Music Teaching and Learning
How can music teachers organize music teaching and learning in ways that are true to the nature and values of music? The previous chapter ended by proposing that all music curricula ought to be organized and implemented as reflective musical practicums. The most reasonable and effective way to develop the musicianship of all music students is to structure music teaching situations as judicious models of genuine musical practices. Before discussing the next three stages of music curriculum making, let us consider the practicum concept of curriculum in broader perspective.
The practicum concept of curriculum has its roots in that ancient model of education called the "apprenticeship." The reflective practicum builds upon and refines several characteristics of the mentor-apprentice relationship that grounded teaching and earning in earlier times. Collins, Brown, and Newman elaborate:
Only in the last century, and only in industrialized nations, has formal schooling emerged as a widespread method of educating the young. Before schools appeared, apprenticeship was the most common means of learning and was used to transmit the knowledge required for expert practice in fields from painting and sculpting to medicine and law. Even today, many complex and important skills, such as those required for language use and social interaction, are learned informally through apprenticeship-like methods--that is, methods not involving didactic teaching, but observation, coaching, and successive approximation.
The differences between formal schooling and apprenticeship methods are many, but for our purposes, one is most important. . . . In apprenticeship learning. . . . target skills are not only continually in use by skilled practitioners, but are instrumental to the accomplishment of meaningful tasks. Said differently, apprenticeship embeds the learning of skills and knowledge in their social and functional context. . . . 1
Apprenticeship is the way we learn most naturally. 2