I know how to free up valves

4 Teaching / Participation

Posted in: by Pete Moser on 18 March 2015
Tagged with: Artworks conversations

Voting with your feet
If it's no fun I'll be on the street
It's not for the elite
For everyone so lets feel the beat

A group of leaders involved in changing the face of music education through the new strategies of Music Education Hubs discussed the lines between teaching and participation, shared stories and talked about collaboration and creativity.

Participation is about leading, being involved in everything - planning, product, decisions, evaluation. It's about consensus, doing it together, it's more than ONE.

Teaching is different - but there are so many styles and the quality comes when it is participatory at it's heart because that is where we learn in the best way (?). The tradition of the master and novice where knowledge is passed on over time is OK (?). It's about progression (isn't that true of participation ?). It's a one way deal not a two way interaction (?)

The stories that highlight these qualities

4 Danish leaders of music schools came to watch a WCET session where students were learning music through trumpet playing with improvisation, all encompassing teaching techniques in an atmosphere of openness, where they were all emmersed in decision making. It changed the mindset of those visitors and they are now convinced! (see gallery photo)

Outward bound course for a group from a music centre doing all sorts of activities. Working together, taking responsibility for each other and one young person supported another more challenged young person for the whole day.

Brass tutor with a whole class sessions used the students as leaders, someone leading the warm up, someone the rhythm work etc. They were committed and took control through brilliant devolved leadership.

Songwriting residential using old Music Hall posters as a starting point for writing. The group split and went their own ways to be creative. One on their own in a room with a piano wrote words and a tune, a group didn't really make anything but formed up. Then the two joined and it all worked. Playing to their strengths.

8 kids in a school choir wanted to do a version of Up Town Funk. I brought the backing track and they worked out their own parts and arrangement. Ownership
Got to have rules, frameworks and strategy
Don't want restrictions, one way traffic and negativity
Need empathy, mutual respect and openness
And there's always a question about individuality and.....