Making students culturally aware

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Making students culturally aware

Postby Tranquillo » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:27 am

I'm going to teach real soon, in a few weeks and these last few months, I have accumulated a list of ideas and philosophies to what I value the most in my music education, what I think is most important, how that will affect the way I treat music and how I treat my students music. Reading over various pedagogical books, such as Bartok's ideas, method books such as Thompson and Alfred, further to this, I have been exploring beginners repertoire and determining what is straight forward, what helps and assists the student and what doesn't.

We live in a society where everything is received instantly, the internet, mobile phone, the concept of twitter, facebook and myspace allow for instant communication and access to information. The question I'd like to pose is: How does this affect the way teachers teach? What does this do to music education? The answer appears to be quite simple, with method book titles such as "Learn the piano in 9 weeks!" ... we can see that students seem to want to learn things quickly and efficiently. This does make me wonder, do teachers just want to teach technique and repertoire, delegating other aspects such as theory and history as secondary? How about being culturally aware? As a undergraduate student majoring in music, I go to concerts on a very regular basis. I think that concert going is extremely important. I also believe that reading about performance practice, being aware of harmony and voice leading, understanding history and context to the composer's life, lifestyle and instrument is essential to being a good musician.

The question is, do my students want this? Or do they just want to learn to play the piano, minus the concert going, history and theory? Should I endorse history, theory and concert going as fundamental and as part of their education, or should it be optional? The gut feeling to me is yes, but perhaps that will change when I start teaching, though I would love to hear what others have to say about this.
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