Is This The Future Of Music Education?

Clair de lune From Scratch      08/09/09

Hugh Sung's Youtube video series Clair de lune from Scratch is a great example of how social media can be used for music education.

So good, in fact, that it makes me wonder if this is the future of music education.

At first glance, Sung's video looks like just another Youtube "how to play" video.

Give it another look, though, and you'll find:

  • The series is incredibly deep, with 24 videos so far;
  • It's filmed from multiple angles, providing appropriate views for both his discussion of the music and his playing demonstrations;
  • Sung includes links with his videos to a free PDF copy of the music that you can download;
  • He makes use MusicReader, an application that lets him annotate the score as he discusses it;
  • He doesn't assume anything about your knowledge of music, so he explains things like clefs along the way; and
  • He's using the video comments section to respond to users questions, which range from technology questions to questions about interpretation.

You might argue that nothing can replace the one-on-one interaction between pupil and student.

How many beginning students, though, have access to a teacher of Sung's caliber? And where else but Youtube can you get this sort of music education, on your own schedule, for free?

Internet media is going to radically change music education. Music educators that adapt, like Sung, may find new opportunities, coming from anywhere in the world. Music educators that don't adapt, though, could find themselves in the same position as newspapers - losing people's attention as people turn to cheaper, more convenient Internet alternatives.

What do you think? Is the Internet going to revolutionize the way we learn music?

James Lewin
Twitter @podcasting_news

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