Event Title

Repositioning the Elements of Music: A Student Framework Worth Listening to

Start Date

30-5-2011 10:30 AM

End Date

30-5-2011 12:30 PM

Description

In this presentation we trouble the persistence in North American music education of the elements as the unit of analysis. Teaching the elements of music remains a Canadian curriculum mainstay, an anachronistic, simplistic requirement that, we contend, engenders pedagogies that are less than relevant and inspiring and can even be oppressive Presented as a body of knowledge belonging to academic musicians, these verbal/ analytical elements elicit pedagogies focussed on identification skills, definitions and closed-ended questions and dictate singular ways of listening and expressing. We describe how, under the pressures of standards and accountability, music teachers resort to academicking their music classrooms, confining musical understanding, thinking and expression solely to the realm of verbal language, disregarding the holistic, body/mind/spirit experience of musicking.

We use our experiences of the ways high school students respond to music in listening contexts to inform our understandings of what a meaningful, relevant music education might look like. Students love to talk about music as well as to create and perform it, but in different ways than an emphasis on the elements might dictate. We share what we learned from our students: they already possess a framework for talking about music, a framework worth listening to.

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May 30th, 10:30 AM May 30th, 12:30 PM

Repositioning the Elements of Music: A Student Framework Worth Listening to

In this presentation we trouble the persistence in North American music education of the elements as the unit of analysis. Teaching the elements of music remains a Canadian curriculum mainstay, an anachronistic, simplistic requirement that, we contend, engenders pedagogies that are less than relevant and inspiring and can even be oppressive Presented as a body of knowledge belonging to academic musicians, these verbal/ analytical elements elicit pedagogies focussed on identification skills, definitions and closed-ended questions and dictate singular ways of listening and expressing. We describe how, under the pressures of standards and accountability, music teachers resort to academicking their music classrooms, confining musical understanding, thinking and expression solely to the realm of verbal language, disregarding the holistic, body/mind/spirit experience of musicking.

We use our experiences of the ways high school students respond to music in listening contexts to inform our understandings of what a meaningful, relevant music education might look like. Students love to talk about music as well as to create and perform it, but in different ways than an emphasis on the elements might dictate. We share what we learned from our students: they already possess a framework for talking about music, a framework worth listening to.