2021 Teaching Music Online in Higher Education




Virtual Conference June 3 and June 4 (North Amer/UK/EU) and June 4 and June 5 (AUS/ASIA)
Sponsored by The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music,
Melbourne, Australia


Co-convenors: Dr Carol Johnson & Dr Brad Merrick
Contact: teaching-music-online@unimelb.edu.au


Conference website:




Making the Best Use of Your Conference Time


Keynote Presentations: The keynote presentations are live-streamed sessions. They will be recorded and made available within 24 hours after the completion of the keynote. Please join in the live-stream sessions to take part in the interactive aspects of the sessions. Questions with the keynote can be further explored in the keynote discussion area.


Q & A’s about Presentations: To make best use of the live-streaming time with presenters, we ask that you view their 15 to 20-minute recorded presentations prior to their corresponding Q & A session. For example, you will find Dr Pamela Pike’s recorded presentation in the Canvas area (easily located in the modules section) under “Pre-Recorded Presentation”.



Timetable Quick Overview (Looking for the time in your time zone? Click here)



FORUM 1: Melbourne (Friday June 4, 6am to 9:00am); Perth (Friday June 4, 4am to 7am); Calgary (Thursday June 3, 2pm to 5pm); Toronto (Thursday June 3, 4pm to 7pm); London (Thursday June 3, 9pm to 12am); Copenhagen (Thursday June 3, 10pm to 1am)


FORUM 2: Melbourne (Friday June 4, 2pm to 530pm); Perth (Friday June 4, 12pm to 530pm); Calgary (Thursday June 3, 10pm to June 4, 130am); Toronto (Thursday June 4, 12am to 330am); London (Friday June 4, 5am to 830am); Copenhagen (Friday June 4, 6am to 930am)


FORUM 3: Melbourne (Saturday June 5, 9am to 1245pm); Perth (Saturday June 5, 7am to 1045am); Calgary (Friday June 4, 5pm to 845pm); Toronto (Friday June 4, 7pm to 1045pm); London (Friday June 4, 12am to 345am); Copenhagen (Friday June 4, 1am to 445am)






FORUM 1 (Friday 6am to 9:00am AEST)





Friday 6.00am AEST

Forum 1 Keynote

Keynote Speaker: Professor Evangelos Himonides

University College London, United Kingdom 


Insights into using technology for teaching music online

Abstract: The global pandemic has been a somewhat brutal technology ‘enforcer’, raising the noise-floor of the continual discourse amongst the self-perceived ‘digital natives’, ‘digital immigrants’ and ‘digital expats’. Yet, more than a full year after most countries went into lockdown, there is evidence suggesting that cognitive and praxial inertia is still quite strong when it comes to accepting and/or embracing the paradigm shift and perhaps re-considering the role of technology in modern teaching and learning in- with- and through-music. The aim of this presentation will be to discuss key issues about the role of technology through several related vignettes.



Friday 7.00am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 0101

Presenter: Dora Utermohl de Queiroz

Instituto de Etnomusicologia – Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança (INET-md)- University of Aveiro, Portugal


Online teaching and learning of musical instruments from a self-regulated learning perspective: reflections and criteria from a literature review

Abstract: The literature in the area of self-regulation of musical learning indicates that the adoption of self-regulatory strategies can: i) promote the efficiency of the study of the instrument; ii) fulfil an important role in stimulating motivation for learning; and iii) make the student more autonomous and less dependent on teachers’ observations
It is not only in the music field that there is an association between the optimization of learning / performance and the adoption of self-regulatory strategies by students. Self-regulation of learning is also associated with the success of educational activities that occur in the online modality.
Thus, this literature review aims to answer: 1) in research in online education, what were the strategies used to promote self-regulation of learning? 2) in the area of teaching and learning musical instruments, what are the results of research involving the use of technologies and self-regulated learning? and 3) what criteria should be taken into account by teachers who wish to promote self-regulation of learning in online classes?
This work starts by presenting its theoretical framework: self-regulated learning and online teaching and learning. Subsequently, it discusses and presents training interventions and incentives to self-regulation, ending with a discussion on criteria that must be considered by teachers in the interventions.
In a database search, a large number of works were found that associate online education and self-regulated learning, but no works in the area of musical learning. The selected research in the music area involves teaching and learning through online tools and self-regulated learning (2 works) and the identification of self-regulated behaviors in students of a hybrid course (1 work).
The various researchers that articulate self-regulated learning and online education in other fields of knowledge were chosen because they are characterized as interventions aimed at the development of self-regulated skills in students. This was the focus given, because this research is part of a literature review carried out for a doctoral research that aims to apply a program of self-regulation of musical learning in online cello lessons in higher education.
The results show that, in addition to the choice of technologies that incorporate the principles of self-regulated learning, it is important that teachers guide their teaching practices in the same direction so that interventions can explore the full potential of students’ learning in the online environment.


Friday 7:15am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 102

Presenter: Xiangming Zhang

University of Hull, United Kingdom


The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Technology in Chinese Higher Music Education: A Thematic Analysis

Abstract:  Technology is developing rapidly around the world and how it is being used in music education are becoming more common. Focusing on music in Higher Education (HE) in China, this qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with 20 university/college music teachers to understand their perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in teaching. Three key themes were identified from the study: learning and teaching; positive/negative communication; and superiority/inferiority within technologies. The findings revealed the strengths and weaknesses of using technology as viewed through the lens of Chinese HE providers. It also confirms the paradoxical state of higher music education in China: from one perspective the majority of music teachers express high expectations for the use of technology; however, the corresponding support and facilities are still perceived to be inadequate. Furthermore, it provides a reference for how continuing professional development can be framed within this context and subsequently providing policymakers with ideas on how to better provide sustainable support for Chinese music teachers.


Friday 7:30am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 103

Presenter: Pamela D. Pike

Louisiana State University, United States


Risks and rewards of individual online music lessons: Teachers’ perspectives

Abstract: Prior to the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, a relatively small number of teachers were conducting synchronous online instrumental lessons and a small number of music researchers were reporting on the subject. Early research findings included: behaviors and differences (or similarities) observed between online and face-to-face lessons (Dammers, 2009; King, Prior, & Waddington, 2019); viability, possibilities and practicalities associated with online teaching (Duffy & Healy, 2017; Kruse et al., 2013; Pike & Shoemaker, 2013); and, teacher and student behaviors during online applied lessons (Comeau, Lu, & Swirp, 2019; Orman & Whitaker, 2010). Throughout the first decades of research into online instruction, an often-cited benefit of online music study was bringing high-quality music instruction to students living in remote areas and to those without access to specialized tutors on their particular instrument (Bennett, 2010; King et al., 2019). Despite the reported viability of teaching instrumental lessons online, published research indicated that teaching online remained a niche category of instrumental music teaching.

Once the coronavirus pandemic compelled national lockdowns and physical distancing protocols, most music teachers turned to synchronous online teaching out of necessity. Formal and informal teacher groups shared information about teaching online through online discussion boards, Facebook groups and webinars (FCC, 2020), but anecdotal evidence suggests that teachers were not necessarily following best practices of online teaching and not all students and teachers had access to high-quality internet (Doiron, 2020). Possibly, the forced switch to online music teaching, for those who were unprepared or unable to adopt recommended online teaching practice, may have hindered progress made in the online teaching movement.

This study of two collective cases (drawn from a larger sample) explored teachers’ perceptions of the viability of online music teaching beyond the pandemic. Two small groups of teachers were surveyed and interviewed for this study: experienced (those who had previous training, study and experience with online teaching) and novice (those who had not taught online prior to the pandemic) distance teachers. Following triangulation of the data, the constant-comparison method (Creswell, 1998) was used to identify themes within and across cases. Both groups reported more physical exhaustion and preparation time required for online lessons. Experienced teachers better prepared their students for success in the online medium and made instructional adaptations that allowed students to continue with music study, whereas the novice teachers were unable or less likely to make appropriate adaptations during lessons and did not have time to reflect upon possible improvements. Inexperienced teachers were more likely to report student attrition, less satisfaction with teaching and less likelihood of using online lessons post-pandemic. Positive and negative implications of the findings will be discussed.



Friday 7:45am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 104

Presenters: Dan Keast and Paul Sanchez

The University of Texas Permian Basin, United States


The application of sound technology for teaching applied music lessons online: A case study

Abstract: The COVID-19 public health crisis forced all educators to explore technology in the largest test of online teaching during the spring of 2020. Included in the population of educators were the studio music faculty steeped in a tradition of side-by-side teaching. This research study explored the application of lighting and sound technology adapted to enhance the experiences in a 10-week, fully online course of one-to-one private lessons with a music studio faculty member and his students during summer 2020. The students received condenser microphones, headphones, and webcams with instructions for hardwiring into their home internet connection. The faculty member used the same materials plus a speaking microphone overhead on a boom along with three-point lighting: key, fill, and backlights. The lighting was used to ensure a bright studio, much like a television anchor employs. Students noticed the microphone use by instructor and commented his adaptation to the virtual lessons were more flexible while one participant exclaimed, he grew more as a musician and covered more material in virtual lessons than in previous face-to-face lessons with the same instructor. The faculty member noticed better sounds from students when using the condenser microphones and less feedback because of the closed back headphones.



Friday 8.00am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 105

Presenters: Katherine Tamminen, Bina John, Darryl Edwards, Rachel Crook, Morgan Reid

University of Toronto, Canada


Performance disrupted: Examining the experiences of vocalists, pianists, and athletes during the covid-19 pandemic

Abstract: While researchers have recently provided information about approaches to motivating performers during the current covid-19 pandemic (Schnerer & Hopkins, 2021), there is limited information about how performers are experiencing the pandemic, the stressors they are facing, and the ways that they are coping with challenges during the pandemic. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of performers from three distinct areas that have been disrupted by the pandemic. This mixed-methods study sampled 20 performers in a higher education setting (7 vocalists, 6 pianists, and 7 athletes); these groups represent high-performance populations whose ability to perform has been disrupted by the pandemic. Sampling participants from three different performance domains also enables cross-domain comparisons to consider how stressors and coping strategies among performers in one area may be useful for performers in other areas. Participants completed an online survey consisting of demographic information, the BBC Subjective Well-being Scale (Pontin et al., 2013), the Brief Daily Stressors Tool (Scholten et al., 2020), and the Coping Self-Efficacy Scale (Chesney et al., 2006); participants also completed individual semi-structured interviews to ask about their experiences of the impact of the pandemic on their training and ability to perform, social and personal resources to cope with stressors during the pandemic, and their general well-being. Correlation analyses indicated that, across all participants, increased stressors were negatively associated with psychological wellbeing (r = -.53, p < .01) and quality of relationships (r = -.65, p < .01). Greater coping self-efficacy was also positively correlated with psychological well-being (r = .74, p < .01). Comparisons of mean scores across participant groups revealed that there were significant differences in the stressors reported between groups, F(2,17) = 3.69, p <.05; and post-hoc analyses indicated that vocalists (M = 18, SD = 4.74) reported significantly greater stressors than pianists (M = 10.50, SD = 5.42), t = 2.64, p < .05. Athletes also reported lower stressors (M = 11.86, SD = 4.60) than vocalists, but this difference was not statistically significant. Qualitative analyses indicated that performers’ challenges included issues with technology; financial, life, and academic stressors; decreased motivation; and lack of audience/social interaction. Performers also described positive shifts in perspective, and increased use of various coping resources. These results provide information about the challenges facing performers during the pandemic, and they also provide information about strategies that may be incorporated into online teaching and education for performers during the pandemic.



Friday 8.15am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 106

Presenters: Colleen Renihan & Julia Brook

Queen’s University, Canada


Supporting Place-Making in Virtual Community Music Theatre

Abstract: Context: The purpose of this study was to explore the ways that place and locality were established and deepened through a Zoom-based community music theatre program for older adults. A space becomes a place when meaning and connection become established and individuals are active agents in the spaces they occupy (Gruenewald & Smith, 2008; Schmidt, 2014; Stauffer, 2009; 2016). Locality is produced, as per Appadurai (1996), and as a social space is sustained through communal activities such as musicking (Brucher and Reily, 2018). Music-making environments can deepen place and locality by establishing practices, traditions, and repertoires, and by providing opportunities for participants to share their own ideas or lived experience through creative projects. There are tensions between the internet’s identity as a definitive “non-place” (see Augé 1992) and the potential for Zoom to facilitate place- and locality-making. This research thus contributes to these literatures by examining the ways it is possible to create space and locality through a virtual music theatre environment—a practice that has taken on greater significance in light of COVID-19 restrictions in Canada.

Method: In this paper, we report on a case study in which participants participated in a weekly music theatre program on Zoom between September 2020-April 2021. As participants sang and danced to folk, pop, choral and musical theatre repertoire, a series of performance and creative activities were embedded that drew attention to and inspiration from the community in which most participants lived. Participants were also invited to co-create choreographies, rewrite lyrics, record an audio track, or take photographs, thereby grounding their creative experience in the here and now. We collected data from participants and facilitators through observations, questionnaires, and interviews.

Findings and Implications: We created place on Zoom by providing a sense of routine and connection that traversed geographical and physical distances, while supplementing with anchors in a shared sense of locality. Though the typical community that is achieved through musical sound (blend, harmony, synchronizing musical sound with that of others, etc.) was impossible due to the latency-related limitations of Zoom, and despite the seemingly unmoored nature of the Zoom space, we developed many activities that reinforced community ideals and created connections. This research illuminates the ways that virtual spaces can become meaningful sites of creative engagement and thus place-making that could and should persist as we move into a post-COVID way of being.



Friday 8.30am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 107

Presenter: Lindsey Castellano

Teachers College, Columbia University, United States


Sustainable education: Online teaching and learning, designing and instructing an engaging and effective online course

Abstract: Online education has consistently increased over the past two decades prior to the World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, which forced educators from early childhood development to higher education to create online iterations of their classes. Even with the steady trend in online education over the past decades, there had been a clear scarcity of teacher education preparation and training in online instruction given the lack of instructional guidance from institutions and unfavorable attitudes from faculty with their preference for in-person instruction. This study was designed to assist educators already teaching online to strengthen and reconceptualize their digital courses and to provide motivation and direction for new online educators to design and implement their own classes. This study also addresses the unique issues that online education provides to music educators. The reluctance of educators to embrace online education is discussed along with the necessity of online instruction for the sustainability of education.
Studies report that online courses are essential for higher education as enrollment would further decline without it (Lederman, 2018). Interestingly, institutional leaders reported that the attitudes of their faculty members were a significant hindrance in utilizing online education (Allen & Seaman, 2016). Surveys revealed that faculty members reported that they did not want to move online, although, the faculty also acknowledged that they felt they would be more effective as instructors if they incorporated online education (Pomerantz & Brooks, 2017). Faculty members who taught completely online reported that online education helped students learn more effectively.
The technologies that were once criticized for destroying society have also been paramount for maintaining a sense of togetherness during the pandemic. Technology has created a more relevant and interactive medium for the education of today’s students as it assists in bridging the gap between students’ interests and experiences inside and outside of the classroom. Historically, the education system in the United States has lagged behind the learning styles and dynamics of students. Music education provides an example of this with the implementation of jazz in higher education decades after the genre was mainstream entertainment. Similarly, hip-hop has only recently been recognized in education systems decades after it was created. Technology provides an entry point for educators to not only incorporate the interests and lived experiences of their students but also facilitates instruction and expands opportunities to connect. Online education is critical for the future and sustainability of education.


Friday 8.45am AEST

30-Minutes Live

Convenors Dr Carol Johnson and Dr Brad Merrick

Interactive Discussions








FORUM 2 (Friday 2:00PM to 5:30PM AEST)




Friday (JUNE 4) 1.55pm AEST


 Dr Brad Merrick



Friday 2.00pm AEST


Keynote Speaker: Professor Gary McPherson

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne, Australia


Applying techniques of self-determination theory and visible learning to rethink, update and refine online learning

This presentation shows how teachers can re-calibrate their teaching by designing learning environments that focus on the types of psychological needs and visible learning mindframes that provide the nutrients for students to thrive. The toolkit of strategies proposed aim to enable teachers to position themselves to take on a much broader and more impactful role as individuals who are able to inspire their students and impact on their love of music.



Friday 3.00pm AEST

20-Minutes Live


Interactive Discussions



Friday 3.20pm AEST: Bio Break



Friday 3.30pm AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 201

Presenters: Matthias Nowakowski, Artistotelis Hadjakos & André Stark

Center for Music and Film Informatics (CeMFI) and Detmold University of Music, Germany


Towards Interactive Music Notation for Learning Management Systems

Abstract: Learning platforms are currently lacking when it comes to music education. Music-specific features, especially those based on music notation and audio do not meet the necessary requirements. This should be remedied by integrating the now world-leading open source platform for learning tools H5P into several LMS which will then create significantly more application possibilities. An integrated music notation with audio output is indispensable in these systems to be able to create typical practice and presentation scenarios for music education. Here the open-source notation environment Verovio is to be extended by graphical input and annotation capabilities and to prepare it for H5P integration. Finally, H5P applications are to be programmed based on this notation environment. Typical forms of presentation and practice patterns in music education will be covered: creation of automatically evaluable notation tasks and analysis tasks, as well as synchronization possibilities.



Friday 3.45pm AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 202

Presenter: Jiangnan Xia

University of York, United Kingdom  


Exploring the influence of the pivot to online instrumental lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese music students in a UK University

Abstract: There is a growing number of Chinese students who are studying music in UK universities and conservatories. The COVID-19 pandemic occurred throughout 2020, however, has led to worldwide school closures to decrease the spread of the virus, which has resulted in current and prospective music students facing new challenges. This qualitative study is based on the literature investigating the influence of COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese music students studying in a UK university. Online semi-structured one-to-one interviews with five Chinese music students explored information about their perceptions and experiences of online learning during the pandemic. Results illustrate that the pandemic makes them experience the adjustment of pressure and mental status; learning environment during school closure; the way of approaching online lessons; and strategies of autonomous learning. This dissertation is based on in-depth analysis of literature and interview data, in addition to exploring the influence of COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese music students learning. It also provides suggestions to teachers teaching online and ideas for the future of music education institutions.



Friday 4.00pm AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 203

Presenters: Emily Wilson and Neryl Jeanneret

University of Melbourne, Australia


Teaching music online through a collaborative digital integrated arts project with undergraduate students

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for music teachers across all levels of tertiary education including undergraduate arts education. The sudden shift to online learning and teaching presented many challenges but also unexpected opportunities for tertiary music educators. One of these has been using digital music technology tools for creating, which in addition to their growing popularity in schools in recent years, seems to have been efficacious during the pandemic. We have observed this in our work as tertiary music educators. In response to the lack of access to the usual music studios we teach in, students undertook online collaborative integrated arts projects facilitated by digital tools. The level of enthusiasm and sheer joy from the students, in addition to the musical learning outcomes in collaborative integrated arts compositions were surprising. This research was conceived as a collaborative self-study project undertaken by us as tertiary music educators in a university education faculty. We examine our experiences of team-teaching music in an undergraduate integrated-arts subject to students from across the university in a wide range of disciplines in the second half of 2020. Our online music teaching was conducted through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. We discuss three emergent themes: collaboration, inclusion, and personal creativity. We argue for greater attention to the affordances of digital collaborative music technology tools to promote positive learning outcomes for inexperienced musicians.



Friday 4.15pm AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 204

Presenters: Alana Blackburn and Naomi McGrath

University of New England and TAFE NSW, Australia


Reducing student anxiety in online tertiary music through Universal Design for Learning

Abstract: Online teaching and learning is not new, nor is it new to tertiary music education. While an ‘anytime, anywhere’ attitude and flexible study suits some learners, for others this is a contributing factor to student anxiety and attrition. This presentation explores the relationship between student anxiety in online learning and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and how UDL principles can be applied to reduce anxieties about musical performance in an online class. It explores common barriers for students in the online environment, and offers strategies for sustainable learning design in a way to accommodate students before, during and after unit completion. As well as designing with UDL, this paper includes approaches to modelling accessible learning activities in order to provide students with the support they need to perform in an online space, meet learning objectives, and reduce attrition.



Friday 4.30pm AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 205

Presenters: Jennifer Mellizo, Alberto Cabedo-Mas, Dawn Joseph and Rohan Nethsinghe

University of Wyoming; University Jaume I of Castellon; Deakin University; University of Canberra

United States; Spain; Australia; Australia; Australia


Cultural diversity in pre-service music teacher education: Collaborative online teaching during COVID-19

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled teachers from all over the world to find new ways of engaging their students in learning (Allen, Rowan & Singh, 2020; Peters et al., 2020). Higher education institutes are no different, becoming increasingly interconnected with diverse cohorts. In the field of music education specifically, tertiary educators must ensure pre-service teachers [PST] have opportunities to actively make music, learn about different pedagogical approaches, and encounter culturally diverse music traditions that could be useful in their future classrooms.
In this study, we (authors) share our collaborative reflections (Schön, 1983) after using online learning platforms (Zoom and Google Classroom) to teach traditional songs (March 2021) from South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United States to Spanish PST (Stake, 2000; Yin, 2009). Acting as culture bearers, we chose songs that related to our own cultural heritage and taught them through different learning approaches. The students had the opportunity to learn about different aspects of each music culture and the history of each song. Ultimately, they worked together to create and perform their own musical arrangements.
After facilitating these sessions, and now acting as practitioners and researchers, we reflected through personal narratives (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) on different aspects of this experience. As we analysed and categorised similarities and differences in our reflections, several cross-cultural themes emerged that helped to explain some of the challenges and the possibilities of working with pre-service music teachers in an online educational setting. Our findings indicate this type of collaboration between music teacher educators in different parts of the world can enhance a global mindset that is creative, powerful, meaningful and fun for all concerned (Merrick, 2020). From an educational standpoint, we can either embrace technology as a way to promote multicultural music or we can ignore it to the detriment of preparing pre-service teachers for their future classrooms.


Friday 4.45pm AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 206

Presenters: Alana Blackburn and Carol Johnson

University of New England and University of Melbourne, Australia


Video Feedback to Support Student Assessment when Teaching Music Online

Abstract: The use of video when teaching music online is not a new endeavour. However, the implementation of consistent use of video as a feedback mechanism in music performance studies has yet to be fully researched. In tertiary music performance classes, students are subject to formative assessment to advance their musical artistry. These feedback mechanisms for music are more than text-based commentary. Often, they are visual and aural exchanges between a master performer (i.e., teacher) and student to support the essential development of musical artistry and artistic performance of the student’s voice or instrument through social construction. The question of how music teachers can provide online feedback that supports the authenticity of music assessment is now key for technology-enhanced music learning in tertiary music classes. This presentation will outline the challenges and opportunities of embedding video feedback in music classes to support students in developing music performance skills.



Friday 5.00pm AEST


Dr Brad Merrick





FORUM 3 (Saturday 9am to 12:45pm AEST)




Saturday 8.55am AEST


Dr Carol Johnson


Saturday 9.00am AEST


Keynote Speakers: Dr Brad Merrick and Dr Carol Johnson

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music – University of Melbourne, Australia


A year in review and looking ahead

Abstract: The past year and a half have evidenced the possibilities (and the challenges) of teaching music online in higher education. Through online music conferences, like TMOHE, teachers have been able to connect with a larger global online music teaching community, share resources and practices, as well as provide effective well-being support mechanisms (Merrick & Johnson, 2020). As we look to the unpredictable future, we will consider approaches of effective teaching postures that can help position music teachers in higher education for effective teaching and leadership for the future.


Saturday 10.00am  AEST

Extended Conversations & Networking



Saturday 10.30am AEST

Refreshment and Bio Break



Saturday 11.00am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 301

Presenters: Thiago Christoni & Leonardo Borne

Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil


Smartphone applications for Music Theory and Ear Training: Analysing harmony and chords construction

Abstract: This work seeks to analyze a smartphone application for the study of music theory and ear training by comparing it with a traditional ear training method, focusing on the aspects of chords construction and tonal harmony. By comparing the application “The Ear Training” and the method “Auditory Training method for Musicians”, (Benward & Kolosick, 2017), we conducted a qualitative-descriptive study analyzing the content of the application and the method, their trends, and particularities. Results show that in the chords construction, BK allows the study of chords in a structured format within four-part voices, as well as presents several exercises for the identification of errors; TEG presents a wider variety of exercises, including one to sing the chord arpeggio, and other personalization features. In relation to tonal harmony, the exercises are similar in the application and in the method; however, the last one additionally presents pieces from the classical repertoire. We conclude that the music teacher should use the best features from both application and method, looking to enhance learning.



Saturday 11.15am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 302

Presenter: Martin Emo

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


What impact does music making in the real world have on the classroom music?

Abstract: Statement: Digital technology has changed how music is recorded and composed over the last 30 years (Dorfman, 2018). These changes have in turn impacted on music education (Bell, 2018; Freedman, 2017; Tobias, 2015). Crucially, what Musicking is in the real world has implications for teachers and what happens inside the classroom. Internationally, the integration of digital technology in the music classroom has been studied before, along with how secondary school classroom music teachers conceptualise music education (Humberstone, 2017). There is a gap in the literature about the relationship between teacher beliefs about music education, Musicking in the real world and teacher practice with or without digital technologies (Hein, 2017; McPhail, 2018; Thorpe et al., 2018; Wise, 2013). Previous studies in New Zealand in this area have been limited by being narrow in their sample size, only sampling advanced users of digital technology, and all predating major technological shifts that have occurred in the last five years. (eg browser-based Digital Audio Workstations). This paper reports on a nationwide online survey (N=156) conducted in August 2020 of secondary school classroom music teachers focused on beliefs, practice and pedagogy. This was followed with six case-studies completed in November 2020 consisting of classroom visits and interviews with individual teachers. A focus of the interviews was on the teachers’ application of digital technologies in relation to their concept of what music education. Using phenomenology as the research frame and inductive coding, initial findings indicate four themes of teachers’ gender, students creating music outside of the classroom, the relevance of pre-service training and a lack of connection with the music industry. The paper will close with implications for teaching music, and pre-service training in an online environment as connected to teacher practice and music education in the secondary school classroom.



Saturday 11.30am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 303:

Presenter: Ben Loveridge

The University of Melbourne, Australia

A comparative study of the experience of duo singing in virtual reality and videoconferencing



The ability for musicians to interact face-to-face has been highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many musicians who have moved online for real-time collaboration have faced technical hurdles such as latency and software limitations. To overcome these challenges in networked performances, musicians often choose to ignore the use of visual cuing in video conference sessions to assist in maintaining a steady rhythm. Although a wide body of literature exists separately about virtual reality and video conferencing, examining the affordances between these two mediums in the context of a networked music performance is a relatively new area of study.
This study explored the comparison between the experience of singing in virtual reality and video conferencing. It aimed to determine the extent that an alternative visual method of performing in virtual reality may provide a viable alternative by asking:
– What are the key elements of collaborative singing in virtual reality compared to video conferencing in a real-time networked music session?
– To what extent does the representation of a virtual body affect the participant experience?
– To what extent does inhabiting a virtual environment affect the participant experience?

This research is important in helping us understand the most appropriate methods for online collaboration for musicians. The outcomes of this study will help inform best practices for musicians in choosing an appropriate collaborative visual system for use in areas such as music therapy, tuition, rehearsal and performance.


Saturday 11.45am AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 304

Presenter: Heather Waters

Adelphi University, United States


Integrated Movement and Music Experiences in Online Music Education Methods Courses

Abstract: Music and movement are naturally linked (e.g., Cross, 2003; Phillips-Silver, 2009; Phillips-Silver & Trainor, 2005, 2007; Wallin, Merker, & Brown, 2000). Physical movement is important in the cognitive process of musicians, and music and movement engage shared neural pathways, such as those related to time-keeping and sequential learning (Sievers et al., 2013). Body movements frequently synchronize with musical structure (Toiviainen, Luck, & Thompson, 2010), and humans coordinate and entrain their movements to music (e.g., Ilari, 2015; Merker, Madison, & Eckerdal, 2009; Patel, 2008; Phillips-Silver, Aktipis, & Bryant, 2010).
Given the integrated nature of music and movement, music education methods courses often emphasize experiences such as responding to music via movement or learning musical concepts via movement. Therefore, music education methods courses frequently include experiences in a variety of approaches to active music making, such as Orff-Schulwerk, Kodály, Music Learning Theory, and Dalcroze. Although each of these approaches has distinctive elements, a commonality across all four is the integration of music and movement (Bachmann, 1991; Dalcroze, 1980; Gordon, 2013; Keetman, 1974; Zachopoulou et al., 2003).
Aligned with these approaches, the author has previously prioritized active, integrated music and movement activities for in-person courses. Music-making together through movement in shared spaces were always central components of methods courses. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic shifted instruction online, the author adapted her courses to explore how best to facilitate music/movement experiences online.
This self-study assumes that research, “self,” and educational praxis are inextricably linked (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009), and that intensive self-reflection enhances pedagogical practice. The purpose of this autoethnographic narrative inquiry (Mallett, 2011; Reed-Danahay, 1997; Tenni, Smyth, & Boucher, 2003) is to explore the author’s experiences facilitating integrated movement and music activities in three online music education methods courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following questions guided this inquiry: (1) What challenges have emerged in transitioning integrated movement/music activities to online contexts? (2) What strategies were successful in promoting students’ creative expression through integrated movement/music? Via systemic documentation of teaching practice including written journals, recorded reflections, and teaching materials, the author will share strategies for facilitating creative music and movement expression in online music education methods courses.



Saturday 12.00pm AEST

Q & A’s about Presentation 305

Presenter: Brad Merrick

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music – University of Melbourne, Australia


Redefining teacher presence in the online world of music teaching. Musings and self-reflection within a year of change

Abstract: During the COVID pandemic teachers have been forced to rethink and reframe their pedagogy and more importantly, their creative integration of digital equipment (software and hardware) as a means to enhance student experience and also magnify the reality of the learning experience. Although research has looked at digital presence through online tools such as blogs, wikis, discussion boards and the like (Gregory & Bannister Tyrrell, 2017), You-Tube (Kruse & Veblen, 2012; Waldron, 2012) and specific subject based software i.e., 3D printing, CAD design (Rivera-Chang, 2015), many teachers are still looking to figure out how best to deliver their teaching of music and the arts within the COVID and online context (Zhang, 2020).
This presentation is a self-study (Samaris, 2011) which examines the practitioners’ shift in teaching practice, highlighting specific teaching tools such as online recording and creation software (Soundtrap, Flat IO, Audacity), presentation software to create teaching tools, podcasts and resources (Screencast-o-matic, Keynote, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, Prezi) along with specific adaptive uses of hardware for increased teaching clarity (audio-visual) within the teaching class including (Webcams, Video Cameras, Phones, Tablets, and Microphones).
Through a series of specific examples of classroom practice in a Blended setting where both synchronous and asynchronous delivery were required, this self-study into the teaching of music in a graduate music program will identify key teaching principles, strategies (specific consideration for use of equipment and tools) that emerged when teaching music and will be delivered using the following key themes to assist in the organisation of material:
1. studio setup and equipment,
2. authentic preparation,
3. resource creation,
4. production and upload,
5. access and delivery.
Through small samples of course work and explicit teaching examples linked to key areas of subject delivery, student engagement, modes of assessment and student self-reflection and agency, this presentation will focus on ways in which teacher presence can be enhanced and realised amidst the ever-changing world of online music teaching.


Saturday 12.15pm AEST


Dr Carol Johnson & Dr Brad Merrick






Special thanks to the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music for hosting this year’s conference.




Thank you to the following for their generous support and assistance:


MCM Director Professor Richard Kurth,
Professor Gary McPherson, Professor Evangelos Himonides,
and Ms Tiffany Cheok.