Music Teaching Generation and Evolution

November 27, 2008 at 5:24 am | Posted in Music Teacher Profession | Leave a comment
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Nowadays, one could easily find persons with ear/headphones, caught up in their own world, listening to music thru the gadgets of their choice. Music. It’s as familiar as mobile phones, and now as portable! If it wasn’t that important, why else did the mobile phone manufacturers think of integrating music players on their products! So who will argue that music is not interesting? But music classes, that’s another story.

During primary and secondary education, learning music is not exactly given much attention. It is but one of those “filler” subjects. But for a few more artistically-inclined people, this serves as a foundation for their future interest, or even way of living. And when one does decide to enter schools of music, one would know for sure that it is a passion, a dedication.

It is during these formative years that music teachers play their pivotal roles as future musicians’ mentors, even inspirations. Music teaching is indeed a noble profession, more so a vocation. Yes, it is far from teaching math, or science. Said subjects are purely academic subjects that entail a teacher’s thorough knowledge. Teaching music, on the other hand, necessitates both knowledge and aptitude…and, probably even more importantly, passion.

Music teaching possibly started as a way of passing on a community’s tradition. India has in their ancient scriptures references to Indian classical music. The “Great Book of Music” or Kitab al-Musiqi al-Kabir was written by the Arab scholar al-Farabi in the 9th century.

In the Western world, music teaching may have started from the church, with cleric/monks teaching their hymns to those next in line, or to the religious. In fact, in the U.S.A., the first singing school was created by Reverend Thomas Symmes in 1717 in Boston, Massachusetts for “the purposes of improving singing and music reading in the church”. With the continued popularity of music and its commercialization, organized music teaching evolved and schools of music sprung forth around the world.

Albeit the acclaim of many musicians who graduated from these music schools, music education does not seem to receive the recognition it deserves. Thus, an organization, the International Society for Music Education, was formed in 1953 in a conference convened by UNESCO. It aims “to stimulate music education as an integral part of general education”. It is now considered to be “a worldwide service platform for music educators” for their works to be recognized. It now has affiliations with national music education organizations of different countries to promote music and music teaching to as many people as possible, if not to all.

Music teaching has evolved thru time, in tune with the evolution of music. It also has changed, along with the changes of the times, of the people. Somehow, music teachers, of all levels, are now given the commendation they are rightfully due. More importantly, music teaching is slowly but surely winning the respect, it has earned. For what is, the worth of music if it is not taught, hence, shared.

See more related resources about Music Teaching, log on to our Music Teachers Helper Blog.

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