Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2014

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Elisa Dekaney, Director of Music Education

Honors Reader

Dr. Jenny Doctor, Director: Belfer Audio Archive

Capstone Major

Music Education

Capstone College

Visual and Performing Arts

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Music | Music Education | Other Music


The purpose of this paper is to support and defend my senior capstone project, which takes the form of an educational app for iPad called MusicianMaker. The paper is split into two main sections: a rationale for the necessity of the app, and a justification for the educational benefits it provides. Over the course of my undergraduate career I have studied available resources for music education and found a disappointing majority that make no attempt to teach musicality. Teachers and scholars debate that music learning is either absolute or relativistic, but regardless of their opinion I have found no pedagogy that focuses on musicality and self-expression in beginner instrumental music. Instead, technical proficiency is the frequent concern for musicians and their teachers. MusicianMaker was conceived as a fun way to fill the gap in a young musician’s education through the use of technology; the app allows young students who have not attained technical proficiency to work on their musicianship by giving them control over a character’s musical decisions. I chose to use recordings from the public domain that represent 20th-century American cities in order to teach players the history of performance traditions in this nation in addition to the musical skills they display so clearly. I defend my music selections through in-depth research on each composition that explains its historical and musical significance. Finally, I address possible uses for MusicianMaker in a variety of settings in hopes of inspiring other music teachers like myself to use the app or at least to see the importance of teaching musicality to their beginner students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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