Teaching Music in the 21st Century

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface:I originally chose to write this book in order to provide an authoritative comparison among the four most commonly practiced methods found in music classrooms. The concept was that such a book could not be written by one author, but must be written by a group, each with impeccable credentials in the method about which he or she was writing. I chose for my co-authors three music educators, each an authority in the approach about which he was to write.

Robert Abramson, then professor of Music at the Manhattan School of Music, and now at the Julliard School of Music was an obvious choice for the Jaques-Dalcroze chapters. Abramson spent two years at the Jaques-Dalcroze Institute in Geneva, where he obtained the highest level of certification possible in the field, and he has practiced Jaques-Dalcroze techniques successfully in the United States for many years.

Avon Gillespie, then Associate Professor of Music at North Texas State University, formerly taught at the Orff Institute in Salzburg. In many conversations with him over the years he displayed a remarkably clear vision of the Orff Approach. When I asked him to contribute to the book, he wrote to me "… there is a real need for this philosophy to be elusive and abstract …." Fortunately I was able to convince him that his writing would not be molded into any "pattern" and he agreed to write the Orff chapters. His untimely death prevented him from contributing to this second edition. When I consulted with our co-authors as to whether I should invite another Orff practitioner to contribute, or to retain the original Orff chapters, they unanimously opted to retain the original chapters. We believe that Gillespie’s exposition of Orff to be a model of clarity. He presents the Orff Approach in both an uncompromised and uncompromising way.

My choice for the Comprehensive Musicianship sections was a long time friend, David Woods, who has been involved with this approach since its earliest days. Dr. Woods is presently Dean of the School of Music, Indiana University and was formerly Dean of the School of Music, Oklahoma University.

With my background of study in Hungary and publication of several books on the Kodaly Method, I was in a position to write the Kodaly chapters as well as to coordinate the whole project.

The assembling of the project was not easy. The first edition was five years in the making. Each of us had a natural bias for his or her own way of teaching, and to describe that way without expressing a bias was difficult. However, we believe that we succeeded in doing so.

When the first edition appeared we thought it unlikely that it would ever require revision. After all, the philosophies and practices associated with Jaques-Dalcroze, Kodaly, Orff, and Comprehensive Musicianship were immutable. Superficial techniques might change but the principles would remain unchanged. However, two factors have made this second edition advisable.

First, the exponential development of technology is changing forever the ways in which knowledge is acquired and disseminated. In the face of the increasing use of technology in music education, it became imperative to examine just what it could offer and how it could be used appropriately to enhance musical learning. For the new sections on technology in this book we were joined by Frank York of James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. York is involved in Distance Education and has made extensive use of technology in his teacher education programs.

Second, the Music Education National Conference (MENC) has brought forward a definitive set of National Standards for the Arts in Education, and particularly for the teaching and leaning of music in the schools. These excellent guidelines, the culmination of years of work, have, to an extent never realized before, established Music Education as a legitimate subject for serious study

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