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New Media Musicianship: Inspiring practices and implications for music and arts education

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Abstract: Recent developments in online and social media challenge traditional notions of music, musician, creator, and educator. New practices, as well as old ones masquerading in new clothing, are emerging as fertile contexts for expressive music making and engagement. New forms of media musicianship appear everyday, where musical production is inextricably embedded within and connected to computational, visual, and media arts practices. This presentation will share exemplars of some of these inspiring practices drawn from emerging DIY /Maker cultures, tangible media, and musical roles, such as curator, audio engineer and producer. Implications for educational practices in school and community-based settings will be shared, along with a framework for a “relational pedagogy” where relationships are developed and explored among students, teachers, creativity, expression and technology.

Bionotes: Alex Ruthmann is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses at the intersection of music education, arts computing and research. He currently serves as President of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction, Chair of the Creativity special research interest group of the Society for Research in Music Education, and as managing editor of the International Journal of Education & the Arts. He also serves on the editorial/advisory boards of the British Journal of Music Education, International Journal of Music Education: Practice, and Journal of Music, Technology, and Education. Alex’s current research explores social/digital media musicianship and creativity, the development of technologies for music learning, teaching and engagement for use in schools and community-based programs. Dr. Ruthmann is currently a Co-PI on a $450,000 National Science Foundation grant exploring the teaching of computational and musical thinking. Active in social media, you can follow his curated posts on music learning, teaching and technology as @alexruthmann on Twitter and on his website:

This talk is part of the Arts, Culture and Education series.

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