Waters-Global Musics Willaims-iPad Instrument
Willaims, David A. (2014). Another perspective: the iPad is a real musical instrument. Music Educators Journal, 101, 93-98.
Synopsis: David Williams’s “Another Perspective: The iPad IS a REAL Musical Instrument” (2014) sets forth to argue that the iPad is a real musical instrument to be treated equally with those of antiquity.
Reaction: Given the broad definition of music, the author successfully argues that the iPad is a real musical instrument within the first paragraph. The rest of the piece is devoted to something else entirely: attempting to argue that the iPad is a good musical instrument. Unfortunately, the author’s deviation from the title of the article gives way to fallacies and straw men. Improvements that could be made include:
- Removal of “non sequitur” arguments such as “Haze machines ensure that lights are particularly effective” (97)
- Focus on the title of the article. In reality, this article could have consisted of two or three sentences including the Merriam-Webster definition of music.
- Address the main arguments of your detractors. The article seemed like an undergraduate throwing a fit. Arguments refuted were those that would never advance.
Follow-up: After reading this article, I now possess the knowledge that concerts are given with iPads only. This was unknown to me before. I believe that music educators advancing such subjects in musical journals should have philosophical training before attempting to look academic. I will do my best to ensure that my academic papers stand up to rigor and, at the very least, undergraduate scrutiny. Some points were advanced to justify the soundness of the iPad as a regular musical instrument: “An alternative music education model might provide students control over musical styles, creative decision making, and musical choice.”(94) He makes an assault on notation-reading: “Traditional school ensembles, of course, tend to be tied to notation, which is related closely to the first two issues- ensemble size and lack of individual autonomy”.(97)
Waters, Sarah S. (2014). Sharing global musics: preserving the past, preparing for the future- a look at music education in China. Music Educators Journal, 101, 25-27
Synopsis: Sarah Williams’ “Sharing Global Musics: Preserving the Past, Preparing for the Future- a Look at Music Education in China” is an exposition on the author’s observances of musical instruction in China, and asserts that the rest of the world should follow that example.
Reaction: The paper suffers from the usual ailment of journals such as the “why”. Clearly presented arguments work well when making an assertion. However, it appears the primary purpose of this article was not assertion, but to make a report of truths from which the reader can for an opinion. The article overall was enjoyable. Points of enjoyment were:
- The content provided: The information was very useful and well presented.
- The exposition of the benefit to the students culturally and academically.
- Instruction on how a foreign government runs its musical education system.
- Well-written article
Recommendations for improvement:
- Have some syllogistic order in which arguments for this style of music education could be beneficial.
- Go further! I would love to see a more thorough exposition on this topic.
Follow-up: The hybridization of musical education in China was unknown to me, and now I am intrigued. On the surface level, this dual-system of classical/traditional seems to be quite ideal. I will engage in more research on this topic.
Some quotations for further research on this topic: “They welcome new compositions, instruments, and styles into their music vocabulary. My hope is that music educators everywhere will find inspiration in this model to try new methods, explore different musical cultures, and come away enlightened by an educational system that could serve as a role model.”(27) And “In one beautiful moment, after I had spent an hour or so teaching Latin percussion patterns to a group of about fifteen students, they brought in a Chinese lute player and combined these two art forms!”(26)