Abril, C. R., & Gault, B. M. (2016). Untangling general music education: Concepts, aims, and practice. In C. R. Abril & B. M. Gault (Eds.), Teaching General Music: Approaches, Issues, and Viewpoints (pp. 5-22). New York: Oxford University Press.
1. After reading the chapter there are several things I believe to problematic about general music. For example, a lot of people don't see the value of general music courses. "There is 'little consensus among school administrators and music educators about the value of general music courses for all students." (Abril and Gault, 8). A lot of the times people think of general music as singing and dancing and learning recorder. They don't see the value that taking general music courses has on students both in music and other aspects of their life. Also, I don't think people necessarily understand what general music is. I think we clump everything that isn't a traditional band, choral or orchestra ensemble into general music. Because of this, we don't know what is taught in general music courses, or necessarily a concrete definition of what general music is.
I think General music is challenging and awesome for many reasons. One thing I like about general music is how challenging it can be. As teachers we have to teach so many different aspects of music while keeping it engaging and challenging for all students. This can be difficult because you're teaching so many levels of learners in Elementary school. I also like that general music isn't just sitting in an ensemble and playing an instrument or singing. You can compose, dance, sing, and perform all in one class. It takes so many aspects of music and puts them together in one class.
2. I think there are several problems with using the words "approach" "Method" and "Eclecticism." First, using these words doesn't consider why we are doing this for students. Sometimes teachers will use a method because it worked for another class or group students in the past. I think we often use write experiences/lessons using methods that worked in the past, or approaches worked years ago but might not be relevant to students and classes now. By using a set method, there isn't much room for altering it during the lesson. As teachers we should be able to adapt while we are teaching based on what we see from students during the lesson, and sometimes using a set method/approach doesn't allow for much room to alter anything. As a music teacher I think it's important to consider "what was" and "what is" to help pave the way for the future students and classes. We should consider what worked in the past for students, and compare it to how students learn today to help determine what we can do in the future so students can be successful. To be an efficient and effective general music teacher I think you need to willing to adapt to constantly changing times and your constantly changing students. I also think you need to consider that when you write lessons and experiences it's ok to alter the plan to fit the students in front of you. As teacher we can use methods that worked in the past while altering them so they can cater to students in our class today. I think this can make us more effective and efficient teachers.
3. Why is general music so important in Elementary School? (Other than creating a basis knowledge of music)
How do we bridge the gap between catering to students who are presently in our class, while still using traditional methods (Orff, Kodaly) that worked in the past but might not be as relevant today?
I will share reflective essays, and philosophical documents on this page.