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Harmonia-on-the-Go: Orchestrating a New Music-Learning Space

By Associate Professor Eddy Chong, Office of Teacher Education, Visual and Performing Arts Academic Group

First, it was initiating the Gen Y student teachers into the Web 2.0 space through edublogging, now Associate Professor Eddy Chong is inducting the Gen Z student teachers through a music app, which he hopes Gen Alpha will use for learning in an app-tutoring space.

In conventional blended learning, physical and online spaces are brought into intersection, which nowadays, include using virtual- and augmented-reality technologies. Inspired by this trend, the MOE-Edulab Project Team tinkered with the idea of adding a different dimension to blended learning where tutoring was not done by a person or online, but using a standalone mobile app. The outcome was Harmonia-on- the-Go, which the team developed between 2017 and 2018 for both Apple and Android platforms. | Read More |

In a conventional music class where students are learning the grammar of musical harmony, there is a high dependence on the teacher to give feedback on the harmonic progressions created by the students. With Harmonia-on-the-Go, the students can create progressions and, at the tap of a button, receive instant feedback. As the mobile app was designed to be installed locally on the mobile device, it does not require network connectivity to process the data. This enables a level of tutoring to be performed even when students are not connected to the network.

For students who are registered and connected to the network, the data will be sent to the web server at the backend to generate learning analytics that enable students to track their learning progress and take ownership of their learning. If more advice is required, students who are logged into Harmonia-on-the-Go can use the “Consult” function to pose questions to their music teachers and receive advice through the app.

A pilot testing of the app was done with four secondary schools and a junior college, with 94.6% of the 37 respondents reporting positive experiences with the app’s responsiveness, as summed up in the following feedback:

“I learnt some new things while using the app. I liked how the feedback was given immediately and I could instantly improve on my chord progression.”

“I like how accessible this is for our learning; how it is readily available on our devices when we need to use it.”

My team members, Mr Tan Kheng Leong (NTU-SCSE), Dr Cheng Yuan Shan (PS), Mrs Ee-Chek Yui Hong (MOE-AEB) and I hope that with the successful pilot, we will be able to leverage app-tutoring to provide immediate feedback and motivate students towards self-directed practice, and even self-directed learning. Teachers can also use the app to harness data on student performance for pedagogical and formative assessment purposes.

Harmonia-on-the-Go is available on Play Store and App Store