Changing Places: Exploring different conceptions of music education
Changing Places aims to challenge pedagogical practice through exploring and opening up new ways of considering arts learning and teaching. The initial phase of workshops involving students from a university studying music education and students from early childhood settings are designed to unsettle and challenge common assumptions that may be held by the students about arts making, teaching and learning processes.
In summary, the aims are:
- to explore and challenge ideas and assumptions about music teaching and learning processes through inter-contextual student workshops
- to explore notions of music pedagogy in tertiary teaching settings
- to explore music teacher’s views of their own practice and their underlying assumptions
- to consider and suggest new forms and conceptions of music/arts based teaching and teacher education
- to articulate a model of shared practice that will foster reflection and innovation in all spheres of tertiary teaching and learning
|Dr. Chris Naughton, New Zealand Tertiary College firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr. David Lines, The University of Auckland email@example.com|
This project seeks to explore conceptions of music teaching practice that develop dialogues and reflections across different practicing groups in order to motivate change.
The title ‘Changing Places’ reflects the teaching / learning experience in the two initial locations of this research project being the University of Auckland, School of Music and the New Zealand Tertiary College. Whereas the skills of rehearsal and refinement working towards accomplished performances are common practice within a university music department, those working in early childhood education tend to focus more on the spontaneous music-making event.
Dialogues between tertiary music staff from both institutions open up the potential for:
- new pedagogical directions by reflecting on theoretical assumptions that impact on practice in the two different settings
- student collaborations with the potential to reveal new learning experiences and understandings of process and practice
- students seeing and experiencing each other’s work in music
- changing musical pedagogy within each setting
- seeing knowledge as co-constructed within performing arts education
The project will employ qualitative methodologies to inform its design and structure. Ethnographic tools such as co-interviews (between staff) or transcribed discussions and interviews framed with formal questions (staff-students), will generate qualitative data for thematic analysis. Where possible, information gained from these dialogues will be used to construct narratives that exemplify reflection, innovation and difference in music teaching practice.
There are two Stages in the Project:
Stage 1: Staff Dialogues
The two staff co-researchers will explore:
- ideas of how theory informs their own teaching practices in music
- narratives derived from their own reflection
- an interpretive framework for the project as a whole
Stage 2: Student Collaborations
It is intended that the first level of activity will be a collaborative series of workshops. These will involve:
- music education students from the School of Music and students from New Zealand Tertiary College who will devise composing activities together
- students from each location performing their work and reflecting on the process that they have been engaged in
- attending an early childhood centre where students will develop some musical ideas with children
- formulation of a performance of children’s work
- evaluation of the student experience learning process
Phase 2: University of Auckland and NZTC students working together
The final workshop took place this week at the University of Auckland with students trying out movement games, to sounds and devising movement activities just as children might. The discussions took on board the process for making that has been developed by the two lead researchers. Armed with their digital recording equipment, students will next week be working in the centres for six weeks.
Contact is maintained through a website forum and regular downloads of the reflective dialogues that the students make at the end of each session.
Exciting times ahead and more pictures will be forthcoming over the next weeks.
Students working with children in preparation for their own music making. Week 2.
After two weeks working together in the centres the students have introduced many different ways of listening and responding to sounds as well as encouraging the children to self compose their own musical ideas. Children are responding well to the students provision of new sound sources, and to the students engagement, by sometimes spontaneously dancing and playing along with the children’s musical ideas. As week three approaches children are making their own choices of musical activity that they wish to concentrate on, while staff provide space and material and above all regular times for them to ‘practice’ their ideas!
Week 3. Consolidation Time
This marks the halfway point for the sessions in the centres and so far we have seen a wide variety of children’s music making. There has been a water project inspired by a movie of Vaanuatu children rhythmically playing in the sea; a marching band; a session exploring body percussion and listening activities; a magic bag from which instruments appear; children spontaneously leading a mat time activity with their call and response sequence and much more. The emphasis remains on the children developing ideas with each other and with the staff and students. Now we have the Easter break, there is time for reflection and planning the next stage on the project.
Children slapping the water in Vaanuatu
The Changing Places project has been very busy with field visits and lots of other activity carried on by the early years students at the centres. Most importantly all the students have been engaging in prolonged dialogue on the Changing Places website and in their weekly reflections that are recorded and transcribed after each session. What each set of students have learnt through the project will become clear as they start to write up their experience over the past three months. One thing is for sure, they have started to see how given the time and opportunity, children can engage in a wide variety of musical making activities. Here’s a few pictures from the drummers at one of the centres.
- Dr. David Lines' research page at The University of Auckland
- Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education
- Australian Society for Music Education
- BAMER - Bibliography of Australian Music Education Research
- The Callaway International Resource Centre for Music Education (University of Western Australia)