A Developing Discourse in Music Education: The selected by Keith Swanwick

By Keith Swanwick

In the World Library of Educationalists series, overseas specialists collect career-long collections of what they pass judgement on to be their best items – extracts from books, key articles, salient study findings, significant theoretical and sensible contributions – so the realm can learn them in one practicable quantity. Readers should be capable of stick to the subjects and strands and notice how their paintings contributes to the advance of the field.

Since the book of A foundation for song Education in 1979, Keith Swanwick has endured to be an immense impact at the idea and perform of song schooling. The overseas charm of his insights into the basics of song and song schooling is recognized in invites from greater than twenty international locations to provide Key observe shows, behavior workshops, and recommend as a specialist. those contain such different locations as Kazakhstan, Colombia, Iceland and Papua New Guinea. in the course of 1998 he was once traveling Professor, collage of Washington.

In this assortment, Swanwick brings jointly 12 of his key writings to give an outline of the improvement of his personal paintings and of the sector of song schooling. The textual content permits the reader to think about Swanwick’s method of song schooling and the way it really is characterized via a priority for musical, and to a point wider creative, methods, formed through his adventure as a instructor and appearing musician in various settings, and likewise via the affects of philosophers, psychologists and sociologists.

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25 When it is over of course we feel a dislo­ca­tion, a jolt, a coming-to in another world: not because the world of art is less real, but because it is more real, more vividly exper­i­enced, more alive, more highly integ­rated and struc­tured. What we exper­i­ence is a sense of loss, a kind of waking up to less reality, famil­iar to every child who does not want to finish the last page of a story. * * * One problem lingers on. Are we able to work in schools and other insti­tu­tions in such a way that the arts can be true to them­selves?

The whole time has been spent in skill acquis­i­tion. We have not begun to notice the musical inten­tions of the composers, or take into account how the audit­ors (congreg­a­tion) will respond on Sunday. A class in school is attempt­ing to perform a contem­por­ary piece called Sound Patterns I, by Bernard Rands. It is diffi­cult. There are complex nota­ tional devices to be under­stood, conductor’s signals to be watched and a contem­por­ary style to be mastered. After fifteen minutes they are obvi­ously a little confused and not without signs of boredom.

It is all too easy to become fixed in posi­tion as, say, a flaut­ist or pianist, or a church organ­ist or chor­is­ter, or a musi­co­lo­gist or composer or mere ‘listener’ without the vital­iz­ing exper­i­ence of coming to know how music feels from altern­at­ive posi­tions and within the context of differ­ent rela­tion­ships. There are then two crucial educa­tional points to be kept in mind as we consider the modes of rela­tion­ship between people and music. The first of 28 The parameters of music education these is that teach­ers should be concerned with the promo­tion of specific musical exper­i­ences of one kind or another.

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