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Monday, March 13 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Integration of ICT in Sonic Arts ALP (Music, Media and Technology) LIMITED

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The Applied Learning Programme (ALP) in Sonic Arts (Music, Media and Technology) at Yishun Secondary School (YSS) enables students to experience and develop contemporary music making practices in an authentic learning environment. The iPad Band and Keyboard modules are two of four modules created by the teachers of YSS. All lower secondary students undertake the modules during their weekly music lesson. This session takes participants through the use of ICT for assessment of learning in the iPad Band module and the non-formal teaching approach through the use of YouTube in the Keyboard module to bring about responsible digital learners and desired 21st century competencies such as being self-directed learners and active contributors. A survey of students music profile is conducted to understand the music background and interests of our students. This data allows teachers to craft curriculum that is relevant. Participants will take away ideas of how they could adapt these strategies in their classrooms.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will gain an overview of the ALP in Sonic Arts at YSS.
Participants will learn how data collated through Google Forms allows teachers to craft curriculum.
Through samples of students work, participants will learn how the recording tools in GarageBand allows students to assess their learning.
Participants will learn how students learn informally through YouTube provides students with opportunities to be self-directed learners.
In recent years, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has placed importance on a Student-Centric, Values-Driven education. The ALP serves to connect academic knowledge and skills with the real world. Its emphasis is on the application of thinking skills, stretching the imagination and applying these in authentic settings in society and industries. Besides offering students with more opportunities to learn in accordance with their interests, the ALP also helps our students deepen their 21st century competencies to equip them for a lifelong journey of learning. (MOE, 2013)

In the 21st Century, music is no longer limited to the confinements of a physical instrument and the concert hall. Sonic Arts is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses music technology, music composition, sound design and recording arts. The advent, accessibility and advancement of technology have seen musicians branching into previously hitherto careers such as music producers, sound engineers and film music composers. The modules that students undertake in the ALP for Sonic Arts equip them with the basic skills of music technology. These skills will lay the foundation for students’ aspirations to study Sonic Arts at the tertiary level and encourage them to pursue a career in this field.

Sonic Arts Framework

The ALP in Sonic Arts curriculum is based on the LCAP (Learners, Curriculum, Assessment, Pedagogy) model and we aim to provide our students with the opportunities to:

Experience and develop competencies in contemporary music making practices.
Develop life skills through challenging and engaging music making activities in an authentic learning environment
Understand and appreciate contemporary music across a range of genres and contexts which will help students become informed and forward-looking music audience and practitioners.

We are also guided by the 3Es approach when we plan our curriculum:

“EXPERIENCE for all” - Students are given opportunities to participate in the arts as audience & practitioners
“ENGAGEMENT for students with interest” – Students are given platforms to take ownership of their art experience by initiating and completing arts projects
“EXCELLENCE for identified talents” – Students identified to have interest and are talented will be given opportunities for them to deepen their engagement of and develop mastery in chosen area(s)
Description: Theoretical underpinnings and pedagogical approaches/strategies/skills
Pedagogical Approaches
The pedagogy behind the silent movie module is adapted from Musical Futures (Musical Futures, 2008), bringing the non-formal teaching and informal learning approaches into the more formal context of schools.

Based upon the principles of informal learning students
Learn alongside friends, instead of learning through instruction with continuous adult guidance.
Learn music that they choose, like and identify with, as opposed to being introduced to music which is often new and unfamiliar, chosen by the teacher.
Assimilate skills and knowledge in personal ways according to musical preference.

Non – formal teaching has a number of common characteristics:
An inclusive approach for music making, lowering entry barriers.
A belief in group-based activities in performing, listening, composing & improvising.
A sense of immediacy and exploration.
A more democratic view of learning – utilising the skills within the group through peer learning, teachers shedding the mantle of ‘expert’, students and teachers co-constructing content and objectives for sessions.

Evidence of Impact on Student Learning
The data collated from Google Forms reveals that many students who enter YSS are without any formal musical background. Few have private instrumental tuition or used to be in a music-related CCA. The main strand of music that students are exposed to is Popular Music. Teachers then decide on a music curriculum that ultilises songs from Popular Music and its style to engage students.

The underlying belief is when the informal and non-formal approaches are implemented successfully, motivation among students increases. This is reflected by students staying on task in lessons for the majority of the time, showing that they are self-directed learners and that students enjoying their lessons. Apart from musical skills, students also learn how the values of teamwork through active contribution and some emerge as natural leaders.

iPad Band Module:
The challenges in conducting the iPad Band module were three-fold. Students had poor aural discriminatory skills: groups were unable to play in synchronisation and had a poor sense of rhythm. Second, high noise levels in class because of the use of speakers caused students to be unable to listen to their own group members during practice. Last, the limited time factor made it challenging for the teacher to give sufficient feedback to all groups.

With the use of a sample backing track saved in GarageBand, students then record their chosen instrument into the software. Personal self-assessment is first done by listening to their own recording before asking peers for feedback. This causes students to practice focused listening through earphones and thereby reduces noise levels. The saved recordings allows students to assess students’ work after lessons and give feedback dring the next lesson.

Keyboard Module:
When teachers demonstrate chords and rhythm patterns in front of the class, some students may not be able to pick up what was shown or might not be able to see the teacher’s hands. Hence, keyboard instructional videos were created and uploaded on YouTube. Students are able to view and review the videos to learn different chords and rhythm patterns. This informal learning allows students to be self-directed and to learn at their own pace. Higher ability students will be able to progress view more videos once achieving mastery of the basic skill set.


Mr. Ho Tze Liang Shaun

Shaun’s teaching philosophy is about being a teacher who uses Music as a tool to mould and build students’ characters. He believes that music-making a will enable his students to be thinkers, innovators and contributors.

Monday March 13, 2017 11:30am - 12:30pm

Attendees (4)