The art of teaching music

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [UQ Library]On: 05 November 2014, At: 03:49Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Music Education ResearchPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:</p><p>The art of teaching musicDiana Harris aa The Open University , UKPublished online: 01 Mar 2010.</p><p>To cite this article: Diana Harris (2010) The art of teaching music, Music Education Research, 12:1,124-126, DOI: 10.1080/14613800903569278</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoeveror howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to orarising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp;Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p></p></li><li><p>Frohlich, C. 2009. Vitality in music and dance as basic existential experience. In Commu-nicative musicality: Exploring the basis of human companionship, ed. S. Malloch andC. Trevarthen, 495512. Oxford: Oxford University Press.</p><p>Malloch, S., and C. Trevarthen, eds. 2009. Communicative musicality: Exploring the basis ofhuman companionship. Oxford: Oxford University Press.</p><p>Mithen, S. 2005. The singing Neanderthals: The origins of music, language, mind and body.London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.</p><p>Pinker, S. 1997. How the mind works. London: Penguin Books.Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). 2001. Planning for learning in the foundation</p><p>stage. London: DfES/QCA.</p><p>Linda Pound</p><p>Freelance education consultant (early years)</p><p></p><p># 2010, Linda Pound</p><p>The art of teaching music, by Estelle R. Jorgensen, Bloomington, IN, USA, Indiana</p><p>University Press, 2008, 344 pp., 18.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-253-21963-3; 56</p><p>(hardback), ISBN 978-0-253-35078-7</p><p>A veteran teachers practical approach to music education, on the back cover of this</p><p>book, gives us a clue to the experience which comes from Estelle Jorgensen, a</p><p>thoughtful and highly respected teacher in the field of music education and</p><p>philosophy of music. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that this book covers</p><p>every aspect that could possibly be considered part of the life of the music teacher,</p><p>particularly within the US system of music education, where Jorgensen has spent</p><p>most of her teaching life. However, it is also relevant for any thinking musicians and</p><p>education students, many of her points being about teaching in general.</p><p>In her preface, Jorgensen tells us that she does not intend to define music</p><p>education in this book, having tackled that previously in In search of music education</p><p>(1997), but rather that, I seek to share principles that I see as important in the life</p><p>and work of the music teacher principles that emerge out of my reading andreflection on my own lived experience (xi). The one-word chapter titles are divided</p><p>into three categories: Who ought the teacher to be? containing Teacher, Value,</p><p>Disposition, Judgement and Leader; What is the nature of musicality at the</p><p>heart of music teaching?: Musician, Listener, Performer and Composer; and</p><p>How should music instruction be conducted?: Organization, Design, Instruc-</p><p>tion, Imagination and Reality. Rather than taking points from all of these</p><p>chapters I have decided to concentrate on one, Listener, for two reasons: first,</p><p>because Jorgensen uses the same approach to each chapter, thus ensuring a</p><p>continuity of style throughout; and, secondly, because this is the chapter that had</p><p>most impact on me, and that I feel best shows the depth of reflection to be found.</p><p>Having said that, I have rarely read a book that is so packed full of ideas and my</p><p>summary of the chapter below still only skates over the key points.</p><p>In the first paragraph of Chapter 7, Listener, Jorgensen tells us that, Since we</p><p>are dealing primarily with sounds, a primary focus of our teaching needs to be on</p><p>how to help our students hear them intelligently (111). This stopped me in my tracks</p><p>because I do not think I have ever put intelligent and listening together. Gripped</p><p>124 Book reviews</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>UQ</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 03:</p><p>50 0</p><p>5 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>already, I was pleased that Jorgensen dispensed with the idea of differentiating</p><p>between musical listening and hearing in favour of concentrating on the various</p><p>sorts of musical listening that are possible and valid (111). She then goes on</p><p>to describe the ways in which music, constructed sonically, can be listened to:</p><p>intellectually, sensually, experimentally, performatively, contextually, technically,</p><p>peripherally and repetitively.Intellectual listening refers to how a listener contemplates and reflects before,</p><p>while and after the music sounds. Here Jorgensen looks at the position, held by</p><p>many, that the meaning of the music is to be found in its structure and that music</p><p>therefore needs to be analysed to be understood. She then points out that this</p><p>apparently singular musical meaning will mean different things depending on</p><p>your philosophy of music, so that expressionist, pragmatic, phenomenological or</p><p>feminist listeners (115) will hear the music differently. When we listen to music</p><p>sensually we are engaging on a different level. This is what Copland and Sessions</p><p>would consider a primal and instinctual response. For Jorgensen this is most evident</p><p>when listening to live rock music. But in the classical music field the driving and</p><p>pulsating rhythms in the music of such composers as Stravinsky and Orff (117)</p><p>appeal most directly to what she calls the basic and instinctual (117) part of her.</p><p>The reason she calls them instinctual is because the responses tend to happen before</p><p>she is conscious of thinking about how they have happened. Another way of</p><p>expressing this is to say that it is bodily listening, and for a teacher it should be a</p><p>reminder of the interaction between the body and music.Listening experientially is passionate, felt and receptive (119) and is centred in</p><p>our emotional life. One of the key points here is that even though we respond</p><p>strongly to the music, we would find it difficult to express what we feel; the</p><p>experience cannot be grasped vicariously (120). In other words if you have not</p><p>actually been at a concert you could not know what had transpired there. Whereas</p><p>listening sensually can be done instinctually this type of music requires a holistic</p><p>approach, bringing together intellect, emotion and sense that is active and receptive,</p><p>subjective and objective (120). Jorgensen likens it to a sort of sacred space (121)</p><p>where we experience awe and wonder.</p><p>When we listen performatively it relates to our own ability as performers.</p><p>Jorgensen believes that members of the audience who are not performers would not</p><p>be able to respond in this way. Listening to other people performing will allow us to</p><p>hear things we would probably not have heard when performing ourselves. Contextual</p><p>listening happens when the music we are listening to is associated with the place or</p><p>context where we hear it; it is bound up with cultural or social significance.Listening for the various constituent skills that comprise music making (127) is</p><p>what Jorgensen means by technical listening. She further breaks this down into</p><p>different skill-sets to allow for all the aspects that go into producing music, from the</p><p>composer through to the manager in charge of aspects such as lighting and sound</p><p>amplification for special effect. Here she cautions about making technical listening</p><p>exclusive, rather than inclusive, a process which can hinder the development of</p><p>student understanding. Peripheral listening is that which occurs in the context of</p><p>other life activities. Perhaps, in this day and age when music seems to be everywhere</p><p>many of us would not call this listening at all. But Jorgensen reminds us of Vernon</p><p>Howard who distinguished between focal awareness when we are concentrating on</p><p>something, and peripheral awareness which is not the primary activity. Although</p><p>Music Education Research 125</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>UQ</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 03:</p><p>50 0</p><p>5 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>we may too often use peripheral listening in the background when students are</p><p>involved in some other creative activity for example, it does serve to remind us that</p><p>music is part of lived life and has an important role in such things as a bell tolling at</p><p>the beginning of a religious ritual.</p><p>Finally, listening repetitively has been brought about by technical advances that</p><p>have allowed us to record and replay exactly identical performances. Whilst</p><p>acknowledging the point made by Attali that this has devalued music to the extent</p><p>that people can possess or own it rather than being engaged with [it] spiritually or</p><p>sensuously (131), it has allowed us a unique opportunity to hear great performances</p><p>frozen in time. It has, of course, also greatly widened the music available for us to</p><p>share with our students. However, this also has its disadvantages when live traditions</p><p>become lost to the world. In the conclusion to this chapter on listening Jorgensen</p><p>writes:</p><p>What is the value of understanding these various types of listening? Having sketchedsome of the different purposes, methods, advantages, and limitations, we are now in aposition to choose wisely and well, knowing that listening is not a monolithic processbut comes in several varieties. (134)</p><p>As an experienced teacher and teacher educator myself much of this book came as a</p><p>welcome refresher, with new insights along the way to allow for more reflection on</p><p>my own practice. For every beginning music teacher this should be compulsory</p><p>reading, going a long way beyond advice for a particular sector, and presenting a</p><p>picture of music teaching that can be adapted to suit any situation. Here are</p><p>Jorgensens closing words:</p><p>We are comforted to realize that in spending our lives in music teaching we are spendingthem doing good for others, enriching and transforming their lives personally, musicallyand culturally. And I know of no better, happier and rewarding way to live. (284)</p><p>Diana Harris</p><p>The Open University, UK</p><p></p><p># 2010, Diana Harris</p><p>The singing book, by Meribeth Dayme and Cynthia Vaughn, London,</p><p>W.W. Norton &amp; Company, 2008 (2nd Edition), 367 pp., 23.99 (paperback), ISBN</p><p>978-0-393-93052-8</p><p>This takes the form of a book and accompanying CDs and is suitable for all kinds of</p><p>singers who want both technical information about how the voice works and a variety</p><p>of songs to sing. It is well laid out, easily accessible and presents a refreshing no-</p><p>nonsense approach. The accompanying two-CD set gives listening options for learning</p><p>and practising the songs. Both class teachers and conservatoire teachers will find this</p><p>invaluable as a core text for vocal students as well as a useful anthology of songs.There are three sections in The singing book. The first, entitled The First Steps to</p><p>Singing Easily, has a multi-dimensional approach, where pupils are encouraged to</p><p>think for themselves and make a voyage of discovery through applying mental,</p><p>126 Book reviews</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>UQ</p><p> Lib</p><p>rary</p><p>] at</p><p> 03:</p><p>50 0</p><p>5 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li></ul>