Janice Waldron - Further Perspective

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Chapter 5: The Role of “Place” and Context

Janice Waldron, University of Windsor

In our eagerness to embrace the virtues of the “new,” we sometimes fail to critically examine the a prioris of the thing we are extolling—which, in the case of this book, is the use of technology in music learning and teaching. Advocates of technology use in the field usually begin by raising relevant issues based on personal but localized narratives. Although this is a good place to start—people rarely argue for change not grounded in their own experiences—building arguments for technology use requires a nuanced interpretation of what technology in music learning and teaching means to and for practitioners and researchers in specific local contexts. How does technology’s evolution from “thing” to “thing and place” change our perceptions of its use(s) in music learning and teaching? How do the roles of local context, cultural assumptions, and musical genre fit into a discussion of what constitutes technology and technology in music education?