The video from Richard Gill (2016a) provoked some interesting ideas on how to approach music. That students first need to fall in love with music before anything else. That students from a young age should start singing to appreciate music but also learn about melody, rhythm and that making music is being part of a community.
What was also fascinating that Richard Gill said is about understanding the value of music from Lady Ga-Ga to Mozart that we should start from the music that students love but expand to let students learn and improve themselves. To quote “A lot of people say, I know how we'll get to these kids, we'll do pop music all day, every day. Nothing wrong with pop music, but it's a bit like saying, I know how to feed these children. We're going to give them Mars bars every day.” Meaning that there is great value in pop music but there is a whole wealth of music to explore.
Therefore, as educators, we should encourage students to find their own path in music. There isn’t one option, there isn’t one repertoire for students to follow that is the correct way to teach music. The musician Francis Xavier(2016b) in the video shows how he was introduced to creating music by the community he was involved in and that music is made through sharing ideas and breeding creativity.
In Lucy Green’s book ‘Music, Informal Learning and the School: A New Classroom Pedagogy’ (2008) she talks about how informal learning by learning in friendship groups is a more authentic way of learning and students respond better to this way of learning. What happens is that students are able to see and understand why this way of learning is relevant to themselves and the impact it can have on themselves to create something worthwhile. That the tasks set are not arbitrary but instead exciting and engaging.
Green, L. (2008). Music, informal learning and the school: A new classroom pedagogy. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
The University of Sydney (2016a) The Place of Music in 21st Century Education. Available at: https://coursera.org/share/756064bb20bc2b5141b902b7e6011188 Accessed On 31st July 2020
The University of Sydney (2016b) The Place of Music in 21st Century Education. Available at: https://coursera.org/share/6d292c233bf19e3d8e1382c2250ff561 Accessed On 31st July 2020
I am the Projects Coordinator and Senior School Music teacher at XCL World Academy in Singapore. I have over 10 year of IB teaching experience and working on bringing great learning experiences and opportunities to students.