Teaching Music in the Times of the Pandemic: Pedagogical Pathways for Online Learning


The online learning environment demanded by pandemic conditions in China has offered opportunities for teachers to engage internet-savvy students, but also presented serious obstacles to unmediated face-to-face teaching. The possibilities for student collective collaboration in real time, the difficulties of teachers to connect with the sheer immediacy of music performance and its physical nuances, and the perceived loss of sound fidelity lost through Internet connections, have plagued teachers in the mainland. Teachers have had to adapt to a new online environment that has moved the classroom to the student’s bedroom through the use of laptops and mobile devices. In this paper, we analyze these trends and others through an experiential study and analysis of the teaching of strings, percussion and piano in a mainland university music programme. We argue that performance teaching depends for its success on intimacy and proximity, its physical conditions, as well as emotional and personal closeness, its more psychological dimensions. Online teaching seems to represent their very opposites. While we find that teachers have struggled to correct student performance, foster concentration, demonstrate appropriate methods to play instruments, and guide ensemble performances, the avenues for correcting these problems rely on the establishment of classroom collaboration much more than just technical adjustments. In this respect, Carol Johnson has argued for a “transformation of pedagogical practice” that establishes cognitive, social and teaching presence. We find that what is needed is not a total transformation of pedagogy, but the means to translate the traditional classroom into the new online classroom

Author Information
Kris Ho, United International College BNU-HKBU, China
Victor J Rodriguez, Beijing Institute of Technology, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2020
Stream: Teaching Experiences

This paper is part of the ACE2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Ho K., & Rodriguez V. (2021) Teaching Music in the Times of the Pandemic: Pedagogical Pathways for Online Learning ISSN: 2186-5892 The Asian Conference on Education 2020: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2021.35
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2186-5892.2021.35

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon