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PSU Ann Clements Bluring the Lines Musical Video Game Guitar Hero


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PSU Ann Clements Bluring the Lines Musical Video Game Guitar Hero

  1. 1. From Virtual to Actual:Video Games in Music Education Ann Clements, Ph.D., Associate Professor School of Music
  2. 2. Flickr: Twelves’
  3. 3. Flickr: TGKW’S
  4. 4. TLT Faculty FellowsConnecting points of intelligence, insight, energy, and knowledge-sharing across PSU and beyond.
  5. 5. What is of interest to me…?Music Participation….Why do people do music?1)understand the nature of musical creation in terms of performance, consumption, and preference,2)explore how music is transmitted, or taught and learned, within the confines of culture, and3)seek the underlying meanings of musical practices and musicianship within the context of culture through ‘everyday’ musical interactions.
  6. 6. My research journey…The World My Community My Basement
  7. 7. Four Important Points1. Games are nothing new in music education.2. Video games are the media of choice for this generation.3. Games shape not only what we learn, but how we learn.4. Video games breach the gap between in- school and out of school musical doings.
  8. 8. Games In Education
  9. 9. More than Meets the Eye…
  10. 10. Defining games in education…Gaming – Social Interaction Theory (Vygotsky, 1978) – Social Learning or Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1977) – Constructivism (Bruner, 1966; Jonassen, 2006; Papert, 1998) – Situated Learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991)Games in music and music Education are nothing new! The presentation and genre of games has changed. Fun games AND Serious games - MMPO -CoTS -Created L and S
  11. 11. How games are studied… Constance Jim GeeKurt Squire Steinkuehler
  12. 12. Guitar Hero ResearchProject 1 Project 2 Project 3
  13. 13. Gaming’s Effect on Music Education Imagined and Virtual Musical Communities (Clements, Cody, and Gibbs, 2008) Across the country there has been a surge of enrollment in middle and high school level guitar classes.We believe this is due, in part, to the success of guitar based video games. Video 1Musical gaming may be influencing students’ perceptions of their personal musical ability and may even be changing what it means to be musical. Video 2
  14. 14. Musical Notation DemonstrationVideo Transcribed from Guitar Hero World Tour
  15. 15. Musical NotationProject 1 –Nonmusical ElementInability to create new musicsounds/tunes within gameplay. Transcribed from Guitar Hero 3
  16. 16. Guitar Hero - World Tour Music StudioAdditional Instrumentation inGame Play• Lead Guitar, Bass, Drums and VocalsMusic Studio• The ability to input original compositions• Lead guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Keyboard, and Drums• The creation of Guitar Hero based notation for playback by othersGH Tunes• The ability to share original compositions with others via the Guitar Hero platform
  17. 17. Virtual to Actual: The Use of Gaming as a Means to BroadenPre-service Music Educator’s Perspective on Music Education Clements, Cody, and Stubbs (2009)Purpose:An action research study to introduce undergraduate music education majors to the video game Guitar Hero - World Tour© in order to: – expand students knowledge and perception of video game use in the music classroom and – to create sound pedagogical musical arrangements within game play to assist their future students in transitioning from virtual guitar playing into actual guitar playing. Guiding Questions: 1. Will use of musical video games alter pre-service music educators’ perspectives about the validity of gaming as a means for musical engagement? 2. Is it possible for pre-service music educators to create simple musical arrangements within game play to guide their future students toward actual guitar playing?
  18. 18. Project ParametersSubjects: – two intact 7-week long beginning level guitar classes for music education majors (N=31) – the instructor of these courses (Ann Clements), – a member of the Penn State Educational Gaming Commons who was on hand to assist with the technology and to take reflective field notes on the process (Chris Stubbs), and – a music theory instructor with musical gaming experience and professional level guitar playing skills who served as an outside observer (Tom Cody). Traditional/Folk Basic guitar pedagogy and playing Traditional including I, IV, and V chords in the keys of G, D, A, and various strumming patterns. Rock The formation of rock bands, including the arrangement of popular music using Rock Virtual informal learning techniques. Virtual The Guitar Hero© Project.
  19. 19. Procedures1. A pre-experience questionnaire to determine their familiarity with video game use and to explore their perspectives of musical gaming uses in educational settings.2. Two in-class training modules on the use of Guitar Hero – World Tour on © a PlayStation 3 with special focus on the Music Studio component. TM3. A two-hour evening programming session in which the students were divided into small groups and given the task to choose a simple 2-3 chord song they can play on guitar and to arrange and input their selected song into the Music Studio. Each group was asked to create a: 1. Lead line (melody) 2. Rhythm line (chords) 3. Bass line (root), and 4. Drum line4. An hour long performance of traditional materials, their individual rock band arrangements, and demonstration of the Guitar Hero © projects.5. A post-experience questionnaire to determine their perspectives of musical gaming use in education.
  20. 20. Pre-Experience Perspectives StudentsIt was discovered that these particular groups of video games! video games fairly "No, I really dont feel we should use students played I feel like infrequently. kids just waste time when they should be reading, or practicing in my case. (sic)” – 5 students had never played any games in the Guitar Hero © series.Their initial perspectives about many better ways the music classroom, or any "No, because there are the use of gaming in teachers can get classroom setting, were mixed. students involved in class than just having them play video games.” 20% of students indicating a possible use for gaming in education – less than – only 2 students reporting having ever used games as part of any class “I’ve played musical video games previously, and I know they can be challenging, but games are more about getting together with friends than actually learning anything.”
  21. 21. Pre-Experience Perspectives INSTRUCTORThe instructor had some trepidation going into this project about her comfort level using this form of technology, the ways in which “I was students might view the be technical glitches. setting, and the music afraid that there would use of gaming in this Even after hours of practice, I am still finding open to trying something new. extent to which students would be difficulties within the game and am struggling to determine if this is the best way to introduce students to the uses of gaming in education.” “These are School of Music students who have dedicated much of their lives to perfection in their (music) studios and I fear that this will be viewed as simply entertainment that has no place in formal education.”
  22. 22. Examples of Student Work from Field Videos VIDEO 3
  23. 23. Post-Experience Perspectives STUDENTSAfter their experiences playing and creating within the game structure, perspectives appear to have changed “Not only is it interesting to compare this with learning beginning – 94% of students reported that it is important for future teachers to understand guitar, but asthe ways educators many of our students musical games and future in which youth interact with them. backgrounds in music WILL BE Guitar as highly motivational give us of – 97% ranked the Guitar Hero© assignment Hero and this can in terms some perspective on what to expect and also to start thinking about guitar learning. – 87% of to take.” what stepsthe reported a desire to use musical games in their future teaching. “I really feel that there are lessons being taught in the game that apply to music teaching and learning. The motivational factor alone is enough for me to want to understand video games better and find ways in which I can incorporate them into my teaching.”
  24. 24. Post-Experience Perspectives INSTRUCTOR VIDEO 4 Formal and Informal Instruction “The students have really come together through this project. I haveseen them transform from instruction seeking to class leading, atransition I didn’t expect to see… not only are they excited about playing,they are excited about the possibilities the technology is providing interms of their future teaching.”“The class quickly became informal. The students were learning andteaching one another as is often seen in the (musical) creation processesof professional or community musicians.”
  25. 25. Post-Experience Perspectives Instructor“This whole process has been reminiscent of my experiences as a middle school teacher – when the music classroom was a general hang out for students.Not only are the students enjoying the process, they are enjoying each other. Music has once again become ‘cool’ and inhibitions and competition, which are common place at the collegiate level, have faded.”
  26. 26. Song Construction Instructor’s ObservationsThere were numerous technical difficulties during each recording session that hampered students’ progress. • controlling the tempo and audible click track • lack of familiarity with the PlayStation and Music Studio TM program • controllers falling asleep from inactivity • the lack of ability to edit recorded sound at the level most students had experienced using professional level recording programs. Video 5
  27. 27. Conclusions1. Will use of musical video games alter pre-service music educators’ perspectives about the validity of gaming as a means for musical engagement? – As evident by the data collected, it appears that even the most simple uses of gaming in educational practice can have a positive effect on the perceptions of pre-service music educators.2. Is it possible for pre-service music educators to create simple musical arrangements within game play to guide their future students toward actual guitar playing? – Due to the technological difficulties within Music Studio, it does not appear to be practical at this time to create meaningful lessons within the program. • This is not to say that pedagogical ties between virtual and actual guitar playing are not present, simply that the technology has yet to be developed within the game to allow for the precision needed to make arranging meaningful and consistent.
  28. 28. Educational Music Gaming: Pre-service and Middle School Perceptions Clements & Stubbs (2010) Project 31. What are the perceptions of preservice music educators and middle school general music students to a musical gaming project?1. Is it possible to create meaningful music and guitar lessons for middle school level students using Guitar Hero? – Intermediate level guitar preservice teachers created a new song in GH World Tour – Lesson plans combining virtual playing and real playing were developed – Preservice students taught the lesson over a two-week period in a local seventh grade general music classroom.Preliminary results – The preservice teachers interest in using Guitar Hero as a teaching tool lowered from second study, with only 68% responding that the game enhanced their teaching. – 94% of middle school students ranked this activity as one of the most “enjoyable” they had experienced in music class. – A strange dichotomy between the perceptions of the preservice and middle school students regarding the worth of video game use in the classroom.
  29. 29. TLT Fellowship: Musical Play1) Research project on Musical Play - Comparison of traditional form of musical play and new form including video game technology - 10 children ages 3-15 - 4 play dates, 2 “in home” and 2 in the EGC Lab - Traditional Musical Items - Balls, jump ropes, hand clap games, chants, instruments - Musical Video Games - Blog and Movie
  30. 30. MovementUses:• Warm-up movements in rehearsal• Physical demonstration of beat/pulse• Dance/movement in general music settingsDetails: Sample 1•Cost – under $30.00 Sample 2•Classroom appropriate•No dance pad needed Sample 3
  31. 31. TheoryUses: Uses: Uses:• Individual or class • Individual in front • Individual or class of class• Rhythm & pitch • Rhythm buildingbuilding skills • Rhythm & pitch skills building skills Sample 1 Rhythm Sample 1 - Pitch Sample 1- Beat Sample 2 Chords Sample 2 - Chords
  32. 32. Theory ContinuedUses: Uses:• Individual or class • Individual or class• Rhythm building • Rhythm buildingskills skills Sample 1 Chorus Sample 1 Sample 2 Robot Sample 3 Mix
  33. 33. Singing and Playing Uses: • Individual or class • Playing and/or singing skillsSample 1 Sample 1- Maestro Sample 1Sample 2 Sample 2 - BellsSample 3 Sample 3 - Instruments
  34. 34. Composition Uses: • Individual or class • No points, score, or ability to “win” •Free arrangement and composition Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3Sample 5 Sample 6 Sample 7 Sample 8 Sample 9
  35. 35. Thank you! This presentation was supported by the TLT Faculty Fellows Program and the Educational Gaming Commons Engagement Initiative Program Check out our Blog! Clements Fellowship Project
  36. 36. Thoughts to ponder…Every time we succeed in creating an additional, genuine culture of musical involvement in the schools, we expand our relevance, our value, and our claim to be a basic subject capable of serving all students rather than only a small minority.… Opening ourselves to these possibilities allows our profession to become all it is capable of becoming, to serve all the students it is capable of serving, to demonstrate by its actions that it is worthy of the full support of its culture rather than trying to coerce that support by endless pleadings for a program attractive to few. (Reimer, 2004)
  37. 37. Thank you!This project was supported by a grant from the Penn State Educational Gamming Commons. The PSU Educational Gaming Commons is creating a community of users who will support both physical and virtual infrastructure to promote the broad impact of gaming within the teaching, learning, and research environment. For more information please see the following website: