The Reimagined Classroom
These are the big challenges facing the music history curriculum in higher education. While these challenges seem like a daunting list of symptoms circulating through the blood stream and causing more problems, this list actually just creates a new structure for music history. If this list of solutions are treated like the standard for what is acceptable in higher education for music history, music history pedagogy scholars can best envision what the curriculum should be, instead of making small changes that do not fix the overarching, interconnected problems. This website challenges music scholars to acknowledge these issues, and recognize that these issues all interplay. The state of how music history is taught cannot simply treat the cough, it must also treat the fever, the dehydration, and the illness at its core. Music history scholars and faculty must look for bigger solutions and ways to stop the currents and traditions of how things have been for centuries.
This website encourages other alternatives that fit the list of desired solutions from the identified challenges. I would now like to offer my solution to these pedagogical problems, which I argue should change how music history is facilitated in higher education. I propose to create a music history video game which would be used as a learning tool for students, and teaching tool for faculty. This game would be used for students to learn music history outside the classroom, taking the place of textbook reading, and preparing students to come into the classroom with the material fully absorbed. After learning the material through a video game, the students would enter the classroom having listened to the music they are studying, having immersed their senses in the culture, geographical location, time period, and ultimately, prepared for a classroom discussion that creates room for critical thinking, conversing, and more hands on projects like never before. Faculty would be relieved of the pressures to cover vast amounts of knowledge, and instead can focus on the person to person learning that is invaluable from a classroom experience.
Classrooms are meant to be a place for scholarly discussion, creative thinking, questions, and creation. It is the place where students and faculty converse and can be productive. Outside the classroom, learning is more individual and is meant for students to learn assigned material in preparation for in class learning. Usually, music history students are assigned vast amounts of reading and listening. Taking time in class to lecture for an hour because students are not able to absorb the textbook material is a huge loss for universities and faculty, because the most valuable resource colleges’ have is the mind power of every person coming together throughout the semester. If students can actually learn the material efficiently outside of class through their assignments, such as playing a specific level of a music history video game, they can come to class ready to think critically about the material, and create brilliant ideas and projects with guidance and encouragement from the faculty.