OK, so here we have a peek into the minds of individuals who have the time to find new blogs and spam all over the site.
It’s not surprising. Is there a correlation between ADHD and digital addiction? Well, both are genetic, so it’s likely merely a matter of connecting the dots on the genetic map.
When I was at ISME n Thessaloniki, and subsequently on vacation on the Greek Islands, I went on a digital fast for 4 weeks. My (re) awakening. We do not thoughtfully consider how different our lives were 15, 20, 25 years ago.
I still remember mailing my submission and revisions on a publication to the editor of a research journal and receiving hard copies of the reviewer suggestions. At a guitar lesson I taught today, I showed student IBM computer key punch cards–in 1981, before computer “terminals,” there were keypunch operators. And refrigerator sized, batch feeders that would read the cards–we would wait 20 minutes for a print out of our computer program “code.” He laughed uncontrollably at my story.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a Jurassic period dinosaur, however, there is much to be said for playing a sweet, smooth, acoustic guitar like my 1966 Gibson B25n. I will not deny my love for my electrics, or my MIDI guitar rig, and my 5 amplifiers, but the medium is the message as well as the “massage.” I wrote (and quoted “The Messenger,” McLuhan) about music as a medium in two Canadian Music Educator journal articles in the mid-1990s. Almost a decade earlier, my MA thesis was a comparison of three accompaniment media on singing achievement and developmental music aptitude (1987). One member of my thesis committee (not Gordon) actually argued that music was “not a medium,” not a “mode of communication.” Tell that, or argue that, to the masses.
No further comment. The last three decades have defined and extended my points, with and without my writings. Someday I’ll rewrite the introduction to the thesis to give MayDay members a smile and a few guffaws.
Archaic, traditionalist thinking in music education is one huge reason why we are, where we are, when it comes to connecting with the majority of adolescents in secondary schools–Catholic, antiquated thinking about the content of the music curriculum and proliferation of highly structured, formal, teacher-directed pedagogies. That thought also influences the ways we conduct and write research, but that’s another story for another column (e.g., perhaps the “MayDay Methods E-Column” in 2025) and opening another “can of old RAM chips.”
It’s all connected to how, when, why. where, how much we actually “teach” music in technologically enriched music settings of the 21st century. It’s far more than a postmodernist straw man argument of “informal” learning versus formal learning.
Why don’t we connect with the majority of kids in schools through music programs when they spend over 2.5 hours a day listening to music on digital devices? (Kaiser Foundaiton, 2011). Think beyond “form,” whether (in)formal, (misin)formed, (re)formed, or (de)formed. Formalist (and informalist) explanations are rooted in modernist-postmodernist binaries.
Perhaps I should be flattered that a person from “Spamalot” would spend time responding to my posts, even if in a negative manner.
My thanks to Terry Gates for posting on the Blog. You win a free beer at the 2013 MayDay Colloquium.