Trends In Ed: Enhancing Do Re Mi
It's rare to find something new or innovative on the music education front. For the most part, it is an area that remains rather "traditional." For example, rhythm is taught by clapping and counting intervals: "ta ta tee-tee ta." And pitch is taught through clever songs about the major scale, like "Doe A Deer." However, the rising use of technology in the classroom has opened up new ways to enhance music education.
Pre-kindergarten Detroit students have been using an interactive whiteboard — the Eno Board — to explore the same concepts of rhythm and pitch described above. According to a recent article
, the ta's and tee's of yesterday are visualized as horizontal bars and pitch is visualized as vertical position. Does that sound familiar? If so, you may agree that this interactive program sounds like any old sheet music. Except with the interactive whiteboard, students can freely explore how the visual metaphor translates into sound. Older students later take part in exploring the "moods" of music by creating soundtracks for film.
Technology as applied to music education is still seen as a mere enhancement to existing teaching methods. However, the intersection of the two for such early music education is an indication of the possibilities of technology in the classroom.