Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How do children learn and represent music?

Jeanne Bamberger
In the eighties of the last century there was an almost utopian vibe that the computer would change not only music, mathematics, linguistics and related fields, but also education. Special programming languages were developed that were aimed to resonate with the intuition of children (and adults) about a certain domain, be it mathematics, music, or language. It generated an enormous amount of ideas, especially at MIT, where for instance Jeanne Bamberger was for long professor of Music and Urban Education. The cognitivist underpinnings of her work marked a groundbreaking shift in the design of music education software, a field dominated at the time by programs influenced by behaviorist “skill and drill” theories of music learning and teaching. Influenced by the work of Seymour Papert on Logo (a lisp-like programming language designed for educational purposes), Jeanne set out to design project-based musical micro-worlds that researchers and teachers could use to help make children’s musical thinking, intuitions, and problem solving processes audible and visible.

Last month the peer-reviewed online journal Visions of Research in Music Education published a tribute to Jeanne Bamberger. See here for more information.

ResearchBlogging.orgBamberger, J. (1991/5) The Mind behind the Musical Ear: How Children Develop Musical Intelligence. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

ResearchBlogging.orgBamberger, J. (2000) Developing Musical Intuitions: A Project-Based Introduction to Making and Understanding Music. New York: Oxford University Press.

ResearchBlogging.orgDesain, P., and Honing, H. (1988). LOCO: A Composition Microworld in Logo. Computer Music Journal, 12 (3), 30-42. DOI: 10.2307/3680334

ResearchBlogging.orgHoning, H. (1993). A microworld approach to the formalization of musical knowledge Computers and the Humanities, 27 (1), 41-47 DOI: 10.1007/BF01830716

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