Singing with Hatsune Miku: Vocaloids as a medium for music learning

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In this short paper we explore the educational implications of Hatsune Miku. Miku is a Japanese vocaloid—software that can produce a sung performance. Following work in the field of sound studies, we characterize Miku as a medium—a contingent network of people, practices, institutions, and technologies that come to be recognized via patterns of engagement and recurring relations. We briefly consider three perspectives of Miku’s network: first, Miku as “she” through her global pop stardom; second, Miku as “it” via the technological dimensions; and, third, Miku as “they” by considering the community of fandom and producers from which she emerges. Having established the basic outlines of the medium of Miku, the article presents engagement with Miku through the vignette of one of the author’s first experiences singing through Miku. Finally, we outline some of the educational issues latent in Miku and other mediated music education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


Thibeault, M. D., & Matsunobu, K. (2017, July). Singing with Hatsune Miku: Vocaloids as a medium for music learning. Paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research (APSMER 2017): Music Education Transcending Borders, The Historical City of Melaka, Melaka, Malaysia.


  • Music education technology
  • Media education
  • Sound studies
  • Hatsune Miku
  • Vocaloid


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