Teaching secondary music
Teaching secondary music

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Teaching secondary music

2.2 Applying the knowledge types

Figure 4 is the staff notated version of the French tune Frère Jacques. In Table 2 Philpott shows how this tune could be used to develop the three kinds of musical knowledge.

Described image
Figure 4 Frère Jacques

Table 2 Types of musical knowledge?

Knowledge ‘about’ Knowledge ‘of’ Knowledge ‘how’

What a round is…

What 4 time is…

Knowing the history and meaning of the words…

Knowing what note it starts on…

The expressive character of the piece (in the same way a place or person has a character)…

The shape or journey of the music as it reaches out and then comes home…

The expressive potential of the music (what would happen if we sang it ‘spiky’ or ‘like a lament’)…

 

How to sing and recognise a ‘round’…

How to breathe in the right places…

How to sing in an ensemble…

How to conduct in 4 time

 
(Source: Philpott, 2008, p. 4)

Activity 4

Allow about 1 hour

Choose a piece of music that you know well and feel that you have a particular affinity with and think about how you came to ‘know’ this music.

Then analyse this music in terms of the three different knowledge types, keeping at the forefront of your mind what you might teach to a key stage 3 class.

Knowledge about

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Knowledge of

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Knowledge how

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Activity 5

Allow about 45 minutes

Building on your response to Activity 4, develop an activity that you might use with a key stage 3 class that integrates these three forms of knowledge but foregrounds knowledge of music. Your response should include:

  • a brief description of the class and why what you plan to teach them is appropriate for this group
  • the planned musical learning outcomes for this activity
  • the resources that you will draw on
  • the opportunities that the activity will present for the young people to ‘act musically’.
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Now that you have worked through this section, we’d like you to reflect on what you have learned.

Activity 6

Allow about 1 hour

Make notes on the following questions:

  1. How convinced are you about the categorisations of musical knowledge presented here? What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of each model?
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  1. How relevant do you feel each of these models is to the work of a music teacher in a secondary school?
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  1. What do you think are the implications of each of these models for what is taught in music and how it is taught?
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