Saturday, March 28, 2009

To Survive, School-Based Music Education Music Shift

Music Education is traditionally thought of in terms of General Music, Band and Chorus. But, except in a few schools, the vast majority of students are not enrolled in Band and Chorus.

So, how should we teach music to everyone else? Should reading music be a priority? Notating music? Are these, perhaps, roadblocks to music creation, involvement and enjoyment?

The REALITY is that, even among people who earn a living as musicians, only a full 10% can actually read music. A popular example is Paul McCartney. Would anyone call Sir Paul musically illiterate? Hardly. He's made quite a few dollars in his day as a performing musician.

The shift now needs to be towards experiencing, analyzing and constructing music. We have the tools, thanks to technology, to "compose" music without having to write music notation. Loop-based music software allows us to achieve this (ie...Sony Acid, Pro Tools, etc..). We music educators can and should provide access to these tools for all students in the future. When we do, we may proudly proclaim that EVERY student is a music student.

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