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Advances in technology can help children play and compose music. The first site describes a project of the Centre for Research in IT in Education, which draws from the field of cognitive development, learning styles theory and educational best practice to develop DrumSteps. This tool, available for downloading, enables children to create, manipulate, edit and save original pieces of percussion music. A user-tracking feature allows the teacher or researcher to follow along with student files click-by-click, giving valuable insights into the students' thinking. The Centre is also examining pedagogical issues surrounding a parallel project, which is described on the second site. Toy Symphony is a project of the MIT Media Lab and Media Lab Europe and offers software, which enables children to compose-by-drawing. The bulk of the project, however, develops specially designed Music Toys, which enable children to engage in sophisticated listening, performing and composing activities normally accessible only after years of study. Videos of the workshops, as well as live concerts in which children play alongside some of the world's most accomplished musicians, are also available to download. [VF]
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