The Art of Teaching Music

The Art of Teaching Music

The Art of Teaching Music

The Art of Teaching Music

Synopsis

Written for both established teachers and instructors on the rise, this book takes up important aspects of the art of music teaching, ranging from organisation to serving as a conductor to dealing with the disconnect between the ideal of university teaching and the reality in the classroom.

Excerpt

I have oft en remarked to my students on the similarity of teaching and music. In thinking of teaching as an art and craft, I see teaching as a metaphor for music and music as a meta phor for teaching. This double-meta phor may not seem, at least superficially, to get us very far. A critic might suggest that if music is regarded as a meta phor for teaching and teaching as a metaphor for music, each is defined in terms of the other and this smacks of tautological or circular thinking. Still, this critic has made a crucial error and is mistaken. The principal purpose of meta phors is not to define but to illumine. Thinking about teaching as an art and craft such as music juxtaposes music and teaching so that we may think musically about teaching; thinking about music as teaching juxtaposes teaching and music so that we think pedagogically about music. Both juxtapositions set us thinking about music and teaching in potentially different ways. And this is one of the purposes of metaphor.

My objective in this book is not to define music education, for I have tackled this task in an earlier book, In Search of Music Education. Nor is it to examine the changes that are needed in music education, because I have begun to do this in Transforming Music Education. Rather, I seek to share principles that I see as important in the life and work of a music teacher— principles that emerge out of my reading and reflection on my own lived experience. I focus on the music teacher since those of us who teach music are in a crucial position to help our students develop as people, musicians, and lovers of music and culture. This emphasis should not be read to diminish the importance of the student in the instructional pro cess. However, as becomes clear in these chapters, as we take stock of our own lives and work, we are paradoxically better able to help our students. And so I begin with our practical work as teachers.

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