Australian music teachers’ reflections and concerns during the pandemic: Resetting the use of technologies in 21st century classroom practice

Keywords: COVID-19, 21st century learning, music education, music technology, online teaching, pedagogy


Classroom practice around the globe has changed considerably due to the global pandemic. Although ICT (information and communication technology) is at the heart of 21st century teaching and learning, many teachers and students had to make significant adjustments shifting from face-to-face to remote (online) delivery in response to lockdowns and government restrictions since March 2020. This paper focuses on one focal question: ‘What were some of the concerns using ICT during Covid-19 pandemic?’ which was part of a wider Australian study ‘Re-imaging the future: music teaching and learning, and ICT in blended environments in Australia’. The authors seek to understand how music teachers look to employ technology in ways that connect teaching frameworks to 21st century classroom practice. As part of the ongoing study, they present preliminary survey data gathered between March–June 2021 from a range of music teachers around the country. Using thematic analysis, they discuss advantages, disadvantages, opportunities, and challenges in relation to responses that thematically relate three key elements: pedagogy, social interaction, and technology. They identify concerns and call on music educators to reset what, how, and why they teach when using technology to develop 21st century competencies, as the future of schooling continues to change its landscape due to the pandemic.


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Author Biographies

Dawn Joseph, Deakin University

Dr Dawn Joseph is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University (Melbourne). She teaches in undergraduate and post graduate programs and serves on international and national editorial boards of refereed journals. Her research focuses on music education, teacher education, community music, African music, cultural diversity, and ageing and well-being in the Arts. She has been twice Chair of the Australian Society for Music Education (Victorian Chapter) and has served on the National Committee. Dawn is currently a committee member on the Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education.

Bradley Merrick, Melbourne University

Dr. Brad Merrick holds a senior lectureship and is Head of Performance Teaching at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, the University of Melbourne. Brad completed his PhD in Music Education at the University of New South Wales and is known as a passionate educator who possesses a wide range of teaching experience in some of Australia’s largest secondary music and instrumental programs. He has also worked in several universities, preparing undergraduate teachers to enter music education as a profession. He is a Past National President of the Australian Society for Music Education(ASME) where he was a recipient of the Fellowship Award in 2017, and currently serves as Chair of ISME’s MISTEC (Music in Schools and Teacher Education) commission.

How to Cite
Joseph, D., & Merrick, B. (2021). Australian music teachers’ reflections and concerns during the pandemic: Resetting the use of technologies in 21st century classroom practice. Teachers’ Work, 18(2), 109-126.