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Deconstructing and Re-imagining Repertoire in Music Teacher Training Tim Palmer – Senior Lecturer in Music Education Abigail Longden – PGCE student.

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Presentation on theme: "Deconstructing and Re-imagining Repertoire in Music Teacher Training Tim Palmer – Senior Lecturer in Music Education Abigail Longden – PGCE student."— Presentation transcript:


2 Deconstructing and Re-imagining Repertoire in Music Teacher Training Tim Palmer – Senior Lecturer in Music Education Abigail Longden – PGCE student

3 ‘…creative work in music has often been challenged as being of doubtful value in itself, having little bearing on conventional musical education… However, the first step must be the understanding of the medium and its potential. We can only discover this through creative experiment.’ Paynter, J. & Aston, P. (2008) p.8 ‘By starting with activities that are not too far removed from the child’s immediate experience, creativity becomes integrated within the child’s existing musical experiences and skills.’ Burnard, P. (2000) p.21

4 The Problem? ‘From this it becomes apparent that teachers rate encouragement of spontaneity and personal choice among the least important aspects of performance teaching.’ p.209 ‘The questionnaire reveals that private performance teachers assign little importance to [composition], and highlights the potential difficulties that many teachers may encounter when attempting to integrate their work with a student’s wider music education.’ p.210 ‘statistical tests showed that ‘projection of structure’, ‘music analysis’ and ‘theory’ were rated significantly lower than all other elements. These ratings suggest that teachers view all of the these elements as being indirectly related to music performance and performance teaching.’ p.211 Ward, V. (2004)

5 Background Creative project, start of term 2 of PGCE Analysis, followed by ‘backbone’ improvisation (Walduck, J. (2005)) ‘Pentatonic Melody’ No. 61 from Book 2 of Bartok’s Mikrokosmos Recordings every year from Jan 2006 (two years on a different piece). Qualitative research from current cohort





10 Musical Outcomes (1) Gamelan sound world Compositional Techniques Canon Heterophony (on pitch set) Heterophony (on melody) Hocket

11 Musical Outcomes (2) Genres Minimalist Aleatoric Spanish Funk How to cope with the coda…

12 Research Questionnaires to PGCE Cohort (10/11 returned) Anonymous, incentive of champagne… Quantitative & qualitative Q’s on: experience responses to the project leadership & application to teaching future applications

13 Background Experience To be used for cross-checking responses to experience/instrument group

14 Responses to the task (1) Question about notation/analysis supporting improvisation: ‘Having the choice to analyse the music from the score gave me a better understanding of the structure … …which therefore meant that I could produce improvisation of better quality.’ Q1 ‘The notation gives the performer a starting point (notes to use, rhythms).’ Q9 ‘You saw the ideas first and picturing your own melodies were easier then.’ Q2

15 Responses to the task (2) Question about improvisation/CC supporting memory: By experiencing the music I felt that I could understand it better & therefore remember it.’ Q3 By improvising you experience [the compositional parameters] & make a more direct connection with their effect and function than by listening.’ Q6 Understanding how Bartok used small ideas to create a big piece.’ Q7

16 What was learnt from leading? ‘you have to be quite strong in your decision making. This is both in terms of knowing what you want and communicating this to your musicians’. Q6 ‘incorporating your own music style actually worked better than trying to stay with the Bartok’. Q8 Themes Developing a musical style – moving away from Bartok to a different musical style Leadership skills – the experience of directing an ensemble

17 What challenged in rehearsal & recording? ‘As a teacher, it meant accepting the aim for the learning was experiential’. Q6 being able to generate interesting musical ideas the ability to remember a part understanding and valuing what had been learnt creating something with intention rather than something that just fits ‘…exploring the difference between understanding a piece from a technical point of view, and from a musical, more inate one…’ Q6

18 Relevance for development as a teacher ‘To see that using a score as a starting point can open up improvising and making your own music to some pupils. It was important to be able to experience that to be able to use that in the future’ Q2 ‘unveiling what your students know already is as important as sharing your knowledge and views’ Q6

19 Applications of the task (IVT) ‘Taking basic elements from an existing piece & improvising allows students to build on their creative skills.’ Q1 ‘Spending little time on analysing through notes, & then exploring the ideas practically.’ Q3 ‘Definitely breaking down and analysing the score. This would be great with 1-1 piano lessons.’ Q10 ‘The experiential aspect – particularly useful in explaining modes/harmonies’ Q6

20 Applications of the task (Set Work) ‘Looking at the compositional devices used could really help with improvisation in a classroom environment.’ Q10 ‘Giving leadership to students, which could help stretch them & their compositional activities.’ Q3 ‘…sharing ideas of ways to recontextualise ideas & compositional devices.’ Q6

21 Applications of the task (Informal/Community Settings) Self-directed or pupil-led learning Focus on compositional techniques Practical creativity and listening Collaborative contributions from all

22 Main obstacles to integrating into professional practice Concern about notation distancing pupils Choosing the right piece The need to incorporate formal assessment Restricted ability to innovate in a school Time

23 Enterprise Pedagogy? The teacher: Sets a brief that requires students to create a real piece of music for a real purpose. Encourages students to be imaginative in creating their own response to the brief. Puts students in control of their own work. Allows students to make mistakes, accepting the risk that students will get things wrong rather than guiding them towards a preconceived solution. Facilitates learning, supporting students in working out what they need to learn. Guides students towards considering the different roles required to meet the brief and who in their group is best suited to each role. Garnett, J. (2013) p.5

24 Bibliography Burnard, Pamela. "Examining experiential differences between improvisation and composition in children's musicmaking." British Journal of Music Education 17 (2000): 227-245. Burnard, Pamela. "How Children Ascribe Meaning to Improvisation and Composition: Rethinking pedagogy in music education." Music Education Research 2, no. 1 (2000): 7-23. Garnett, James. "Enterprise pedagogy in music: an exploration of multiple pedagogies." Music Education Research 15, no. 1 (2013): 1-18. Harris, Paul. Improve Your Teaching: an essential handbook for instrumental and singing teachers. London: Faber, 2006. Humphreys, J. T. "Toward a reconstruction of 'creativity' in music education." British Journal of Music Education 23 (2006): 351-461. Lennon, Mary, and Geoffrey Reed. "Instrumental and vocal teacher education: competences, roles and curricula." Music Education Research 14, no. 3 (2012): 285-308. Major, Angela E. "Talking about composing in secondary school music lessons." British Journal of Music Education 24 (2007): 165-178. Mills, Janet, and Jan Smith. "Teachers' beliefs about effective instrumental teaching in schools and higher education." British Journal of Music Education 20 (2003): 527. Mills, Janet, and John Paynter. Thinking and Making: selections from the writing of John Paynter on Music in Education. Oxford: Oxford Music Education, 2006. Nielsen, Siw G. "Learning Strategies in Instrumental Music Practice." British Journal of Music Education 16 (1999): 275-291. Parker, Diane. "The Improvising Leader: developing leadership capacity through improvisation." In A Cultural Leadership Reader, edited by Sue Kay and Katie Venner. London: Cultural Leadership Program, 2010. Paynter, John, and Peter Aston. "Sound and Silence." In Thinking and Making: selections from the writing of John Paynter on Music in Education, by Janet Mills and John Paynter. Oxford: Oxford Music Education, 2006. Walduck, Jackie. "Collaborative Arts Practice and Identity." In The Reflective Conservatoire, edited by George Odam and Nicholas Bannan. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. Ward, Vicky. "Good performance, music analysis and instrumental teaching: towards an understanding of the aims and objectives of instrumental teachers." Music Education Research 6, no. 2 (2004): 191-215. Ward, Vicky. "Teaching musical awareness: The development and application of a 'toolkit' of strategies for instrumental teachers." British Journal of Music Education 24 (2007): 21-36.

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