etc. easily, than ever before. They could also deploy the use of the Board by themselves without the presence of a teacher. This stimulated learning in the absence of the teacher, a situation contrary to the absence of the Electric Music Board. The learning was made learner centered and sound before symbol approach was achieved in the learners. This really stimulated collaborative learning in class. See the illustration below. Limitations of the Electric Music Board 1. The original size of Electric Music Board was 3ft by 4ft but this should be improved by the designer to a full white board with one extreme end comprising this Board in the Music Room. 2. A website should then be established by the innovator for sharing the challenges faced and possible solutions to these challenges. 3. Teachers to be inducted on the use of this board or else it risks being kept in store rather than classroom. 4. Curiosity of the students can lead to wrong plug-in of power jack. This can destroy the mother- board hence all music students should be orientated before normal lessons to have the general knowhow.
  9. 9. REFERENCES 1. Touma, H.H. (1996). The Music of the Arabs: Paperback edition. Amadeus Press, Portland, Oregon. 2. Samson, J. (1977). Music in Transition: A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality, 1900- 1920. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 3. Aoyagi, T., Kendall R. A. (1996). Perceptual relationships among nine septatonic western modes 4. Thomson, Virgil (1957). "Introduction" to Robert Erickson. The Structure of Music: A Listener's Guide: A Study of Music in Terms of Melody and Counterpoint. New York: Noonday Press. 5. Gordon, E. E. (1999). "All About Audiation and Music Aptitudes". Music Educators Journal (September): 41–44. 6. R.C. Gerhardstein: A Biographical and Historical Account of an American Music Educator and Researcher (diss., Temple U., 2001), 200–259 7. John Kratus, "Relationships among Children's Music Audiation and Their Compositional Processes and Products," Journal of Research in Music Education Vol. 42, No. 2 (1994): 115– 130 8. James M. Jordan, "The Pedagogy of Choral Intonation: Efficient Pedagogy to Approach an Old Problem," The Choral Journal Vol. 27, No. 9 (1987): 9–13, 15–16 9. Edwin Gordon, Rhythm: Contrasting the Implications of Audiation and Notation (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2000): 111. ISBN 1579990983. 10. Edwin Gordon, All About Audiation and Music Aptitudes (September 1999, Music Educators Journal) Christopher Azzara, Audiation, Improvisation, and Music Learning Theory. (1991, The Quarterly, 2(1–2), 106–109.
  10. 10. APPENDICES These are Form Two Music students of Ahero Girls High School using the very first Electric Music Board outside their Class in the absence of the teacher at their free time
  11. 11. Form One students make use of their free time using the Electric Music Board at their free time
  12. 12. A student works on the Music Electric Board alone at her free time
  13. 13. Mr. Osir is session with Form Three music students of Kisumu Girls High School during a music lesson
  14. 14. The teacher explains musical concepts using the Electric Music Board to students
  15. 15. BUDGET S/N PARTICULARS QNTY UNIT PRICE TOTAL 1 Piano mother-board 1 10,000.00 10,000.00 2 Whiteboard 2 2,500.00 5,000.00 3 Solder wire / electric soldering bit 1 500.00 5,00.00 4 A simple amplifier 1 1,000.00 1,000.00 5 An A/C adapter for power-source 1 2,000.00 2,000.00 6 Assorted function lights 2 100.00 200.00 7 One Volume control 1 200.00 200.00 8 One Switch 1 200.00 200.00 9 Battery holder 1 250.00 250.00 10 Size AA 1.5 volts six piecesof dry cells 6 40.00 240.00 11 First Aid box for emergencies 1 1500.00 1500.00 12 Assorted coloured buttons 30 100.00 3,000.00 13 Assorted electricwires/cables 50m 50.00 2,500.00 14 Sand paper 5 50.00 250.00 15 Assorted paints 3 200.00 600.00 16 Assorted brushes 4 100.00 400.00 17 Assorted sizes of wood piecesfor internal framing 100ft 30.00 3000.00 18 Assorted saws for shaping the board 2 500.00 1,000.00 19 Hammer 1 600.00 600.00 20 Screwdrivers 2 250.00 500.00 21 Assorted nails/ tacks/ screws - 1800.00 1,800.00 22 A strong leather string for hanging the board 1 200.00 200.00 23 Whiteboard marker pens 5 150.00 750.00 24 Labour - 12,000.00 10,000.00 25 Transportation (negotiable)/Miscellaneous - 3,000.00 3,000.00 TOTAL 41,690.00

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