Seddon, F. A. and Biasutti, M. (2009) Participant approaches to and reflections on learning to play a 12-bar blues in an asynchronous e-learning environment. International Journal of Music Education.27(3), pp. 189-203. 0255-7614.
This study investigated the viability of learning to play an improvised 12-bar blues on keyboard with both hands together in an asynchronous e-learning environment. The study also sought to reveal participant approaches to and reflections on this learning experience. Parti cipants were video-taped as they engaged with six ‘Blues Activities’, supported by audio ‘guide’ and ‘backing’ tracks and a ‘remote facilitator’. Participants required nine or ten learning sessions, over a period of six weeks, to successfully complete the ‘Blues Activities’. Individual, semi-structured interviews, designed to reveal participant reflections on their engagement with the ‘Blues Activities’ were conducted with the participants after they had completed the learning sessions. Results revealed that: (1) at the end of the learning sessions, all participants were able to play the 12-bar improvised blues; (2) participants engaged in five distinct learning behaviours; and (3) four participant ‘reflective themes’ emerged from the semi-structured interviews. The five distinct learning behaviours were interpreted as ‘learning activities’: ‘instruction’, ‘copying’, ‘practising’, ‘playing’ and ‘evaluating’. The four ‘reflective themes’ were interpreted as: ‘activities’, ‘feelings’, ‘evaluation’ and ‘difficulties’. Comments made by participants during interviews and email exchanges, provided support for the researcher interpretations of the ‘learning activities’ and ‘reflective themes’ through the process of triangulation. Implications for music education are discussed.