Music Technology and Curriculum Access Revisited

On this category page, I will be revisiting my publication “Music Technology and Curriculum Access”, 2001. This was a personal study which examined whether, at that time, the technology existed to support universal access to all the various areas of music education. Obviously, some of the resources described are now defunct. However, the principles of access remain the same and much of the technology is generic: current models can be applied in much the same way. I will be considering to what extent the technology, both legacy and contemporary has been/ is being¬† successfully exploited.

This is my description of the original study, which is discussed at greater length on the website, Music Technology and Curriculum Access – accessing and enriching music learning.


There are few published materials documenting the use of music technology in the classroom, so I hope that this book, full as it is of descriptions and analyses of real music in real classrooms, will prove useful. It records my personal investigation of ways in which technology can improve access to music for all pupils and, in particular, for those with disabilities. It considers two important questions:

1) Does the technology necessary to address each and every area of the music curriculum exist?

2) Can the relevant technology be incorporated into normal classroom practice?

I conducted several investigations, in order to find answers to these two questions, including:

a) bringing together components to form computer-based systems for the use of particular individuals/groups with severe physical disabilities

b) using identical equipment with groups of varying levels of physical/intellectual ability.

c) creating ‘virtual instruments’ to facilitate live performance and documenting their use

d) analysis of class performances to identify the points at which technology was contributing to differentiation

e) individual case studies

f) identifying a number of software packages suitable for class teaching and analysing them, in terms of physical and intellectual access

g) authoring original, computer based, teaching materials and ‘test-driving’ them in the classroom

h) initiating both individual and group music sessions in a nursing home for young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties, entering observations of the sessions into a keyword database and analysing them in terms of the National Curriculum.