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A New Music School..What did you want in your Music education???

Discussion in 'Music' started by Kennymusic, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Hi all,



    I'm a musician and teacher, and i'm thinking about starting up a new music school.



    I'm interested, if you could go back in time, what would you change
    about (or add to) your exprience of music wherever you learnt it (in a
    band/at school/home etc!)?



    K [​IMG]
     
  2. Hi all,



    I'm a musician and teacher, and i'm thinking about starting up a new music school.



    I'm interested, if you could go back in time, what would you change
    about (or add to) your exprience of music wherever you learnt it (in a
    band/at school/home etc!)?



    K [​IMG]
     
  3. What sort of music school exactly? Instrumental teaching? Classroom teaching? Ensembles? What was your idea?
     
  4. Thank you very much for your response! Well, that's a good question - how much time do you have? ; )
    In a nut shell, my vision at present is a 10:30 - 2:30pm Saturday, with a mix of Instrumental, classroom and ensemble activities. I envisage an 1hr 30mins 'taught' lesson sandwhiched by some of the above sessions. It wouldn't be a typical classroom music lesson however, but would look to support students with their actual A level/GCSE lessons...I could go further here but I don't think time and space would permit!
    More importantly i guess is the ethos. The focus would be creativity and helping students engage with who they are as musicians. In this regard, repetoire would simply become a point of depature for the students...and music theory would not be taught discretely i.e. Music thoery classes, but as an integrated part of practical experiences, and as a response to the needs of the student, and any particular activity.
    I guess its worth saying that my ideas are in no way fixed, and I plan to trial these by running short projects during half-term and summer hols to see how students respond to this. My direction does come out of years of discussions with students themselves. And I suppose they are inflenced by constructivist teaching, my experience with improvisational music, and the effect this has on the person...
    Anyway...I guess at the moment I''m trying to get a feel for teachers' own experiences of music education to see what i need to keep in mind.



     
  5. I personally always wished A Level Music involved more practical elements. There was the choice of composition and performance and that was about it. I also wish there had been more interesting essays to write. Every single one was "compare and contrast the texture/harmony/rhythm/melody/etc of piece A and piece B". All very good for the development of my ability to analyse music but also very boring.
    Edit: Just so you know I'm not a teacher, but am on the road to becoming.
     
  6. I agree - I loved having the context to grapple onto when I was at university. Was totally fascinated by modules such as Tudor Politics and Music and German Music Between the Wars. It made older music much more relevant to me.
    I would have loved the opportunity at A Level to have done an orchestration with guidance and had the opportunity to hear it played by the chosen force (from string quartet to orchestra). Also showing more the relevance of analysis - so that we can learn to compose.
     
  7. More aural training.
    I would have done a lot more playing by ear than following scores all the time. Would have helped me as a musician as well as a teacher to notate music for ensembles faster.
    I've now become very dependant on scores and can hear intervals and panic if I am without one. Get those guys away from the paper!
     
  8. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Although analysis plays an important role in making listening more satisfying, in school teaching it is highly desirable to relate the product of analysis to music that students are playing and composing.
    And therein lies the difficulty. Very few students compose symphonies, concertos, orchestral masses, tone poems and the other genres that conventionally appear as set works.
    These require the analysis of macro structures that students are rarely likely to use.
    What really benefits students' composing and performing is micro analysis. How Bach or Vivaldi spin out a tiny motif to make a continuously unfolding stream of melody. How classical composers used strong, short chord progressions as the basis for melodic variation, and so forth.
    The use by AQA of set works such as complete symphonies by Shostakovich, Mahler and Vaughan Williams, or the suggestion by OCR that students should study unspecified bleeding chunks of works such as Die Walküre (along with a late 19th-century opera, Dido and Aeneas, West Side Story and much else besides) simply militates against relating analysis to the music that students perform and compose.
    I'm not entirely exonerating Edexcel, but I used their various anthologies from 1979 onwards, and there is much to be said for focusing in detail on a small number of short works. There is almost always something in each that can be analysed in a way that is meaningful to the work that students produce for themselves.
     
  9. What an extremely helpful answer that was; particularly as I begin another academic year, considering the implications of syllabus choice at GCSE and A Level, and, to a larger extent, the preparation to this in earlier years.

    I think you have summarised the situation perfectly when you say:

    'And therein lies the difficulty. Very few students compose symphonies, concertos, orchestral masses, tone poems and the other genres that conventionally appear as set works.

    These require the analysis of macro structures that students are rarely likely to use.

    What really benefits students' composing and performing is micro analysis. How Bach or Vivaldi spin out a tiny motif to make a continuously unfolding stream of melody. How classical composers used strong, short chord progressions as the basis for melodic variation, and so forth.'

    My present school does Edex AS/A2 but AQA at GCSE. I believe there's a real compatibility issue, and there shouldn't be. AQA maybe commendable in it's wholistic intentions, but I think students, teachers, tutors and the workplace require the clearer focus of Edexcel's current Specification.
     
  10. Well I don't have any problems with the music education that is being implemented. But there is something I want music education be these days, a good influence to kids and teens alike. Like what Napoleon Bonaparte said: "Of all the fine arts, music is that which most influences the
    passions, and
    that, therefore, which a legislator should do most to encourage. A few
    bars of moral music, composed by a master hand cannot fail to affect the
    feelings, and have much more influence than a well-written book about
    morality, which convinces our reason
    without altering our habits."

    It would be great to see change lives since they have indulged theirselves to music.
     

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