Is online music education here to stay?

People are often surprised to hear that part of my job as a music professor has been to teach online.

I suspect is quite possible that will start to become part of the job of most professors in the future.

Second Life
, a popular Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE), is increasingly being used for virtual education, most notably by Harvard University:


Even Harvard University’s Law School is offering an online course:


The SimTeach website provides detailed information regarding how teaching works in an online environment:


Here are a few of my recent publications on this topic:

  • Hebert, D. G. (2008). “Reflections on Teaching the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music Online,” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Vol. 39, No. 1 (pp.93-103).

*Update (8/14/08) The Music Education Technology Network is a useful new resource for academic exchange in this area:


Lamine Toure & Group Saloum

If you happen to live in the Boston area, this Senegalese band does great live shows . . .

LAMINE TOURE & GROUP SALOUM - in their first show of 2008!
FRIDAY, MARCH 14th @ 9:30 pm
at the Lizard Lounge
1667 Mass Ave in Cambridge
between Harvard & Porter Squares
For more info, visit 
http://www.laminetoure.com or 
Venue info:


Honkfest Update

Honk! has returned.
This time it is in Seattle.
We will find out whether what Jim Morrison said is actually true: "The West is the best."

I look forward to playing trumpet with ethnomusicologist Charles Keil and all the wild brass bands on March 21-22.

This event will also mark the conclusion of the 2008 Cultural Diversity in Music Education conference.

Here are links to relevant websites:




-Charles Keil

HONK! FEST WEST, a convocation of 15 activist street bands from the PNW and around the country, will be activating Seattle on Easter weekend, Friday through Sunday, March 21-23. (See www.honkfestwest.com for details)

The bands will be honking their hearts out to energize the masses, embolden public discourse, and to bring a critical mass of energy and creativity to the streets and clubs of Ballard and Georgetown. People will be dancing, music will fill the streets, and everyone will be smiling. From noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, the bands will converge on Ballard Skate Park and Ballard Sunday Market to acknowledge the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

Honk! bands know how to have a good time because they provide the punchy soundtrack for progressive events in their communities---peace rallies, relief benefits, and community celebrations.

Bands are coming from across the country (Chicago, New York, Santa Cruz, Eugene, Seattle) and around the world (Canada) to make this inaugural West Coast Honk! event a honking huge success. Come join the fun!

Put this on your calendar, friends. You won't want to miss it! Check out the website for up-to-the-minute details: www.honkfestwest.com

Friday, March 21, 8 p.m. to midnight

Ballard venues: Ballard Jam House, Conor Byrne’s Pub, Mr. Spot’s Chai House, New York Fashion Academy Joint cover for all events with recommended donation of $10 20. (No one turned away due to lack of funds.)

Saturday, March 22, 9 p.m. to midnight

Georgetown venues: Calamity Jane’s, Jules Maes Saloon, Smarty Pants Patio Joint cover for all events with recommended donation of $10 20. (No one turned away due to lack of funds.)

Sunday, March 23, noon to 3 p.m.

Convergence on Ballard Skate Park and Ballard Sunday Market to recognize the fifth anniversary of the War in Iraq.

Band Participants for Honk! Fest West:

Anti-Fascist Marching Band (Seattle)

Carnival Band (Vancouver)

La Banda Gozona (Cascadia)

Samba OlyWa (Olympia)

Environmental Encroachment (Chicago)

Black Bear Combo (Chicago)

Hungry March Band (New York)

Muskrat Rabble (Seattle)

Samba Ja (Eugene)

Sammamish Sublimation Band (Cascadia)

Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra (Santa Cruz, CA)

Weapons of Marching Destruction (Seattle)

Yellow Hat Band (Seattle)

VamoLa! (Seattle)

Peace Bandits (Olympia)

Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band (Seattle)

Raging Grannies (Seattle) and more!


For New Englanders, here is an important message from popular music scholar Reebee Garofalo about a Honk! fundraising event:

We are organizing the third annual HONK! festival of activist street bands. We need your help to make it happen. read on and join us at


a honk-style fundraiser party

Sunday March 30th, 6-9pm

The Dante Club

3 Dante Terrace

(entrance off Craigie St, between Somerville Ave & Summer St)

Somerville, MA

Free Parking!

Advance tickets available online (now) at


Did you LOVE HONKfest last year? Or the year before?

Do you agree with the NPR program producer who told us that it was the best event he'd experienced in the Boston area in 10 years?

Do you want another unforgettable honk in 2008?

Well now's the time to help us fund this street festival of socially and politically activist brass bands from around the world, to be held Columbus Day weekend, October 10-12, 2008.

The HONK! Festival is a non-profit, grassroots event, and although we are actively seeking grant money from various organizations, we depend primarily on donations to pay our expenses.

On Sunday March 30th, 6-9 PM, we will throw a fundraising party at the Dante Club, an awesome, little-known space in Somerville, featuring:

* the raucous, NOLA sounds of the Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band, and a chance to win them for a future party of your choice

* the uplifting, dance-inducing, ethnogroove music of Debo band

* the new film by Olivier Asselin, Honk You Very Much, based on last year's festival

* a showing of the 3-DVD set Return of HONK! by our friends at SCAT TV

* opportunities to support HONK! through the purchase of very very cool, unique and collectible HONK! buttons

* delicious food donated by fine local restaurants

* possible special appearance by comedian and political satirist Jimmy Tingle

Come join our party, and help us do what it takes to make this unique and inspiring event return again in 2008!




-Reebee Garofalo

Free Online Radio from the Music Genome Project

Pandora Radio is a fascinating development for those interested in new applications of music technology:


According to its makers, “Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country” (http://www.pandora.com/corporate/).

I can envision many ways that this kind of project could be used for music education programs. I encourage music educators to visit Pandora's website (linked above) to judge for themselves.