After reading Benedict’s chapter on different methods and strategies in the classroom, I feel like I am well informed about different approaches I can use in my classroom.
The first approach discussed was Emile Jaques -Dalcroze who talks about connecting music through the body. He starts with rhythm and using the body to help students understand rhythm. Once, they have that down, he’ll start to add in music. This approach is still confusing to me, I am unsure as to how he is incorporating music and body movement to help to teach solfege. Is he using body movements, or solfege symbols?
Another approach described is Kodaly’s. He uses hand signals created during the Renaissance period to teach solfege. Similar toe Jaques-Dalcroze’s system, they start the students with learning pitches. They then slowly teach and add different pitches, adding one in at a time. I think this is good because the student’s will have mastered rhythm before they even think about pitches.
I think the approach I connected with the most, and found the most interesting was Orff’s because it can be used for all sorts of grade levels, and for any type of musician. It is good so general music because it provides the students with a way to discover music, without just being given notes on a page and worksheets. This allows learners who need the hands on approach to discover and figure out solfege through trial and error.
Another approach comes from Shinichi Suzuki. He believes that everyone is born with raw talent, and there is a specific approach to handling it so everyone can live up to that talent. His approach involves private lessons. The parents of the students actually sit in on the first couple months and learn alongside their child. He has his students learn by listening to recordings and going to concerts before they even think about note reading. This is similar to Orff’s approach, although he uses improvisation as well as listening to start to develop musicianship. One thing that is different about Suzuki’s approach is that when student’s masters a piece they move on, but when they learn new concepts in the new repertoire they will go back to what they have already learned and apply it. I like this because it applies what they are learning and connects it to music they’ve already learned so it takes it one step further.
Edward Gordon’s music learning theory is similar to Suzuki’s because he believes that everyone has the potential and aptitude to learn music. However, Gordon goes a step further to explain how someone’s race, economic status, and where they grew up/the environment they grew up in can all affect their ability to truly and understand music. However, as you get older your ability to learn music and understand it diminishes as you age. This theory is different from everything I learned in this chapter because it goes more behind what can affect music learning rather then a method you can use to teach students and help them understand.
This chapter was very insightful and helped me understand different methods and approaches to teaching people music and rhythm and solfege.