McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Angela Esquivel

A Esquivel.JPG

Major and Classification

Music

Faculty Mentor

  • Brian Shepard, Ph.D.

Department

  • Music

McNair Project

Music at the Speed of Light: Emerging Issues Surrounding Distance Learning in Music Education

Distance learning is becoming an effective tool at the university level, but does not yet have a prominent place in collegiate music education. The emergence of high-bandwidth networks such as Internet2, and the advancement of audio-visual codec technologies are now making distance learning a realistic facet of music education. However, the role of distance learning in the classroom is still underdeveloped. Prior to Internet2, distance learning was most commonly associated with asynchronous learning, where student and teacher do not directly interact. However, recent technological advancements have enabled distance learning to become synchronous, allowing students and teachers to interact in real-time, just as in the traditional classroom. The goal of this study is to assess the current state of distance learning in music classrooms, looking specifically at synchronous, 2-way video-conferencing as the principal medium. Private lesson and master class settings will be the primary distance teaching settings under analysis. Furthermore, this study aims to identify significant issues that arise because of the unique technical and pedagogical demands of music distance learning, and shed light on emerging solutions. Through interviewing the select group of educators and professionals that have substantial involvement in the field of distance music education, I will gain a greater sense of what the current strengths and weaknesses in the field are, as well as where further research is needed. Ultimately, the information gathered will provide insight to music educators looking to integrate synchronous distance learning into their curriculum, and shed light on the issues associated with distance learning in the music education environment.