Platform Encourages Multi-media Exchange

Innovative online journal connects with
real-world music education.

The Music Education Area at Michigan State University is inviting teachers, scholars, performers, and other stakeholders in music education to join the conversation through a new journal focusing on music teaching and learning.

Launched in late March, New Directions: A Journal of Scholarship, Creativity and Leadership in Music Education, provides a place for the music education community to discuss, debate, and engage with one another through an online multimedia platform. The open-access journal, editors say, empowers a wide audience to access and comment on informative content, and to submit material for potential publication.

“A journal on teaching and learning should be more involved with presenting materials through rich media like audio, graphics, and video,” says Mitchell Robinson, New Directions editor, and associate professor and chair of Music Education. “The idea that every concept can be presented in a linear print fashion is increasingly outmoded.”

While retaining traditional aspects of journals such as peer reviews of scholarly submissions, New Directions welcomes submissions from teachers, administrators, community members, policy makers, musicians and performers, music historians, students, and more. New Directions will also chart new pathways as an academic journal by including comment sections for every published piece.

“It’s a way to involve our audience in a town hall style forum,” says Robinson. “We believe it’s the first time it’s been done in an academic journal.”

Robinson says the idea for an open-access journal grew from the popular New Directions in Music Education Conference—a semi-annual spring event that encourages music teachers and educators from around the world to share innovative and emerging practices.

“We want to obliterate the barrier between theory and practice, and to help advance and get ideas into the hands of the people who can apply them,” says Robinson. “Our goal is to expand the idea of what scholarship means.”

Robinson says plans are to publish New Directions at least twice a year, and possibly once per quarter as it picks up momentum. Readers can browse the first issue of New Directions: A Journal of Scholarship, Creativity, and Leadership in Music Education. The second issue is slated for summer and will highlight sessions and presentations from the 2014 New Directions in Music Education Conference.

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