We’re off first thing in the morning to attend a conference I’ve heard a lot about over the years- the Mountain Lake Colloquium in Pembroke, Virginia. I’ll be presenting some thoughts on the place of aural learning in the general music curriculum.
This project is a web of theoretical frameworks presented as a board game, inviting consideration of the complex relationships the value systems of teachers and students and the actions they take as a result have with practical outcomes in and out of the general music classroom.
The purpose of the game is for teachers to foster students’ aural learning skills and their accompanying benefits. These benefits range from increased motivation and cultural inclusion facilitated by an aural-based curriculum to the ability to improvise or transpose. Coins are earned when strategies are implemented, perspectives are broadened, or teachers or students benefit from chance-based environmental or hereditary traits. These coins can then be traded for benefit cards which must be collected before proceeding past two “Reflection Stations.” Coins are lost when teachers fall prey to misconceptions such as “aural learning is only for students who can’t read music yet,” or to concerns that prevent them from focusing sufficiently on students’ aural learning development, such as “I don’t have the time to spend teaching something I’m not held accountable for.”
Ultimately, curricular decisions realized in the general music classroom and the extent to which they support students’ aural learning skill development depend on teachers’ perspectives and values, and the structures that surround them. Actions ranging from teaching strategies implemented to the wording used to describe goals can affect students’ access to the powerful benefits of aural music learning
For more detailed description, follow this link to a google document. Still a work in progress, this document contains descriptions of each element of the project, citations, and a full reference list. Use the “Outline” in the left margin to navigate.