Is it jazz? Is it classical?
When experiencing or performing music, I consider myself indifferent to such genres and labels.
However, looking back on my blog posts, I’ve contradicted myself. I don’t hesitate to label music education “jazz,” “classical” or otherwise. So I thought I should clarify some things, and list some of my priorities where music education is concerned.
First, here is a fundamental principle:
- Music makes life better; Music creates powerful positive experiences
Without this belief, music education is meaningless. Thus, my goal as an educator is to optimize my methods and – to the best of my abilities – make lives better. In working to optimize my methods, I keep two more principles:
- Music brings people together
- Music is a vehicle for individual exploration and development
So far, these ideas are genre-free. I’m indifferent to all styles, traditions and methods as long as they’re working to achieve the above as best as they can. Here’s how they might do that:
Music Brings People Together
- Teach aurally
- Teach students how to communicate musically with other musicians.
- Have students, musicians and teachers playing/improvising together regularly
- Have regular community hangs, performances and sessions
- Support a common body of repertoire
- Support live music
- Encourage the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next
- Encourage the students and the community to be creative together
- Encourage participation and active listening
Music as a Vehicle For Individual Exploration and Development
- Develop instrumental skills
- Develop cognitive skills (executive functions)
- Develop improvisational skills
- Foster creativity
- Offer private lessons
- Push students to read, write and study music
- Deepen an individual’s relationship with music
I don’t care if these ideas are used to cultivate a community around Baroque music. Any community that prioritizes the above would be making life better! I admire that.
Communities that don’t prioritize the above should make improvements.
Stay tuned for Part 2!