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Playing to learn or learning to play? Playing Rocksmith to learn electric guitar and bass in Nordic music teacher education

  • Sigrid Jordal Havre (a1), Lauri Väkevä (a2), Catharina R. Christophersen (a3) and Egil Haugland (a3)

This article is based on a case study of how the Rocksmith entertainment music video game can be used in the context of studying electric guitar and bass as part of music teacher training. In empirical terms, we were interested in how music teachers’ knowledge becomes articulated in the pedagogical discourse of our participants. As conceptual points of departure, we used play theory, game studies, and the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model of teacher's knowledge. Four ways of approaching the potential role of Rocksmith in music teacher education stand out as a result. In the discussion, we suggest that music gaming can be conceptualised as an activity that expands the reach of what can be considered as ‘playful’ and ‘serious’ in music teacher studies. Such an approach can guide our thinking about how different areas of music teachers’ knowledge merge into multidimensional competence, paving the way for further discussion about how ‘music educatorship’ can be constructed in the digital era.

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British Journal of Music Education
  • ISSN: 0265-0517
  • EISSN: 1469-2104
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-music-education
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