Over the past week, I have had the chance to look over several method books for beginning instrumental music, and there are a few commonalities that i've noticed. For example, they all seem to follow the same pattern of beginning instrumental learning. They start out with one note and then as the method book continues on they keep adding notes and different concepts in a specific pattern. The instrumental learning process is very structured, and there's really no room for any informal learning. These books have the teachers giving instruction, and determining everything that the class will do each day. There isn't really any room for students to give feedback, or learn in multiple ways. However, these books can also be beneficial for students because they provide a resource for students who want extra help while learning an instrument.
These books can underrepresent certain populations or genres of music. They tend to generally be the same classic repertoire in each, and they don't provide other genres (like rock, or pop that every one can recognize). This can isolate students because they might not want to play just classical music. I think these books do a good job of meeting all the standards for beginning instrumental music. However, they sometimes fail to meet the interested of the students, with the content of the books themselves. It was interesting to examine a method book from the side of the teacher, and seeing in what ways it relates to beginning instrumental education and the essential questions we're discussing in class.
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