Learning from Japanese vocaloid Hatsune Miku

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


This chapter explores the educational importance of Hatsune Miku, a Japanese Vocaloid, or singing vocal android, whose name translates as “first sound from the future.” Drawing on a theoretical framework from sound studies, we characterize Vocaloids such as Miku as a medium for musical development and experience in which people, practices, institutions, and technologies create recurrent patterns of social interaction from which the recognizable medium of “Miku” emerges. A vignette from one of the author’s experiences creating with Miku leads to an exploration of educational issues within Miku. Also examined are recent efforts by Yamaha to introduce Vocaloid to schools. The discussion explores continuing challenges and issues for the profession going forward, including speculation on potential challenges and outstanding issues. Copyright © 2020 Oxford University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of social media and music learning
EditorsJanice L. WALDRON, Stephanie HORSLEY, Kari K. VEBLEN
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190660789, 9780190660796
ISBN (Print)9780190660772
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


Thibeault, M. D., & Matsunobu, K. (2020). Learning from Japanese vocaloid Hatsune Miku. In J. L. Waldron, S. Horsley, & K. K. Veblen (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of social media and music learning (pp. 511-528). New York: Oxford University Press.


  • Music education
  • Technology
  • Media
  • Sound studies
  • Hatsune Miku
  • Vocaloid
  • Musical development


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