Two studies investigating the value of DJing for contemporary music education
DisciplineMusic, Mind and Technology (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Music, Mind and Technology
This research investigated the importance of cognitive skills learned through DJing and perspectives on the potential value of DJing for music education through two studies. The first was a qualitative investigation into contemporary perspectives on the potential value of DJing for music education. Participants were asked three questions in order to establish their perceptions concerning the cultural relevance of DJing regarding the skills that might be learned through DJing and how DJing might be incorporated into formal music education curriculums. Perspectives emerged that showed a majority of participants believed that DJs learn valuable musical skills, DJing had equal relevance with other musical forms and a high degree of contemporary relevance, and agreed that DJing lessons should be offered. These results merited further investigation into the cognitive/perceptual skills/abilities developed through DJing. The second study quantitatively investigated the cognitive abilities derived from formal and informal music learning. This study focussed on sensorimotor synchronization (SMS) in order to test the extent of cognitive abilities relating to rhythm perception among these participant groups. The SMS study therefore tested comparative SMS ability between the participant groups by having them tap along with various auditory sequences under conditions of increasing distraction in order to see if any significant differences occurred in the timing of their tapped responses. Results suggested that DJs asynchronies proved to be the least variable out of the participant groups, showing that their error correction responses (ECRs) were more stable than the other two groups even if their (negative) mean asynchronies (NMAs) were not as small as the classical performers’ asynchronies. DJs were also the least susceptible to “phase attraction” out of the three participant groups. It is hoped that these results might stimulate a greater inclusion of informal learning practises into the contemporary music classroom, and further investigation of the cognitive skills and abilities that are being developed by informally trained musicians in response to advances in (music) technology. Future research will assess the views of a wide sample group of formal music educators in order to establish how DJing might be integrated into a school curriculum. ...
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