Back in April I posted a little bit about SoundCloud, and using technology in unexpected ways. Here’s a little practical application…

Educational Use
Listening Examples: One of my professors in college, who shall remain nameless, would always speak over the recording in a passionate yet overemphasized desire to connect with his class. Because my classmates and I were listening to him instead of the recording, we often missed the reason he was playing that example in the first place. This was infuriating! And now it is no-longer an issue, thanks to SoundCloud. By using the comments tool to incorporate the listening-log directly into the track, this allows the students to focus on the listening itself, instead of the timer or a sheet of paper. SoundCloud lets students simultaneously hear and see in one location! Corresponding Buzzword: Learning Styles.

Assessment of Theoretical Knowledge: Because comments linked to the waveform last 4 seconds, the ability to do a harmonic analysis is lost. The comments box is simply too slow to provide an accurate analysis of each chord. (If SoundCloud continues to develop different types of comments, or ways to manipulate them, the ability to comment on chord structures would allow the students to hear and see the functions of chords in the context of the piece. This idea could still be utilized in a composition where harmonic structures last for several measures, such as Rock or Pop music.) However, instructors and students can still comment on Form.  Outlining Beethoven’s Fur Elise in its 7-part Rondo form is an easy example. In order to use this as a method of assessment, each student would have to upload the song to his/her account. Once the student has completed the formal analysis by embedding comments in the track, the “secret link” can be emailed to the instructor. Or, if you’re technologically savvy, feel free to take advantage of SoundCloud’s “Drop Box” feature. Corresponding Buzzword: SMART Goals.

I’ve got more, but you’re going to have to wait until Part 3…

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