For this assignment I collaborated with Sarah Humphreys.
1. How do you interpret Allsup's points to consider (bottom of p. 107)? Put another way, what do these points mean to you and for your current or future teaching? Also, what norms/traditions, even ones that you value deeply, might need to be further inspected, evaluated, and adapted? Identify at least 2 norms/traditions and explain why they might need to be revisited.
I interpret Allsup’s points to mean that traditions and norms can be altered, or adjusted, according to technology, the kinds of students we have in our classrooms, and what is relevant at that specific time. This may also mean listening to our students, and allowing them to explore other avenues, than just what we we learn in class, and that they are interested in. I think one norm that might need to be revisited is what we study in music classes during K-12. We play and are taught how to read notes, and rhythms, and what chords are being played. While I believe it is important that we continue to teach those, I also think we can move towards allowing a more student-centered classroom. This might mean allowing students to plan lessons, geared toward genres or topics their curious about. This wouldn’t be getting rid of “norms”, It would just be altering curriculum so students get more out of class.
2. What is Allsup really getting at in this chapter when he writes things such as "a third meaning," "moving beyond the predetermined," and "opening a closed form"? What are the key suggestions that Allsup is making? What do these suggestions mean to you?
What I got from his “third meaning” was changing the traditions into a more open meaning. For example when he talks about “moving beyond the predetermined” he talks about moving away from performance towards more creative ways of creating music. For example, uses alternative instruments, maybe that you created, to write a piece to perform. Allsup wants music educators to expand upon the already existing classroom and make it more of a collaborative learning environment where students can have a say and an active role in what they are learning. This could mean keeping the “norms” like ensemble playing, but creating an open form by allowing students to have a say in the music they want to play. Getting students more involved is a key role in opening up the music classroom.
3. Review JMU's 8 Key Questions. Though Allsup did not have access to JMU's work on ethical reasoning, much of his work in this text directly connect to issues of ethics in music education. Identify at least 4 key questions and how Allsup might answer those questions based on this chapter (make specific reference to pages/locations).
4. Allsup also addresses the question of responsibility (page 131) when he compares music to an art and to a trade. He is addressing that it is our responsibility as music educators to preserve the beauty of music as an artform, rather than as a trade, because art is always changing and new whereas a trade is studied down to a science that tends to lack beauty. Allsup is calling music educators to action to take responsibility to change the way music is treated in a classroom.
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