Riffing on course redesign

Leveraging pedagogy for teaching music online


  • Benjamin Phipps University of South Wales




online music teaching, music course design, music education


In this article, I riff on redesigning music education for online delivery from the perspective of an ethnomusicologist and teacher working as an educational developer during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. I explore how the affordances and limitations of remote learning and online technologies impacted the pedagogical approaches I use to design music courses in tertiary education. Issues such as the applicability of curriculum to students’ working life and active learning have become pertinent to teaching and learning scholarship over the last two decades. Over the last year, these issues were placed under further scrutiny, and calls have accelerated for re-examining strategies that build foundational skills and embrace more active learning design. For music teaching, this poses a unique opportunity to make courses more relevant to our students and create improved social outcomes for music education. However, adapting courses also presents a significant challenge in converting pedagogy to be sustainable in the current tertiary education sector. I reflect on educational developments that can enhance university music teaching through the benefits of technology and pedagogy that improve student learning.

Author Biography

Benjamin Phipps, University of South Wales

Dr Benjamin Phipps currently works as an Educational Developer at the University of New South Wales. His research examines how musicians learn and develop their improvisational practices, particularly in jazz and world music. Previous research has examined the development of improvisational practice amongst double bass players using ethnomusicological methods.


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How to Cite

Phipps, B. . (2021). Riffing on course redesign: Leveraging pedagogy for teaching music online. Perfect Beat, 21(1), 63–68. https://doi.org/10.1558/prbt.19236