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Common Misconceptions in Music

Discussion in 'Music' started by englishteach101, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    I'm currently doing a secondary GTP through Newman University in Birmingham and my next assignment is to produce a presentation and accompanying paper on common misconceptions in music.
    I have a lot of information on what I feel are my students particular misconceptions (including 'why do we have homework for music, music is a practical subject' and 'I can't sing' etc.), however don't really know if what I'm experiencing is the 'norm', and mirror what other music teachers find. As the only music teacher in the school, I'm hoping that you'll be able to assist me with a bit of contrast and compare.....
    Any thoughts welcome on what are the most common misconceptions you've had in secondary music (from students or parents/other teachers!). I'd be really appreciative if you could assist with any comments, anecdotes, lengthy stories etc.
    Answers on a postcard!
    S
    [​IMG]
     
  2. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Hi all,
    I'm currently doing a secondary GTP through Newman University in Birmingham and my next assignment is to produce a presentation and accompanying paper on common misconceptions in music.
    I have a lot of information on what I feel are my students particular misconceptions (including 'why do we have homework for music, music is a practical subject' and 'I can't sing' etc.), however don't really know if what I'm experiencing is the 'norm', and mirror what other music teachers find. As the only music teacher in the school, I'm hoping that you'll be able to assist me with a bit of contrast and compare.....
    Any thoughts welcome on what are the most common misconceptions you've had in secondary music (from students or parents/other teachers!). I'd be really appreciative if you could assist with any comments, anecdotes, lengthy stories etc.
    Answers on a postcard!
    S
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mrs Music

    Mrs Music New commenter

    Every year when I have the very first lesson with my new GCSE groups there are always one or two in the class who when I outline the amount of coursework that they have to do, say "****, I picked music 'cos I thought you wouldn't have to do any work".

    There are always one or two who don't really play anything either.
     
  4. v12

    v12

    Common misconceptions:
    That Jimmy Hendrix is the greatest ever guitarist. Quite <u>unlikely </u>- I've seen 15 year olds mimic JH's precise playing style and sound so he can't have been that good!
    That all the performers on Britain's Got X Factor Openmic are brilliant musicians. No they aren't.
    That Beethoven or Mozart were the only composers that ever lived - and that all classical music is by them! Pah!!
    That music teachers only listen to classical music in their spare time.
     
  5. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    This is ace, thank you both for replying so quickly!
    I showed a year 8 group my ipod the other day, and they were almost bowled over to find out that I knew who Eminem was, litened to Dizzy Rascal and had a lot of the same music as they did.
    I think they thought they were the sad ones rather than me coming off as 'cool miss' though!?!
    Brill,

    S
     
  6. Sir Cumference

    Sir Cumference New commenter

    Common misconceptions:
    That silence in music is unimportant
    That some people can't "get" music
    That some forms of music are "not as good" as others
    That "music and maths go together"
    That left handed guitarists have to re-string their guitar upside down
    That you can actually say one musician is "better" than another

     
  7. v12

    v12

    When I took my first (large) GCSE class - years and years ago - I introduced myself to the class and each of the children, themselves to me.
    After all the brilliant violinists and oboists and pianists (it was a very nice grammar school) one cocky boy stated he played the electric guitar, to which I said something like "oh do you?!".
    The sneering continued with him posturing about the fact that he knew more about electric guitar music than I could possibly know, to which I probably replied that I, indeed, listened to a lot of different types of music and I'd bring him in some REAL guitar playing from a REAL electric guitarist to listen to if he liked - to which he retorted that he would jolly well do the same, thank you very much.
    Imagine the scene the next lesson when we both slapped down exactly the same CD on the table! It was hilarious and we've since never lost touch - we got like a house on fire after that. He is now a very serious session musician in his 30s!

    The CD, by the way, was Surfing With The Alien by Joe Satriani.
     
  8. There is a misconception among some people I've met that a drum is not a "real" instrument, and also that djembes are not "real" drums - many children reserve that term to mean a drum set.

    There is a definite misconception among many rock band members that playing music in a band is a competitive sport, rather than a team effort! They each turn their own amps up as high as they can (right up to eleven!), trying to showcase their own (imagined) virtuosity, and further give themselves away when they say things like "how can this instrument compete with that one?"
     
  9. armandine2

    armandine2 Occasional commenter

    The "love of music" is a common fallacy.
     
  10. Common misconceptions:

    That music is just a doss-about subject where you never have to do any work.

    That louder is always better.

    That to be a successful music producer (or anything in the realm of music technology and/or popular music) you don't need to know anything about music theory.

    That you can still do really well in (academic) music if you don't read staff notation (controversial, I know).

    That woodwind/string instruments are only played by girls or sissies.

    That only geeks listen to "classical" music.

    That no good music was ever made before about 1950.

    That how one person sounds is more important than the group as a whole.

    That someone can write a great piece of music without any knowledge of music theory (esp. harmony).
     
  11. Please allow me to rephrase my previous post in a more readable manner:



    Common misconceptions:



    That music is just a doss-about subject where you never have to do any work.



    That louder is always better.



    That to be a successful music producer (or anything in the realm of music technology and/or popular music) you don't need to know anything about music theory.



    That you can still do really well in (academic) music if you don't read staff notation (controversial, I know).



    That woodwind/string instruments are only played by girls or sissies.



    That only geeks listen to "classical" music.



    That no good music was ever made before about 1950.



    That how one person sounds is more important than the group as a whole.



    That someone can write a great piece of music without any knowledge of music theory (esp. harmony).
     
  12. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Thank you, this is all great stuff.
    Is there anyone who has experienced misconceptions about their music department/staff/curriculum or indeed anything else from other members of staff at school? Or parents?
    S
     
  13. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Established commenter

    There's a belief that children who can play an instrument are 'talented'. This really annoys me as it seems to ignore all the hard work that's gone into learning the instrument. Two of my children are not particularly talented but have been well taught and have practised and achieved a good level on their instruments. I think a lot of non musicians think they were somehow born able to play!
     
  14. Students at my school have it in their heads that if it's not X Factor, it's not music.
    Therefore they don't need to be able to read or write music to make it in the music industry... Simon Cowell will give them a contract if they are good enough.
    Therefore they don't need to be able to play the guitar, or the piano, or sing christmas carols... After all, Leona Lewis has made it!


    Lots of students also believe they're no good at music because they can't play an instrument.
    Lots of students also think they're better than everyone else because they can play an instrument. Even if they can't play it well.

    They also think that unless they want a career in music, taking music beyond Key Stage 3 is a waste of time... They don't see any transferable skills that they can take into the work place....


     
  15. spanboy

    spanboy New commenter

    A year 6 clarinettist came to me this afternoon saying she wanted to give up the clarinet and take up drums - by doing this she thought she would 'bypass' having to learn any theory!
    Another misconception: that music/arrangements write themselves e.g. SMT approaching the music teacher to 'sort out' piece 'x' for the school band to perform with only a couple of days notice! This happened to me - a full 18-piece big band score of 'Gonna Fly Now' (Rocky Theme), arranged, rehearsed (with a young, inexperienced band who were VERY poor at sight reading) and performed all within 3 days - and kids could NOT come out of lessons to rehearse! Other staff/parents/SMTs just don't understand our load sometimes - we're not superhuman especially as many of us are a dept of 1.
     
  16. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Probably worth pointing out the copyright issues surrounding such an arrangement to your SMT and asking whether they are prepared to pay for the rights to make an arrangement!
     
  17. I didn't read the question in quite the same way as the previous responses. I was thinking about misunderstandings rather than prejudice. For example, pupils who may describe texture as dependent on the number of instruments playing, rather than the number of layers of sound. A reference to the tempo getting 'higher', not because they can't tell the difference between tempo and pitch but because they are familiar with the the expression 'high-speed'. I heard of a pupil who thought that a broken chord was one which had been played with the wrong notes. Of course, none of mine ever make mistakes of this kind!
     
  18. v12

    v12

    Unless you're Lionel Bart. Who was rather successful really.
     
  19. And Danny Elfman, Paul Mcartney etc...
     
  20. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Paul McCartney had lots of knowledge of music theory he just couldn't read music (those things are not the same).
     

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