Perhaps it started when I worked as a video producer and had to select background music that would lift the visuals to another level that I once mused about a story character that lived with a perpetual music sound track in his mind every moment everyday.
So it was interesting to read in Kawaguchi‘s Geeky-Girly Innovation the exact suggestion that technology that offers an accompanying soundtrack for everything we do could add a touch of theatrics and improve the quality of life. (This is a fascinating book which examines the many uniquely Japanese quirks that has led to innovative products in Japan and which has potential for a wider market too.)
Since the Walkman was first introduced and the current popularity of portable music players, the notion of an all-day accompanying personal music selection is already a reality. Personally, I find it useful to have music background when I work, especially when I need to concentrate on something creative.
When I look at the typical classroom, I find that music has almost no place. As we introduce devices like the iPad and smart phones, it is inevitable that these come with music playing capability. If a student working on a written assignment wishes to tune in to his music in order to focus, is that a good thing?
Are we ready to mine this for learning? Can music improve motivation, memory and performance, and if so, how can we exploit this?