Here is my full essay on the subject ‘How Digital Musicians Learn: Digital Literacy and the Knowledge Gap in Contemporary Music Education’.
It is available to download as a PDF
Here is the introduction:
Digital Literacy and the Knowledge Gap in Contemporary Music Education:
How Digital Musicians Learn
The digital age has transformed every aspect of media. From production, consumption, distribution and knowledge, the way we interact with media changes “the way that we think and also has a profound impact upon the ways in which we communicate and express ourselves” (Dubber:2012). This shift in communication has led to a new generation of people who take these changes for granted, where technology is integrated into almost every aspect of life and has become second nature to them. The rise of the digital musician is a direct result of these changes.
The advent of industrialisation towards the end of the nineteenth century brought about massive changes in access to education and knowledge, in order to create a workforce literate enough to work effectively in a new media age. Similarly, the digital age has brought about a shift from an industrial society to a knowledge society, but the “massive and sustained public investment in schools and (later on) universities” of the previous era “has not been matched” (Hartley, 2008). The ways in which digital musicians learn, create and share their knowledge in the virtual world of the internet differs greatly from the previous generation, yet very little of these new skills are taught in formal education settings. There is a knowledge gap opening between this generation and the last, between those who are digitally illiterate and those who are digitally fluent. In this essay I will discuss how digital musicians use new technology to learn and to create, and the role of music education infrastructure in the digital age.
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