The Educational Benefits of Telematic Music

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On July 19, four high school students improvised with a graduate student over the Internet. The high school students were in Anderson, IN while the graduate student was in Indianapolis, IN. The high schoolers had never performed telematically before, and most of them had never improvised before. For my Masters Degree, I organized this performance and evaluated the educational benefits of such a performance. For more information, please refer to¬†“Telematic Performance With High School Students”

Hardware Requirements:

  • A computer with a wired Internet connection
  • Microphones and cables
  • Audio mixer
  • Sound system/speakers
  • Digital video camera with firewire connection (or webcam)
  • Project and screen or monitor

Software Requirements:

  • Windows XP or higher operating system
  • Conference XP videoconferencing application

Educational Benefits:

  • 100% of the student performers felt that they improved as improvisers
  • 75% of the student performers learned about current trends in music technology
  • 50% of the student performers enjoyed working with the remote musicians and learned from them
  • 74% of the audience responded positively to listening to improvised music
  • 56% of the audience learned about current trends in music technology
  • 44% of the audience felt the performers at both locations communicated and understood each other musically

Areas for Improvement:

Latency

  • Latency causes delays in the audio/visual transmission
  • Higher bandwidth, such as found on Internet2 Network, is needed to decrease latency
  • Available technology is not yet where it needs to be to allow for a perfect telematic performance

Repertoire

  • Must take latency issues into considerations
  • Select repertoire that is improvisatory in nature
  • Student musicians need a structure in which to create music
  • Free improvisation is difficult for many musicians, especially students who are not confident in their improvisational skills

Evaluation:

  • Potential to create music with other musicians around the world
  • Exchange of musical ideas based on different cultures
  • Reduce costs of bringing in guest artists for performances, masterclasses, clinics
  • Exposes students to different styles of music
  • Students are using cutting-edge technology
  • Telematics is not necessary to improve improvisational skills
  • Latency issues need to be addressed, either by improved technology or selected repertoire
Music Education, Research

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  1. Pingback: Telematic Composers Project | Josh Emanuel

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