Issues in Music Teaching

Issues in Music Teaching

Issues in Music Teaching

Issues in Music Teaching

Synopsis

Issues in Music Teaching stimulates critical reflection on a range of topics related to the teaching and learning of music in both the primary and secondary school. The chapters are written by experienced music educators representing a variety of perspectives in the field. The issues addressed include: *the historical and comparative context of music teaching *the place of music in the curriculum *the nature of music and music education *ICT and music education *music education and individual needs *continuity and progression in music education The book prompts the reader to be analytical and critical of theory and practice, and to become an autonomous professional and curriculum developer.

Excerpt

Chris Philpott and Charles Plummeridge

Everybody concerned with music in education will be aware of the considerable diversity of practice to be found in English and Welsh schools. Curriculum content and styles of teaching are obviously determined by many factors, but diversity is also indicative of the variety of beliefs, assumptions, values and ideals that inform practice. In spite of moves on the part of successive governments in recent years to establish a kind of educational orthodoxy, through centralised control, people continue to express a range of views and ideas on almost every aspect of education. There is a critical discourse that takes place in private and in public alongside the practical enterprise; as with all school subjects, the teaching and learning of music generate discussion and debate. Unfortunately, during initial and in-service education and training, the amount of time available for the critical examination of theoretical and practical issues is ever diminishing. Accordingly, many educators are of the opinion that such a state of affairs is stifling new thought and critical reflection; it is said that this can only be to the detriment of professional development. We hope that the chapters which follow will be of use to teachers in the process of becoming autonomous, reflective professionals and curriculum developers in their own right. Indeed, one of the purposes of this volume is to make a contribution to the music education debate by challenging some of the assumptions and principles that underpin national initiatives. However, we do not regard the book as being simply a critique of government policy and it is hoped that the content will be of interest and relevance, not only to teachers, but to all who are associated, both directly and indirectly, with the teaching of music in educational institutions.

The issues confronting music educators are frequently complex. This is clearly illustrated by the contributors to this collection, all of whom are experienced teachers and researchers and share a commitment to the growth and improvement of school music in its many forms. Some of the writers have concentrated on practical matters which are of daily concern to teachers in schools; others adopt a more theoretical approach. In each case the views expressed represent a personal perspective and at no stage has there been any attempt to adopt anything like a common 'philosophy'; in fact, this would have been entirely contrary to the general aim of the book which is primarily to highlight different positions and thereby stimulate discussion among members of the music education community.

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