Music Education: Two Music Teachers With One Idea
Music education DESIGN, a new approach to old problems
Today the average attention span is under 15 minutes for a lecture. Power Point slides maintain people’s attention for 15 seconds. 90% of online searches are video based destinations. For two years, we have been developing a package of new learning tools to engage students at the speed of our natural attention span. We invested our time in the classroom situation that was our own. Spending two years after school our mission was to build the change we needed to connect music education with the digital reality that it is surrounded by. Interactive Listening is driven by daily classroom experiences in a search for better tools. If teachers don’t have relevant digital tools soon we will be replaced by computer driven education. This method is not driven towards the joyful experience of online computerized traffic school, but away from it and back into the classroom where teachers can do their job.
WHY MUSIC MATTERS
- We’ve been doing it longer than most behaviors
- Music requires more brain activity than most human activities
- It separates us from animals.
- Music is worthless and priceless.
TEACH THE REASONS YOU TEACH
So now what? What does a teacher do with Interactive Listening?
Spend more time asking questions. Compare Yo Yo Ma to James Galway. Create deeper group projects. Compare Bach to Rembrandt. Argue about Dubstep vs Schoenberg. Teach the reasons we became teachers...
The Individual Search
Like all arts, music reminds us that the best questions can never be answered. Our search for truth is only a path of endless questions. Going beyond logic, music constantly asks the most important questions. Why are we here? Who am I?
Like all human activities, music has structure that requires critical thinking. Every piece of music is the end result of an evolving language built on rules of communication. In the creation of great music, every culture requires detailed melodies, rhythms, or harmonies. Our ability to perceive complex systems is drawn by the breadth of our exposure. Like geography, music can only be discovered with good maps.
Finding the connective pattern
Music is a world of patterns similar to economics, language, art, or law. To understand any system of patterns naturally leads into other connected patterns. The logic of Baroque and Hip Hop music cannot be separated from the macro culture that they are born from. Is it a coincidence that the rise of orchestras mirrors the rise of labor unions?
To be or not to be
As the internet grows in its influence, the modern world is still driven by the power of words as text. The demand for higher quality content on the internet increases the value of well crafted words. Google is driven not by videos, images or music, but by power of words. For the next generation to compete in the global marketplace, well written text is still the most powerful and influential tool in the modern age.
Over the Rainbow
Most music students...99% of music students will not become professional musicians. The perception of music offers a unique life long gift, that doesn't require practice for maintenance. Once a theme and variations is heard, the pattern will remain perceivable for life. Somewhere Over the Rainbow begins with a large octave leap that isn't easily forgotten to the average listener. To the professional musician the octave leap becomes a permanent image. Music exists in our visual mind as much as our ears, and these relationships between melody, harmony, and rhythm are bound to the world they are drawn from. Hearing Stravinsky is seeing Picasso...maybe because they worked together.