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Music education is a field of study associated with the teaching and learning of music. More than merely teaching notes and rhythms, music education seeks to develop the whole person. It touches on the development of the affective domain, including music appreciation and sensitivity. It helps to develop fine motor skills in students who play instruments. And it expands cognitive development through the recognition and interpretation of musical notation. The incorporation of music training from preschool to postsecondary education is common in most nations because involvement in music is considered a fundamental component of human culture and behavior. Each culture possesses its own musical language that reflects its own traditions, concerns, and activities.

Overview

In elementary schools, children often learn to play instruments such as keyboards or recorders, sing in small choirs, and learn about the elements of musical sound and history of music. Although music education in many nations has traditionally emphasized Western classical music, in recent decades music educators tend to incorporate application and history of non-western music to give a well-rounded musical experience and teach multiculturalism and international understanding. In primary and secondary schools, students may often have the opportunity to perform in some type of musical ensemble, such as a choir, orchestra, or school band: concert band, marching band, or jazz band. In some secondary schools, additional music classes may also be available. In junior high school or its equivalent, music usually continues to be a required part of the curriculum.

At the university level, students in most arts and humanities programs may receive academic credit for taking music courses, which typically take the form of an overview course on the history of music, or a music appreciation course that focuses on listening to music and learning about different musical styles. In addition, most North American and European universities have some type of music ensemble in which students from various fields of study may participate such as a choir, concert band, marching band, or orchestra. Many universities also offer degree programs in the field of music education, allowing their students to become certified educators of primary and secondary school ensembles as well as beginner music classes. Advanced degrees can lead to university employment. These degrees come with the completion of varied technique classes, private instruction, numerous ensembles, and in depth observations of educators in the area. Music education departments in North American and European universities also often support interdisciplinary research in such areas as music psychology, music education historiography, educational ethnomusicology, sociomusicology, and philosophy of education.

The study of Western art music is increasingly common in music education outside of North America and Europe, including Asian nations such as South Korea, Japan, and China. At the same time, Western universities and colleges are widening their curriculum to include music of non-Western cultures, such as the music of Africa or Bali (e.g. Gamelan music), as well as even rock music (see popular music pedagogy).

Music education also takes place in individualized, life-long learning, and community contexts. Both amateur and professional musicians typically take music lessons, short private sessions with an individual teacher. Amateur musicians typically take lessons to learn musical rudiments and beginner- to intermediate-level musical techniques.

Instructional methodologies

While instructional strategies are bound by the music teacher and the music curriculum in his or her area, many teachers rely heavily on one of many instructional methodologies that emerged in recent generations and developed rapidly during the latter half of the 20th Century:

Major international music education methods

Kodály method

Depiction of Curwen's Solfege hand signs.
This version includes the tonal tendencies and interesting titles for each tone.
Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) was a prominent Hungarian music educator and composer who stressed the benefits of physical instruction and response to music. Although not really an educational method, his teachings reside within a fun, educational framework built on a solid grasp of basic music theory and music notation in various verbal and written forms. Kodály's primary goal was to instill a lifelong love of music in his students and felt that it was the duty of the child's school to provide this vital element of education. Some of Kodály's trademark teaching methods include the use of solfege hand signs, musical shorthand notation (stick notation), and rhythm solmization (verbalization).

Orff Schulwerk

Carl Orff was a prominent German composer. The Orff Schulwerk is considered an "approach" to music education. It begins with a student's innate abilities to engage in rudimentary forms of music, using basic rhythms and melodies. Orff considers the whole body a percussive instrument and students are led to develop their music abilities in a way that parallels the development of western music. The approach encourages improvisation and discourages adult pressures and mechanical drill, fostering student self-discovery. Carl Orff developed a special group of instruments, including modifications of the glockenspiel, xylophone, metallophone, drum, and other percussion instruments to accommodate the requirements of the Schulwerk courses.

Suzuki method

The Suzuki method was developed by Shinichi Suzuki in Japan shortly after World War II, and it uses music education to enrich the lives and moral character of its students. The movement rests on the double premise that "all children can be well educated" in music, and that learning to play music at a high level also involves learning certain character traits or virtues which make a person's soul more beautiful. The primary method for achieving this is centered around creating the same environment for learning music that a person has for learning their native language. This 'ideal' environment includes love, high-quality examples, praise, and a time-table set by the student's developmental readiness for learning a particular technique. While the Suzuki Method is quite popular internationally, within Japan its influence is less significant than the Yamaha Method, founded by Genichi Kawakami in association with the Yamaha Music Foundation.

Dalcroze method

The Dalcroze method was developed in the early 1900s by Swissmarker musician and educator Émile Jaques-Dalcroze. The method is divided into three fundamental concepts - the use of solfege, improvisation, and eurhythmics. Sometimes referred to as "rhythmic gymnastics", eurhythmics teaches concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression using movement, and is the concept for which Dalcroze is best known. It focuses on allowing the student to gain physical awareness and experience of music through training that takes place through all of the senses, particularly kinesthetic. According to the Dalcroze method, music is the fundamental language of the human brain and therefore deeply connected to what human beings are.

Other Notable methods

In addition to the four major international methods described above, other approaches have been influential. Lesser-known methods are described below:

The "creative music movement"

During the 1960s and 70s there was a move towards incorporating children's musical "play" into the classroom. In the UK the "York Project" led by John Paynter made a huge impact. The project's main pedagogical methods are available in Paynter and Aston's book Sound and Silence: Classroom Projects in Creative Music (1970). Meanwhile in Canada the influential music educator Murray Schafer was doing similar work, as described in his book Ear Cleaning. In the creative music movement children were encouraged to make music themselves, often using Orff instruments or other classroom percussion, rather than engaging in the more traditional activities of class singing, theory and listening to classical music.

Gordon Music Learning Theory

This method is based on an extensive body of research and field testing by Edwin E. Gordon and others. Music Learning Theory provides the music teacher a comprehensive method for teaching musicianship through audiation, Gordon's term for hearing music in the mind with understanding. Teaching methods help music teachers establish sequential curricular objectives in accord with their own teaching styles and beliefs.

Conversational Solfege

Deriving influence from both Kodály methodology and Gordon's Music Learning Theory, Conversational Solfege was developed by Dr. John M. Feierabend, chair of music education at the Hartt School at the University of Hartfordmarker. The philosophy of this method is to view music as an aural art with a literature based curriculum. The sequence of this methodology involves a 12 step process to teach music literacy. Steps include rhythm and tonal patterns and decoding the patterns using syllables and notation.

Carabo-Cone Method

This early-childhood approach sometimes referred to as the Sensory-Motor Approach to Music was developed by the violinist Madeleine Carabo-Cone. This approach involves using props, costumes, and toys for children to learn basic musical concepts of staff, note duration, and the piano keyboard. The concrete environment of the specially planned classroom allows the child to learn the fundamentals of music by exploring through touch.

MMCP

The Manhattanville Music Curriculum Project was developed in 1965 and is an alternative method in shaping positive attitudes toward music education. This creative approach centers around the student being the musician and involved in the discovery process. The teacher gives the student freedom to create, perform, improvise, conduct, research, and investigate different facets of music in a spiral curriculum.

History of Music Education in the U.S.A.

18th century

After the preaching of Reverend Thomas Symmes, the first singing school was created in 1717 in Boston, Massachusettsmarker for the purposes of improving singing and music reading in the church. These singing schools gradually spread throughout the colonies. Reverend John Tufts published An Introduction to the Singing of Psalm Tunes Using Non-Traditional Notation which is regarded as the first music textbook in the colonies. Between 1700 to 1820, more than 375 tune books would be published by such authors as Samuel Holyoke, Francis Hopkinson, William Billings, and Oliver Holden.

19th century

In 1832, Lowell Mason and George Webb formed the Boston Academy of Music with the purposes of teaching singing and theory as well as methods of teaching music. Mason published his Manuel of Instruction in 1834 which were based upon the music education works of Pestalozzian System of Education founded by Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. This handbook gradually became used by many singing school teachers. From 1837-1838, the Boston School Committee allowed Lowell Mason to teach music in the Hawes School as a demonstration. This is regarded as the first time music education was introduced to public schools in the United States. In 1838 the Boston School Committee approved the inclusion of music in the curriculum and Lowell Mason became the first recognized supervisor of elementary music. In later years Luther Whiting Mason became the Supervisor of Music in Boston and spread music education into all levels of public education (grammar, primary, and high school). During the middle of the 19th century, Boston became the model to which many other cities across the United States included and shaped their public school music education programs. Music methodology for teachers as a course was first introduced in the Normal School. The concept of classroom teachers in a school that taught music under the direction of a music supervisor was the standard model for public school music education during this century.

Early 20th century

In the United States, teaching colleges with four year degree programs developed from the Normal Schools and included music. Oberlin Conservatory first offered the Bachelor of Music Education degree. Osbourne G. McCarthy, and American music educator introduced details for studying music for credit in Chelsea High School. Notable events in the history of music education in the early 20th century also include:
  • Founding of the Music Supervisor's National Conference (changed to Music Educators National Conference in 1934, later MENC: The National Association for Music Education in 1998) in Keokuk, Iowamarker in 1907.
  • Rise of the school band and orchestra movement leading to performance oriented school music programs.
  • Growth in music methods publications.
  • Frances Elliot Clark develops and promotes phonograph record libraries for school use.
  • Carl Seashore and his Measures of Musical Talent music aptitude test starts testing people in music.


Mid & Late 20th century

The following table illustrates some notable developments from this period:

Date Major Event Historical Importance for Music Education
1950 The Child's Bill of Rights in Music A student-centered philosophy was formally espoused by MENC.
1953 The American School Band Directors Association formed The band movement becomes organized.
1957 Launch of Sputnik Increased curricular focus on science, math, technology with less emphasis on music education.
1959 Contemporary Music Project The purpose of the project was to make contemporary music relevant in children by placing quality composers and performers in the learning environment. Leads to the Comprehensive Musicianship movement.
1961 American Choral Directors Association formed The choral movement becomes organized.
1963 Yale Seminar Federally supported development of arts education focusing on quality music classroom literature. Juilliardmarker Project leads to the compilation and publication of musical works from major historical eras for elementary and secondary schools.
1965 National Endowment for the Arts Federal financial support and recognition of the value music has in society.
1967 Tanglewood symposium Establishment of a unified and ecletic philosophy of music education. Specific emphasis on youth music, special education music, urban music, and electronic music.
1969 GO Project 35 Objectives listed by MENC for quality music education programs in public schools. Published and recommended for music educators to follow.
1978 The Ann Arbor Symposium Emphasized the impact of learning theory in music education in the areas of: auditory perception, motor learning, child development, cognitive skills, memory processing, affect, and motivation.
1984 Becoming Human Through Music symposium "The Wesleyan Symposium on the Perspectives of Social Anthropology in the Teaching and Learning of Music" (Middletown, Connecticut, August 6-10, 1984). Emphasized the importance of cultural context in music education and the cultural implications of rapidly changing demographics in the United States.
1994 National Standards for Music Education For much of the 1980s, there was a call for educational reform and accountability in all curricular subjects. This led to the National Standards for Music Education introduced by MENC. The MENC standards were adopted by some states, while other states have produced their own standards or largely eschewed the standards movement.
1999 The Housewright Symposium / Vision 2020 Examined changing philosophies and practices and predicted how American music education will (or should) look in the year 2020.
2007 Tanglewood II: Charting the Future Reflected on the 40 years of change in music education since the first Tanglewood Symposium of 1967, developing a declaration regarding priorities for the next forty years.


Music course offerings and even entire degree programs in online music education developed in the first decade of the 21st century at various institutions, and the field of popular music pedagogy has also seen notable expansion.

Standards and assessment

Standards are curricular statements used to guide educators in determining objectives for their teaching. Use of standards became a common practice in many nations during the 20th century. For much of its existence, the curriculum for music education in the United Statesmarker was determined locally or by individual teachers. In recent decades there has been a significant move toward adoption of regional and/or national standards. MENC: The National Association for Music Education, created nine voluntary content standards, called the National Standards for Music Education. These standards call for:
  1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
  4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
  5. Reading and notating music.
  6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
  7. Evaluating music and music performances.
  8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
  9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.


Many states and school districts have adopted their own standards for music education. Often, these local standards are related in some way to the National Standards.

Washington State has piloted a classroom based performance assessment which requires 5th and higher grade students to compose music on a staff and sight sing from sheet music without the aid of instruments. It is designed to assess standards expected to be attained by all students. Sight singing is a learning requirement in the state at the 8th grade level. Other states are evaluating possible performance assessments as well.

Integration with other subjects

Some schools and organizations promote integration of arts classes, such as music, with other subjects, such as math, science, or English. It is thought that by integrating the different curricula will help each subject to build off of one another, enhancing the overall quality of education. Music education can play a vital role in the development of the whole child and their scholastic journey.

One example is the Kennedy Centermarker's "Changing Education Through the Arts" program. CETA defines arts integration as finding a natural connection(s) between one or more art forms (dance, drama/theater, music, visual arts, storytelling, puppetry, and/or creative writing) and one or more other curricular areas (science, social studies, English language arts, mathematics, and others) in order to teach and assess objectives in both the art form and the other subject area. This allows a simultaneous focus on creating, performing, and/or responding to the arts while still addressing content in other subject areas.[149356]

Significance of Music Education

Music not only inspires creativity and performance, but academic performance over all is seriously impacted. A research study produced by the Harris Poll has shown that 9 out of 10 individuals with post graduate degrees participated in music education. The National Report of SAT test takers study indicated students with music performance experience scored higher on the SAT: 57 points higher on verbal and 41 points higher on math. Schools that have high academic performance in the US are spending 20 to 30% of their budget in the arts with emphasis on music education.

Music education also increases one's success in society. The Texas Commission on Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Report noted that students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances.

An education in music also increases overall brain activity. Research done at the University of Wisconsin has indicated that students with piano or keyboard experience performed 34% higher on tests that measure spatial-temporal lobe activity, which is the part of the brain that is used when doing math, science, and engineering. its also been accepted that children that are exposed to music at an early age in child development have better reasoning skills than those that are exposed to computers at a young age.

Music advocacy

In some communities - and even entire national education systems - music is provided very little support as an academic subject area, and music teachers feel that they must actively seek greater public endorsement for music education as a legitimate subject of study. This perceived need to change public opinion has resulted in the development of a variety of approaches commonly called "music advocacy". Music advocacy comes in many forms, some of which are based upon legitimate scholarly arguments and scientific findings, while other examples rely on unconvincing data and remain rather controversial.

Among the more recent high-profile music advocacy projects that have become the subject of widespread controversy are the "Mozart Effect" (which is now widely believed to be based on misinterpretation and exaggeration, or even pseudoscience), and the National Anthem Project, which sought to harness American patriotic fervor during early stages of the "War on Terrorism" (2004-2007) with the hope that music education could be "saved" through the resulting increase in publicity for school music programs.

Many contemporary music scholars assert that music advocacy will only be truly effective when based on empirically sound arguments that transcend political motivations and personal agendas. This position regarding music advocacy has especially been advanced by music education philosophers (such as Bennett Reimer, Estelle Jorgensen, David J. Elliott, Wayne Bowman, etc.), yet a gap remains between the discourse of music education philosophy and the actual practices of music teachers and music organization executives.

Influential music educators







International professional organizations



American professional organizations



See also



References

  1. Yudkin, J. (2008). Understanding Music (p. 4). Upper Saddle River, NJ:Pearson/Prentice Hall.
  2. Randel, D. (Ed.) (1986). Education in the United States. In The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (pp. 276-278). London/Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
  3. Orff Approach
  4. This is verified in numerous publications. See Genichi Kawakami, Reflections on Music Popularization (Yamaha, 1987), Shinobu Oku, Music Education in Japan (Nara: Neiraku Arts Centre, 1994), and David G. Hebert, Music Competition, Cooperation, and Community: An Ethnography of a Japanese School Band (Ann Arbor: Proquest/UMI, 2005).
  5. GIML: The Gordon Institute for Music Learning
  6. A Sensory-Motor Approach to Music Learning. Book I - Primary Concepts
  7. The Colonial Period: 1600-1800 - Timeline: Music Education History/Philosophy (archived)
  8. Riley, Martha Chrisman, "Portrait of a Nineteenth-Century School Music Program", Journal of Research in Music Education, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Summer, 1990), pp. 79-89, MENC: The National Association for Music Education
  9. "Zoo Tunes"
  10. http://www.menc.org/resources/view/harris-poll-links-music-education-to-higher-incomes
  11. http://www.menc.org/resources/view/music-and-the-mind
  12. http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/benefits.html
  13. ttp://www.menc.org/resources/view/music-beats-computers-at-enhancing-early-childhood-development
  14. International Society for Philosophy of Music Education
  15. IAJE: International Association for Jazz Education


Bibliography

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  • Kertz-Welzel, Alexandra. "Didaktik of Music: A German Concept and its Comparison to American Music Pedagogy." International Journal of Music Education (Practice) 22 No. 3 (2004): 277-286.
  • Kertz-Welzel, Alexandra. "General Music Education in Germany Today: A Look at How Popular Music is Engaging Students." General Music Today 18 no. 2 (Winter 2005): 14-16.
  • Kertz-Welzel, Alexandra. "Performing with Understanding: Die National Standards for Music Education und ihre internationale Bedeutung." Diskussion Musikpädagogik 27 (2005): 34-39.
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  • Sorce Keller, Marcello. "Music Education in Italy: Something New on the Western Front", International Journal of Music Education, 10(1987), 17- 19.


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