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Current Debates in Music Education

  • Module code: MU6003
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 6
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: Satisfactory completion of level 5 Music or Creative Music Technologies requirements or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

Through this module students will gain an awareness of Music Education in the UK and have an opportunity to engage with some current issues and practical challenges.  It will examine a variety of topical and sometimes contentious issues and practical challenges concerning, for example, music in the National Curriculum; the curriculum in the primary and secondary school; extra-curricular music such as instrumental teaching, composing, arranging and conducting. Psychological perspectives on learning, teaching and creativity will also be addressed.  In the first semester the module will be delivered through keynote lectures, seminars and workshops, with student participation in discussions, mini-presentations and group practical tasks. Further workshops and tutorials dedicated to students' chosen project will be arranged as necessary in the second semester. The assessment for the module will be in the form of a project focusing on a chosen area of interest in music education in the form of either a small educational investigation, devising a series of lessons for children of a chosen age, or addressing a practical challenge such as arranging for and conducting a school orchestra.

Aims

  • to explore the process of music learning and teaching within the school curriculum;
  • to extend knowledge and understanding of current educational practice through critiquing theoretical concepts and models and an active participation in debate, observation, and a variety of investigative and practical tasks;
  • to apply learning derived from lectures, reading, observation, practical experience and experiment to the completion of a chosen music education project
  • to synthesise and evaluate evidence gained from a variety of sources into a logical discussion fluently expressed and appropriately illustrated in writing and presentation. 

Learning outcomes

  • demonstrate awareness and understanding of a range of issues relating to current music education theory and practice;
  • engage with and evaluate  a range of texts, other materials and observations relating to current music education thought and practice;
  • explore a chosen music education issue using a variety of academic, investigative and practical approaches;
  • show an understanding of the issues surrounding the  area of interest and apply this to the execution of tasks appropriate to the chosen project;
  • discuss fluently and informatively in writing and present a with the correct referencing of the work of others. 

Curriculum content

  • Why teach music? A rationale for music education
  • Music in the National Curriculum: good practice in the classroom 
  • Can everyone be musical? Is musical ability the product of nature or nurture?
  • Psychological principles and teaching strategies involved in the delivery of key musical skills  such as composition, aural acuity, creative performance and various notations
  • Musical creativity: psychology, philosophy and debate
  • Music technology: contentious issues and practical challenges in the secondary classroom
  • Is the music specialist or classroom teacher most successful in teaching music in the primary school?
  • Instrumental teaching: equality of opportunity, accessibility and the national ‘Widening Opportunities' initiative
  • Music for instrumental groups: composing and arranging; conducting
  • Adolescent identity: sociological and psychological perspectives on singing and choice of repertoire; the national initiative: ‘Sing Up'
  • The role of the music services and music hubs

Teaching and learning strategy

The content is delivered through keynote lectures and seminars in which: key texts and contentious issues will be analysed and debated; teaching strategies will be explored through a variety of practical tasks and mini investigations with presentation of findings. Supplementary material e.g. links to articles and websites are provided via StudySpace. Lectures and seminars occupy 2 hours per week for 11 weeks. Students are expected to undertake a significant level of independent guided study of hours reading books and articles, engaging in observation of good practice, practical investigation and other work on the chosen project. Tutorial support for assessment preparation will be delivered in office hours. Additional support will be provided for students by the Centre for Academic Support and Employability and Music-dedicated Canvas skills support. 

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures and seminars 44
Guided independent study 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment will be based on a chosen area of interest in music education. It will take the form of a project involving either the mounting of a small investigation of a music education issue,  or devising a series of lessons focused on teaching specific musical skills to a chosen age group, or  composing or arranging for a school orchestra. All chosen routes will be underpinned by the critical appraisal of relevant literature, observation of current practice, devising of appropriate materials or research strategies, and direct engagement with the tasks associated with the area chosen. Summative assessment will involve: a short preliminary presentation (of 10 minutes) to the class of the aims and strategies for the intended project at the beginning of the second semester (20%); a final presentation and one of three types of submission depending on the option chosen (80%):

-        for those choosing the research project option: a written paper of 3000 words

-        for those choosing the lesson plan option: a four lesson-work scheme, detailed lesson plans and a supporting essay of 1500 words

-        for those choosing the composing or arranging option: compositions (5 mins) or arrangements (5 mins)  and a supporting essay of 1500 words

Submission for all such options should be illustrated by an accompanying folio of materials such as investigation findings, a scheme of lessons, recordings, arrangements/compositions  etc. 

The assessment for this module is designed to enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes in a clearly focused and fully engaged manner.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) demonstrate awareness and understanding of a range of issues relating to current music education theory and practice Presentations and written paper
2) engage with and evaluate a range of texts, other materials and observations relating to current music education thought and practice; Presentations and written paper
3) explore a chosen music education issue using a variety of academic, investigative and practical approaches; Presentations and written paper
4) show an understanding of the issues surrounding the area of interest and apply this to the execution of tasks appropriate to the chosen project; Presentations and written paper
5) discuss fluently and informatively in writing and present a with the correct referencing of the work of others. Presentations and written paper

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
PRC Presentation 1 20
Coursework Presentation 2 /Written/practical work 80
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Hallam, S. & Creech, A. (2010) (Eds) Music Education in the 21st Century in the United Kingdom London: Institution of Education, London University

Mills, J. (2005) Music in the School. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mills, J. (2009) Music in the Primary School

Philpott, C. & Plummeridge, C. (2001) Issues in Music Teaching. London: Routledge.

Philpott, C. & Spruce, G. (2007) Learning to Teach Music in the Secondary School. London: Routledge

Bibliography recommended reading

Bray, D.  (2000) Teaching Music in the Secondary School. Oxford: Heinemann.

Hallam, S. (2006) Music Psychology in Education. London: Institute of Education.

Glover, J (2000)  Children Composing 4-14           

Glover, J. & Ward, S. (ed.) (1999) Teaching Music in the Primary School. 2nd edn. London: Cassell.

Glover, J. & Ward, S. (1998) Primary Music: Later Years. London: The Falmer Press.

Green, L. (2008) Music, Informal Learning and the School: A New Classroom Pedagogy. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Hallam, S (1998) Instrumental Teaching: A practical Guide to better Teaching and Learning. Oxford: Heinemann.

Hargreaves, D.J. (1986) The Developmental Psychology of Music. Cambridge. Cambridge: University Press.

Hennessy, S. (1998) Coordinating Music Across the Primary School. London: Falmer Press.

Juslin, P. N, & Sloboda, J. A. (Eds.) (2001) Music & Emotion, Theory and Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kelly, A.V. (2004) The Curriculum theory and Practice. 5th edn. London: Sage.

Mills, J (2007) Instrumental Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

North, A. & Hargreaves, D. (2008) The Social and Applied Psychology of Music.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Odam, G. (1995) The Sounding Symbol: Music education in Action. Cheltenham: Stanley Thorne

Paynter, J. (1992) Sound and Structure

Philpott, C. & Spruce, G. (2012) Debates in Music Teaching. London: Routledge

Pitts, S. (2000) A Century of Change in Music Education. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Savage, J. (2008) Meeting the Needs of Your Most Able Pupils: Music. London: David Fulton.

Sloboda, J. (1985/1999) The Musical Mind. Oxford:  Clarendon Press.

Sloboda, J. (2005) Exploring the Musical Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Spruce, G. (Ed.) (1996) Teaching Music. London and New York: Oxford University Press

Swanwick, K., (1979/81) A Basis for Music Education. London: NFER

Swanwick, K  (1994) Musical Knowledge, Intuition, Analysis and Music Education. London: Routledge.

Tafuri, J. (2008) Infant Musicality. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Watson, S. (2011) Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity

Young, S. and Glover, J. (1998) Music in the Early Years. London: The Falmer Press.

Government Documents

DEE            Music: The National Curriculum for England. (London: HMSO 1999)

                  The Henley Report (2011)

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