Music, Informal Learning and the School: A New Classroom Pedagogy

Music, Informal Learning and the School: A New Classroom Pedagogy Website price:£15.29 (Regular price: £16.99)
  • Lucy Green, The Institute of Education, University of London, UK
  • Series : Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series
  • This pioneering book reveals how the music classroom can draw upon the world of popular musicians' informal learning practices, so as to recognize and foster a range of musical skills and knowledge that have long been overlooked within music education. It investigates how far informal learning practices are possible and desirable in a classroom context; how they can affect young teenagers' musical skill and knowledge acquisition; and how they can change the ways students listen to, understand and appreciate music as critical listeners, not only in relation to what they already know, but beyond. It examines students' motivations towards music education, their autonomy as learners, and their capacity to work co-operatively in groups without instructional guidance from teachers. It suggests how we can awaken students' awareness of their own musicality, particularly those who might not otherwise be reached by music education, putting the potential for musical development and participation into their own hands.

    Bringing informal learning practices into a school environment is challenging for teachers. It can appear to conflict with their views of professionalism, and may at times seem to run against official educational discourses, pedagogic methods and curricular requirements. But any conflict is more apparent than real, for this book shows how informal learning practices can introduce fresh, constructive ways for music teachers to understand and approach their work. It offers a critical pedagogy for music, not as mere theory, but as an analytical account of practices which have fundamentally influenced the perspectives of the teachers involved.

    Through its grounded examples and discussions of alternative approaches to classroom work and classroom relations, the book reaches out beyond music to other curriculum subjects, and wider debates about pedagogy and curriculum.

  • Contents: Introduction; The project's pedagogy and curriculum content; Making music; Listening and appreciation; Enjoyment: making music and having autonomy; Group cooperation, ability and inclusion; Informal learning with classical music; Afterword; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

  • About the Author: Lucy Green is Professor of Music Education in The Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

  • Reviews: 'If you want to teach popular music in schools then find out how successful popular musicians learn and apply these methods in the classroom. This blindingly simple insight has eluded much pedagogic practice to date. By innovatively theorising, demonstrating, and assessing the practical implementation of this, Lucy Green may have provided a manifesto for rebalancing classroom music teaching and setting it on a new and more fruitful track.'
    John Sloboda, FBA. Keele University. Author of The Musical Mind

    ‘The book should be of interest to music educators, but also to teachers in any discipline as the ideas of the book can potentially be implemented in other educational settings than those concerned with music. Educators outside of the UK can also adopt such pedagogical strategies to their classroom, provided that they adapt the pedagogy so that it covers their curriculum content. The book should also be of interest to curriculum-designers and policy makers.’ Educate

    ‘… this is a very important music education book, not only challenging established views and prejudices of music teaching, but also demonstrating how teachers could act to make a difference and work for change. Reading this book is a must for every music educator, not necessarily with the aim of copying every detail of the project, but to relate to, reflect and act upon in his/her ongoing music teaching. This project is also a very good example of praxis-based research. The thick descriptions and the sharp, well-structured analyses offer a great amount of valuable knowledge to researchers as well as educators.’ Music Education Research

    ‘… the sophisticated and methodical analysis that Green brings to this work is a helpful illumination that should empower, promote and extend the activity of music educators across our schools.’Journal of Music Technology and Education

    ‘Viewed altogether, the Musical Futures initiative, the empirical authority and depth of this project, and finally this compelling and excellent book, make a major contribution to music education. Music, Informal Learning and the School should be on the reading list of everyone who believes in the power of music to transform the lives of young people everywhere.’ Classroom Music Magazine

    ‘… an important book that chronicles the realities of taking seriously the values and views of adolescents as to their music and the ways in which they prefer to know it better. It gives pause for putting into practice what has been discussed and debated for some time in music education, and in education at large, and paves the way for further developments in making music reasonable and relevant for students in secondary schools.’ British Journal of Music Education

    ‘Apart from the teaching strategies and learning approaches demonstrated by Green, there is much here that music educators can use. ... Music, Informal Learning and the School opens a discourse about music education that can only benefit music education as a whole. Books such as this rarely appear. If you have any passion for music education, this one will be for immediate consumption. Agreement is not compulsory; entering into the debate is.’ Research Studies in Music Education

    ‘... this reviewer was won over by the courage and commitment demonstrated by Green (Univ. of London, UK) and her colleagues in creating a program designed to encourage participation in music making that builds on students' current tastes in music... This book will be valuable not only to those interested in performing arts education but also to scholars of scientific disciplines that are, like the arts, enhanced by engagement with informal education.’ R. F. Subotnik, Choice

    ‘The information has been presented in such a way that the methodology and research findings are accessible for practitioners and researchers alike, allowing for replication and adaptation to suit a variety of learners and schools or as a basis for future studies. ... Green’s writing ... illustrate[s] that alternative approaches to teaching and learning can be effective in broadening practitioners’ pedagogic knowledge and increasing the enjoyment and motivation of their pupils simultaneously.’ Psychology of Music

    ‘Music, Informal Learning and the School is to be commended for what might be described as its risk-taking bravery in tackling head-on the problems of engaging young teenagers, in particular those described as ‘disaffected’, with school music. … This book lives up to its claim to present ‘a new classroom pedagogy’ and provides stimulating reading for music educators in various institutional settings. Most importantly, perhaps, it offers a representative and optimistic account of young people’s potential for engaging with music, and, in turn, of the possible ‘musical pathways’ that young people can discover through inspired pedagogy.’ Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland

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