Challenging a ubiquitous framing: The Merchants of Cool
Virtual cool

Critical Thinking & Technology in the Arts

Greetings everyone!  It's great to be here and I look forward to regular contributions to the greatness that is the Loose Filter Project.  Much thanks to Stu and Dustin for the invitation. Feel free to reach me via twitter (millerasbill) or via email.

In starting a new position at Texas Tech University, I've been seeking ways to engage my students in a more significant and meaningful way.  Rehearsals go by too quickly and there often isn't time or means to delve deeply into the music itself: compositional techniques employed, critical thinking about the piece itself or the wide ranging musicological connections of a composer or specific piece, etc.  These aspects of the music aren't merely academic--understanding these aspects is fundamental for the future performers and educators I'm helping to train.

So how to leverage all these new technological tools we have to maybe help out?  I've begun a journey to seek effective techniques to engage students, starting with a wiki project, which I'd be happy to have you join or observe.  (Also, another great conversation on using wiki pages in the music classroom.)

After one concert sequence so far, the most interesting challenge I've found isn't with the technology; rather, it's that getting music students to engage has been like pulling teeth.  So my question is, why?  Engagement in online culture is prevalent in general.  Why are students not transferring their general online participation to informal, no-pressure class projects?

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