This paper examines some of the problems involved when learning how to compose music. A prototype computer‐based music tool called Coleridge is described. Coleridge was used in a study that investigated the dialogues that took place when a mentor attempted to encourage creative reflection in students. Results of dialogue analysis suggested that because learners seem unable to make accurate predictions about how a musical phrase will sound, there is a real need for a computer‐based learning assistant. Finally, the paper reports on how these findings were used to motivate the design of a mentor's assistant in a new version of Coleridge
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