#MFlearn19 Week 5 roundup

It’s getting to the end of term which for lots of people including me is a super busy time (which is why this short roundup is a week behind!)

Here’s a link to this week of the course 

Principle 5 is described as ‘a deep integration of performing, composing, listening & personal creativity.’ Emily Wilson in her two videos gave us some background on music education and the creative music movement. Before discussing the idea of “a continuum of creativity”…

“A greater focus on composition and improvisation has been appealed for more widely as… it locates students as active participants and creators, rather than consumers and re-creators of other musics. This also acknowledges students musical cultures”

Emily also talks about her musical education growing up and through becoming a teacher, with strong links to the concept of Bimusicality introduced in week 2.

Finally Emily talked about her recent PHD research, starting by clarifying that any principle or approach (for example informal learning) is only one part of a teacher’s practice. Her research asks the question: What are teachers doing in the whole of their practice to engage students?

She gave us a Reggae Jam Classroom Snapshot’ describing it is an “An example of deep engagement in whole class creative music making that had been co-constructed through improvisation”

Emily also states this lesson is actually based on classroom workshopping and non-formal teaching principles rather than Green’s informal learning principles. An important point to make, as the ‘Musical Futures approach’ as it is sometimes called is a combination of informal, non-formal, classroom workshopping. However the integration of performing, composing and listening is common to both informal and non-formal teaching principles and there are significant overlaps.

Finally Emily introduces a ‘Model of teaching for engagement in classroom music’. Round the outside there are characteristics of teaching for engagement brought together in the middle with 3 themes that represent principles of engaging classroom music teaching (drawn from education research).

When teachers include composition and improvisation this reflects both a student centered creative approach and real world learning practices of popular musicians. Also provides greater autonomy over selecting repertoire “when they were creating the repertoire they were positioned as curriculum makers”

As Danielle in her blog for this week writes “there will always be many ‘seat of the pants moments when you write… music with students… but as Clara Shumann said, “there is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it”.

Our readings for the week centred on creativity. Firstly a post from Peter Webster who writes that “the importance of western concert music beautifully performed by school ensembles is to be celebrated and must continue. But there is a price to pay if this is not blended with other ways of making music..

With more meaningful examples of real music learning they encourages reflection and creative thinking”. The second article is a lengthy piece on Musical Creativity as a Practice, that argues for th need to take a new approach to music education that promotes “practices that directly develop creativity”

There was also a lot of activity on twitter and in the Facebook chat…

Author: @sjeeves

I’m a music teacher also studying an MA in a Digital Education

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