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Accepted Paper:

Technology, Hybridity, and Educational Mobility: A Case Study of Face-to-Face Rock Music Camps during COVID-19  
Kayla Rush (Dublin City University)

Paper short abstract:

By June 2021, students in Ireland had been learning almost exclusively online for well over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, face-to-face summer camps were in high demand. At the same time, summer camps could not return entirely to ‘business as usual’, given that a high number of pandemic-related restrictions remained in place, including a state ruling midway through the summer camp season that all summer camps must be held entirely outdoors.

Paper long abstract:

Thus this was an environment that required significant flexibility and adaptability from summer camp instructors. It also involved a level of relearning how to ‘do’ face-to-face educational activities, given that both students and teachers had spent much of the previous fifteen months rapidly adapting to online instruction. This paper presents a case study of one such face-to-face educational summer camp programme in Ireland, run by a private music educational organization called Rock Jam. It is based on ethnographic participant-observation throughout Rock Jam’s 2021 summer camp season, as well as continued ethnographic fieldwork in the months that followed and interviews with most of the summer camp staff. As an organization specializing in teaching rock and popular music, Rock Jam works in a musical genre that is fundamentally technological, rock music having historically emerged with the increasing availability of electric guitars and sound amplification technology. And yet, as with other educational spaces, the COVID-19 pandemic required a reworking and reframing of popular music teachers’ relationships to and uses of audio, visual, and digital technologies. This paper will explore how Rock Jam staff and students conceived of and interacted with existing audio-visual music technologies within this space of renewed physical mobility, as well as their memories and discussions of virtual educational mobility during Ireland’s lengthy pandemic lockdowns in the preceding academic year. It will explore how Rock Jam utilized a hybrid approach combining digital technologies with face-to-face techniques in order to facilitate educational mobility within the continued limitations of the pandemic, in terms of both the learning experiences themselves and the ways in which students could share the results of their educational labours – that is, the song performances they had written and rehearsed during the week-long summer camps. Finally, it will discuss the wide variety of technologies were used to notate and document musical learning experiences.


music education, rock music, summer camps, music technologies, educational mobility

Panel P26a
Education and Mobility Today: Integrating Digital and Visual Technology with Physical Learning
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -