Philosophy and Music Education
|•||What is music? Is music significant in human life? If so, why?|
|•||What is music education? Does music education deserve a secure place in general education? Why?|
|•||If cogent answers to these questions could be developed, what would this mean for the organization and conduct of music teaching and learning?|
Although it is directed first to pre-service and practicing music teachers, this book is for anyone who takes a serious interest in the above matters. Why the serious interest? The question is fair. For at first glance, the nature and significance of music education are straightforward. Consider the following:
In Seattle it's 8:15 A.M. Members of a high school wind ensemble listen to their conductor as she sings a passage from Bernstein Candide. "Do you hear how I build each motive toward the cadence?" The teacher asks the principal flautist, seventeen- year-old Clara Nette, to model the proper phrasing for the rest of the ensemble.
In Chicago it's mid-morning. Thirteen-year-old Tim Pani listens to a recording of God Bless the Child in his general music class. Tim's teacher calls out a sequence of numbers as the recording proceeds: "One . . . two. . . ." Tim finds number two on his listening chart and reads the following: "Melody a: short phrases; ostinato continues in low keyboard; chords in winds; drums punctuate." 1
In Toronto it's nearly lunchtime at Maple Leaf Elementary School. A ten-year-old singer named Sara Band improvises a pentatonic melody. Her classmates perform an accompaniment to Sara's improvisation on the school's Orff instruments.
In London it's early evening. The London Philharmonic is about to perform a children's concert. The conductor steps on the podium, turns to his young audience, and describes the paintings related to each section of the upcoming work: Pictures at an Exhibition.