Most ideas and words can easily be misunderstood without context. Take the word chair. If I sit on the chair, he'll expel me from the committee. If you were thinking of a piece of furniture, my sentence didn't make much sense. You had to know I was talking about the chair of a committee; a person. … Continue reading What Is The Context?
A casual survey of so-called music theory books used by piano and violin teachers reveals that music theory is frequently understood to be the body of knowledge needed to read music. When students using these materials “learn music theory,” they are asked to name notes and chords, identify and define symbols such as key and … Continue reading What Is Music Theory and How Does It Fit Into Music Education?
Once a musical work has been selected (see my post for yesterday on selecting repertoire) the next step in the process of preparing it for performance is to analyze. The focus of the analysis should be constrained to what will be useful to the student, and to what interests the student in the work. Students … Continue reading Using Core Arts Standards To Teach Students How To Analyze Repertoire
Musicianship is one of those words that is used frequently but thought about rarely. As music teachers, we want our students to acquire musicianship, but we don’t necessarily spend much time specifically teaching it. Much of the time we are teaching skills, and then assuming musicianship will automatically follow. But it is often the case … Continue reading What is Musicianship?