There’s a perception that classical musicians are different to pop musicians. On some level, this is true when it comes to learning experiences, and as teachers, we need to choose the right pedagogy for the style being studied. However, there are some similarities across all styles of music and we can use these similarities to bring relevance to new music when expanding student musical horizons.
So what types of experiences can we give students?
In the classroom, we can start with these common music-making skills that exist across genres and use these to create relevance for the student from known music to the unknown. This way, we can create a balance between what is seen as 'classical' and what is seen as 'pop'. From here, we can then hone in on specific pedagogies to learn specific styles. Music pedagogy, for ourselves as musicians, and for our students, need to authentically align with the musical style we are studying. We need to model ourselves as 21st-century musicians and interact with music in a musical way, not merely a historical and theoretical way, in order to remain relevant.
The uni class I attended tonight was a great example of learning through observation rather than being *told* what should be learnt. The lecture was mostly in silence except for music which was created through demonstration/imitation, and the result was musically-meaningful performance/improvisation by students of differing musical ability. Our lecturer Nick Lane used Orff methods which not only taught us how to improvise with a piece of music (in this case, one of Nick's arrangements) but also demonstrated how to teach our own students to do this. It just goes to show how the Orff method can be used in any educational setting - in this case, teacher training, serving two purposes at once. Nick also used 'antennas beaters stance' when not playing, must be a standard Orff thing to do - comforting to see as I use that too! (Well, in one primary school we used 'unicorn beaters stance' as each student only had access to one beater each). Looking forward to next week's lecture.
Reflections/news on music, piano and music teaching, and anything else that pops up.