Teaching secondary music
Teaching secondary music

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Teaching secondary music

Teaching secondary music


This free course, Teaching secondary music, explores some of the key ideas and concepts that beginner teachers in secondary schools need to understand so they can plan their teaching to support the musical development, understanding and skills of all the young people they teach. These include:

  • what it means to teach and learn musically
  • the musical knowledge(s) teachers teach
  • where and how young people are taught and learn music
  • the pedagogies that underpin different forms of and approaches to music education.

Through coming to a greater understanding of these concepts and the issues they raise, and reflecting on the implications of them for your own teaching, you will develop your practice as a music teacher. You will be supported in coming to this greater understanding through being introduced to the work and ideas of some significant contemporary music educators.

Now listen to an introduction to this course by its author, Gary Spruce:

Download this audio clip.Audio player: nc3002_2016_pgce_teaching-music.mp3
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Welcome to the Open Educational Resource Course: Teaching Secondary Music – Issues in Practice.

Hello, I’m Gary Spruce. I’ve worked for many years in music education as a secondary school teacher and in initial teacher education.

I learned that music is one of the most rewarding subjects to teach in secondary schools but also that it is one of the most challenging.

For many young people music is a very important part of their lives and something about which they feel strongly, so we music teachers have a foundation of enthusiasm to build on.

But music teaching is more than just about reinforcing these enthusiasms. It is also about enabling children to develop musically, to help them become aware of the rich variety of music in society and the many ways in which it is practiced, and then to help them become fluent and knowledgeable in some of these practices themselves. This means challenging young people’s conceptions of what music is and what it means to be musical but also challenging our own conceptions as music teachers.

When writing this course I looked at key ideas and concepts that secondary music teachers at the beginning of their careers should know about.

These include what is meant by musical knowledge, what there is to teach and learn in music and the different ways in which young people are taught and learn musically. It concludes by proposing key principles to underpin a musical approach to music teaching, principles, which enable young people to develop musically.

I am sure you will find it interesting and useful.

End transcript
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As you work through the activities you will be encouraged to record your thoughts on an idea, an issue or a reading, and how it relates to your practice. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with colleagues. We therefore suggest that you use a notebook – either physical or electronic – to record your thoughts in a way in which they can easily be retrieved and re-visited. If you prefer, however, you can record your ideas in response boxes within the course – in order to do this, and to retrieve your responses, you will need to enrol on the course.

This OpenLearn course is part of a collection of Open University short courses for teachers and student teachers [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .


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