Let’s play! Learning music through video games and virtual worlds

Contemporary Issues, curriculum, digital culture, music education, policy, publications, technology2 Comments

You Are Here:, curriculum, digital culture, music education, policy, publications, technologyLet’s play! Learning music through video games and virtual worlds

Tobias, E. S. (2012). Let’s play! Learning music through video games and virtual worlds. In G. McPherson & G. Welch (Eds.), Oxford handbook of music education (Vol. 2, pp. 531-548). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199928019.013.0035

This chapter examines the ways video games promote musical learning and engagement. It begins by outlining the background and current scope of music-focused video games. It then situates video games in terms of new literacies. Next, it provides a theoretical framework that supports the use of video games in music education. Along with music-focused video games, it discusses the roles that music plays in video games. It argues for a re-examination of the principles and approaches for musical learning through gameplay.

The concept of multiple literacies is a key theme throughout the chapter as noted in the following excerpt:

In expanding beyond print-based and static notions of literacy to those more inclusive and appropriate for digital media, educators might think in terms of literacies. This is consistent with Eisner’s (1991) proposition that schools should provide students with opportunities to engage with multiple forms of literacy that take into account diverse forms of sensation, meaning, and representation. Thinking in terms of literacies is key to realizing the full potential of video games in music programs. (pp. 533-534)

You might consider reading Let’s play! Learning music through video games and virtual worlds if you are interested in the following topics:

  • Learning and engaging with music through video games
  • Considering the educator’s role when integrating gaming in music teaching and learning
  • Issues of performing
  • Blurred lines between playing games and instruments
  • Expanding notions of play and performance
  • Engaged and critical listening (drawing on the work of Campbell, 2004)
  • Issues of multimodality
  • Functions of music in video games
  • Creating original video game music
  • Socio-cultural issues related to games and game play

I suggest that music educators might draw upon how people engage with games and what we know about games and learning to “mod” music education.

Campbell, P. S. (2004). Teaching music globally: Experiencing music, expressing culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Eisner, E. (1991). Rethinking literacy. Educational Horizons, 69(3), 120-128.

About the author:

2 thoughts on “Let’s play! Learning music through video games and virtual worlds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top