My Creative Practice in the Context of Contemporary Technology

Annotated Bibliography

Literature Review 2018 5 Pages



My Creative Practice in the Context of Contemporary Technology

The topic selected is ‘My Creative Practice in the Context of Contemporary Technology’. The essay will explore technologies related to piano performance and pedagogy by discussing design and function, as well as sociocultural relations and significance.

Bissonnette, J., Dubé, F., Provencher, M.D. et al. (2016). Evolution of music performance anxiety and quality of performance during virtual reality exposure training. Virtual Reality, 20 (1), 71-81. doi:10.1007/s10055-016-0283-y

The academic peer-reviewed journal article explores the evolution of music performance anxiety and quality of performance during virtual reality exposure training. Performance anxiety is a major issue for musicians so this study is crucial to those who suffer from the condition. The study attempts to combat performance anxiety through participation in virtual reality exposure training where musicians are placed in an imagined scenario, which is similar to a real-life scenario where performance anxiety is likely to occur. Example environments include concerts, auditions, competitions, examinations, and rehearsals. These exposures appear in different categories with variations in the specific circumstances. This research was conducted by Josiane Bissonnette, Francis Dubé, Martin Provencher, and Maria Moreno Sala in October 2014, though the article was not published until January 2016. Prior to this research, many investigations have occurred in an attempt to reduce severe cases of performance anxiety through medication, breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, stretches, dietary monitoring, and psychology sessions. This research attempts to reduce performance anxiety by simulating stressful conditions to become accustomed to such situations. The results showed decreased levels of performance anxiety throughout the study, which is promising for future research into how technology can be utilised to influence individuals’ levels of performance anxiety. The source follows the structure of a scientific article with inclusion of an introduction, methodology, materials, results, and discussion, which conveys a high level of reliability and authenticity. The language used is technical and scientific with supporting graphs, tables, and photographs to visually communicate information and trends.

Blumenstein, T., Turova, V., Alves-Pinto, A., & Lampe, R. (2016). Sensorimotor piano system for people with disabilities. Journal of Sensors, 2016 (1), 1-7. doi:10.1155/2016/9825905

This peer-reviewed journal article from a scholarly journal examines the use of the sensorimotor piano system for people with disabilities. In particular, the research is aimed at cerebral palsy sufferers, as well as people with sensory, cognitive, and space perception impairments. The research was conducted by Tobias Blumenstein, Varvara Turova, Ana Alves-Pinto, and Renee in 2016. These individuals worked collaboratively in the Research Unit of the Buhl-Strohmaier Foundation for Cerebral Palsy and Paediatric Neuroorthopaedics. This fairly recent article is significant in creating more opportunities for the disabled community to engage with music. The purpose of the article was to create and test a system that could enable people with motor impairments and learning disabilities to learn to play piano as a form of music therapy. The system consisted of two E-pianos with MIDI outputs, an LED bar, controller, two pairs of gloves, and two OLED displays. The article provided a technical description of the system with supporting diagrams, photographs and methodology on the implementation of this system. These sections were followed by a discussion and conclusion, complying with the format of a scientific journal article. The findings were presented with graphs comparing the number of errors with the presence and absence of the system. In each trial, the number of errors were lower when the sensorimotor piano system was present, therefore proving the effectiveness of the new technology. These results are promising for the future of music technology in the disabled sector of the community.

Crappell, C. (2013). Making it work: A case study of the installation and implementation of technologies in a group piano classroom. MTNA e-Journal, 5 (1), 2-15. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/1487696170?accounti d=14543

The scholarly journal article is a case study on the installation and implementation of technologies in a group piano classroom. The article is peer-reviewed and is embedded with video, photographs, diagrams and references, which contributes to its authenticity and credibility. It was written by Courtney Crappell, published by Music Teachers National Association, and appears on the Music Periodicals Database. Crappell graduated from Louisiana State University with a BM degree in piano performance followed by MM and DMA degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. The author’s extensive knowledge and experience in piano pedagogy increases the reliability of the article and the reputation of the publisher further strengthens this. The article was published in September 2013, which is fairly recent, though technologies mentioned in the article may now be obsolete due to the rapid progression of music technology. The focus of the article, however, was on the configuration of technologies in a renovated piano classroom and the integration of these technologies with teaching and learning experiences. This means the technologies discussed in the case study serve as examples as to how to implement technologies and resolve issues arising from their inclusion rather than being recommended resources. The author employs technical language, explaining the design, function, and features of modern music teaching technologies. In addition to this, he discusses the limitations, delivering a balanced argument. The technology aspect of the article is supported by another source, which discusses similar challenges when applying technology in the classroom (Mercer, 2009).

McPherson, A. (2015). Buttons, handles, and keys: Advances in continuous-control keyboard instruments. Computer Music Journal. 39 (2), 28-46. Retrieved from https://muse-jhu- edu.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/article/583486/pdf

The academic peer-reviewed journal article discusses advances in continuous-control keyboard instruments. The article covers a variety of topics including gesture and touch at the keyboard, aspects of discrete and continuous technique, historical continuous- control keyboards, early electronic instruments, recent development, measurement system for performance analysis, keyboards integrating continuous control, augmented instruments with continuous-control keyboards, and active haptic control. This source offers a different perspective to other sources as it focusses on the instrument’s development rather than digital technology and pedagogical software design. The author includes two of his own contributions, which are described in great detail. These developments are fitted within the context on the instrument’s advancement to date and is followed by further expansions. The article was published in 2015 but its content is inclusive of historical instrument design all the way through to modern day technological developments. The purpose of the article is to demonstrate the capabilities of the instrument by mapping its evolution since its invention. By outlining its special features and abilities, the author intends to unlock readers minds to discover all the possibilities and exploits the instrument can provide. The language used in the article is highly technical as it describes the specifications of each upgrade to the instrument. The in-dept knowledge of a myriad of instrumental developments indicate extensive research and expertise from the author, heightening the credibility of the source. The article frequently includes photographs, diagrams and screenshots to visually communicate the intricate designs, which produce some new revolutionary effect in keyboard performance.

Mercer, A. (2009). Music makers: Music technology - technology evolution. Canadian Music Educator, 51 (1), 43-44. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libraryproxy.griffith.edu.au/docview/1032918?accountid= 14543

The journal article provides suggestions on how music teachers can utilise the most appropriate technology tools in their classrooms. The scholarly article was sourced from the Music Periodicals Database and is peer-reviewed. Its author, Andrew Mercer, graduated from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Music in Violin (1994), Bachelor of Education in Music Pedagogy (1994), and Master of Education in Music (2008). The reputation of the publisher and expertise of the author gives the article high authenticity and credibility, therefore making it a worthy source. The article was published in 2009, which may make it seem outdated as music technology progresses at such a rapid rate. The primary focus of the article however is strategies on coping with these changes and the most effective ways to implement technology in the classroom, therefore making its content relevant. The author draws upon his expertise and experiences to deliver advice to music educators and curriculum developers. His employment as a music teacher since 1994 and Internet-based music teacher since 1995 has heavily influenced his views on teaching technologies and this is conveyed in the article. Mercer acknowledges the struggles faced by educators and students but assures readers that music technology is beneficial in teaching environments when used effectively. The language used throughout the article is mostly formal aside from the reference to the television show I Love Lucy at the beginning. This validates the credibility of the author and creates rapport between the author and audience through a familiar anecdote.

Nardo, R., & Choe, E. J. (2010). Technology in the piano lab: Band-in-a-box-an interview with E.J. Choe. General Music Today (Online), 23 (3), 48-50. doi:10.1177/1048371309361184

The scholarly and peer-reviewed interview appears in a trade journal published by MENC: National Association for Music Education and is available on the Music Periodicals Database. The interview explores the design, features, and uses of the Band- in-a-Box program used at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The University’s Music Academy Director, Chloe, is interviewed by Nardo, a professor of music education and the University of Utah’s Sorenson Presidential Endowed Chair in Elementary Music Education. The positions held by the authors in tertiary institutions validate the source’s credibility and authority. The Band-in-a-Box software was released in 2009 and the interview was published in April 2010. The software is still purchasable and the latest upgrades, including Band-in-a-Box 2018, make the technology relevant. The purpose of the interview is to examine the program by analysing its effectiveness in enhancing students’ performance and development of musical skills. These skills include composition, arranging, ear training, improvisation, and general musicianship. While Chloe praises the technology on its usefulness in piano pedagogy, a counter-argument is made towards its inability to achieve rubato in melodic lines. This limitation results in an unnatural and unemotional electronic sound, which omits the beauty and subtlety of real instruments. The language used throughout the interview is formal, explanatory, and insightful. Chloe reveals other technologies utilised by the institution including Auralia, Essentials of Music Theory, and Finale. The interview transcript includes five screenshots of the program to show its layout and give an insight in to how users interact with the software.

Pike, P. (2015). Improving music teaching and learning through online service: A case study of a synchronous online teaching internship. International Journal of Music Education, 35 (1), 107-117. doi:10.1177/0255761415613534

The academic peer-reviewed journal article is a case study on a synchronous online teaching internship aiming to improve music teaching and learning through online services. The technologies used in the study include a Yamaha Disklavier grand piano, computer with onboard camera, microphone and Facetime, Internet MIDI software program, high-speed internet connection, Dropbox, and traditional method books. The research was conducted by Pamela Pike, Ph.D. at Louisiana State University, USA. The article was published online in November 2015 but the issue of the International Journal of Music Education was not published until February 2017. The purpose of the research was to explore the possibilities of using a synchronous online piano teaching internship to connect graduate pedagogy interns with underserved students of lower socio- economic status. The pedagogy interns reflected on their performance as teachers by reviewing video footage of their synchronous online lessons. The results showed improvement in teaching techniques as the interns had greater awareness of the deficiencies in their pedagogical strategies. The article also addressed the assumptions, pre-existing beliefs, and concerns the interns had before commencing the practical element of the study. Throughout the study, interns were given the opportunity to explore the possibilities of online teaching technology and were able to engage with students who they would not have otherwise due to differences in socio-economic status and geographical location. The article addresses the challenges of distance learning through its innovative approaches to teaching including manipulation of advanced technologies such as MIDI sensors. It explores perspectives through critical reflection.

Each source offers a unique perspective on the chosen topic, though there are some apparent similarities. The case study by Crappell (2013), journal article by Mercer (2009), and case study by Pike (2015) discuss the challenges of implementing music technology in piano pedagogy. Crappell focusses on the logistical issues associated with creating an efficient, safe, and cost-effective space to teach and inspire. Mercer, on the other hand, outlines the struggles faced by educators and curriculum designers who are responsible for selecting the most appropriate software and learning how to implement it in a classroom environment. Pike ventures into the pre-existing beliefs of piano pedagogues surrounding synchronous online teaching. While Pike considers the inclusion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Blumenstein, Turova, Alves-Pinto, and Lampe (2016) are concerned with the disabled community. Furthermore, Bissonnette, Dubé, and Provencher bring their attention to addressing the prevalence of performance anxiety among musicians. McPherson (2015) has an entirely different approach, which is directed towards the evolution of the musical instrument in terms of design. The findings of each of these investigations is especially significant when drawing conclusions about the impact contemporary technology has on society. Along with this, understanding the aim and the drive behind these investigations is crucial in determining how technologies can be influential to individuals and groups. Further enquiry is needed into the evolution of keyboard instruments to support the findings of McPherson (2015) as other sources have little correlation to this particular article.



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390 KB
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Institution / College
Griffith University – Queensland Conservatorium of Music
High Distinction
Music technology Music Technology Digital Music Culture Piano performance Piano pedagogy Design Function Sociocultural relations Literature review Annotated Bibliography Piano technology Performance anxiety Music therapy Classroom piano



Title: My Creative Practice in the Context of Contemporary Technology