Technology Within Initial Teacher Education in Music: Cross-Continental Perspectives (Symposium): Interesting Challenging Times: ICT in Music Teacher Education in England 2014/2015. Paper as part of the above symposium

Marina Gall, Gena Greher, Stuart Wise, Peter Webster

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paperpeer-review


In the realm of music teacher education, the status quo of adhering to the traditions of the past are presently in tension with the mandates and buzz of teaching 21st Century Skills. Whilst there is recognition that young people now inhabit a musical world that is inextricably bound up with technology, and that the music industry represents a sizeable part of the revenue stream in many societies, school music teachers are still reticent about embracing music technologies fully within classroom learning and teaching; inevitably, this directly impacts upon teacher education work.

The Symposium consists of 3 parts:

1) Paper Presentations
We will discuss the afore-mentioned tensions in relation to teacher education across three continents. Music teacher educators from England, America, and New Zealand will explore factors that inhibit work with music technology in schools and which also impede the much-needed forward-thinking required of higher education music programmes. These include policy and certification requirements, finance/ resourcing issues and the dearth of continuing professional development opportunities in this field. The paper session will also include an Australian perspective on the use of a range of mobile devices to support trainee music teachers’ work in schools.

2) Discussion
Whilst there will be opportunities for questions for clarification between each paper, the main discussion will take place in the second part of this symposium. Peter Webster will, firstly, reflect upon the papers presented, also drawing upon his own experience and research in music technology in teacher education. He will then lead audience discussion arising from the presentations and his reflections.

3) Practical Workshop(s)
Depending on time/equipment and room availability, we will lead (a) practical workshop(s) using apps on iPads. This will include opportunities for participants to discuss thoughts on how the use of these apps, and to hear how the workshop leaders have included these within their teacher education courses.

Interesting Challenging Times: ICT in Music Teacher Education in England 2014/2015 (Marina Gall)

In England, changes in schools and within initial teacher education continue apace. In relation to school Music, these include the removal of government directives on assessment (Department for Education, 2014) changes to end of school examinations (BBC News, 2014) and government requirements that schools co-operate more closely with music ‘hubs’ - groups of organisations whose collective remit is to work with school music teachers to support the musical growth of children and young people (Ofsted, 2013; UK Parliament 2014). Regarding initial teacher education, in all subjects, more routes into teaching have been developed in recent years (Muijs et al., 2014) such that some staff in higher education institutions (HEIs) are required to teach across a range of initial teacher education programmes. Furthermore, numbers allocated to higher education institutions have been reduced in favour of placing trainees on largely school-based courses, thus jeopardizing the existence of teacher education courses in many universities (Times Higher Education, 2014). Against this backdrop, the latest Ofsted triennial report on music in schools indicated that music technology was one of the two greatest concerns in secondary schools across the country (Ofsted, 2012)*, especially for children aged 11-14.

In this paper, drawing from my own past (Gall, 2013) and present research, I will discuss:
a) the issues facing trainee secondary music teachers, particularly on their school teaching placements and
b) approaches that the music education team adopt at the HEI in which I work, so as to support the trainees in developing their own ICT competence, and pedagogical skills related to music technology in the school classroom.

*(The other was singing)


Conference9th International Conference for Research in Music Education
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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