Notice the website she is posting on: The Alliance for Active Music Making. This alliance is affiliated with AOSA, OAKE, DSA, and GIML, working together. A team like this is inspiring!
A mighty team of music educators!
This Schola has kids as young as six singing Gregorian Chant and polyphony. They are musical, sing with comprehension, all in Latin. They will travel to Madrid to sing at World Youth Day at the Palacio de Deportes , the Toledo Cathedral, and the Convent of St. Teresa of Avila.
Anna Gawley, eleven year old singer in the Schola says, “I love singing chant because it is such a beautiful way to sing. – it is quiet and prayerful. I actually think it is easier to sing in Latin than in English mostly due to the limited vowel sounds.”
Anna’s mother Kristin is impressed with the teaching methods of the director, David J. Hughes, and constant improvement that has led them to be able to sing motets of William Byrd and polyphony of Mozart. “Since they start at a young age it is very easy for them to learn. It is done incrementally so that they have a strong foundation but it isn’t long before they are singing some very complex pieces.”
Help them get to Spain. Purchase their CD, or if you are in Connecticut, attend their concert on Friday July 22. For ticket and CD info, or to make a donation, visit www.chantwith.us.
Audiation requires the ability to hear with discernment and “play back” what is heard or created inside one’s own head.
Singing and Moving: Teaching Strategies for Audiation in Children is an article published in the June 2009 MENC Journal. The author Allison Maerker Gardner defines AUDIATION above in her own terms.
Bridging the gap between music learning methods, this Suzuki teacher employs various strategies to enhance audiation in her general music and piano students.
“Listening skills are fundamental in my approach to teaching music to children. As a Suzuki instructor, I am always looking for ways to help my students listen more effectively.”
The author goes on to explain how she merges her Suzuki, Dalcroze, and Kodaly training with the Learning Theory of Dr. Gordon, along with the educational theories of Gardner and Piaget, to create a unique and effective technique, and defense of how audiation is an integral and necessary part of music education.
“This is my goal as a teacher: to endow my students with the necessary auditory skills that can take them wherever they choose to go musically. Their lives will surely be the richer for it, and so will those whose lives may be touched by them.”
Over the years, Music Learning Theory has become a method proven to coexist and compliment the more established and accepted methods of music education. More and more experts are incorporating and embellishing on the foundation Dr. Gordon has laid. John Feierabend and Chris Azarra are two of the pioneers to take Music Learning Theory and merge it with their own to create exciting contemporary methods. Kathy Liperote, Music Ed professor at the Eastman School of Music sums up the metamorphosis:
One of the greatest challenges for those of us who received sight-before-sound music instruction, is breaking away from tradition and teaching in a way that was not a part of our own experience. All teachers use a variety of teaching styles and procedures, but focusing on the early development of aural skills prepares students to read notation with an aural understanding of what is implicit in that notation. With the ability to think in sound, students can read music with comprehension by associating a new visual experience with a familiar aural experience-a sensible sequence, considering that music is an aural art. In the process, students also learn skills for improvisation, thus building their music-writing vocabularies. An orientation to music through the ears puts students on a musical road most likely to lead them to their full potential as musicians.
As music teachers broaden their horizons , they come to realize that all the major methods are complimentary and can only benefit students’ ability to become better musicians.
(MENC login required for link)
Look Ma! No music stands! How do they do it?
This kid is gonna be an awesome musician! He already is! Rhythmically, he can audiate pulse and meter. He audiates melody, and picks up where he left off in the song. Now give him to a music teacher bent on note naming and turn him into a robot, and see how fast his ear deteriorates. He could get by his whole life without reading a note. Instead of forcing it down his throat, teach him to read after he understands what he’s playing. Teach him chord function, and tonality. Teach him to improvise. Teach it like a language that he already speaks. Or would we put the cart before the horse?!
Lev Vygotsky, the Russian psychologist (and the originator of scaffolding), suggests that learning takes place spontaneously and that when we become conscious of what we have learned, we have reached a higher level of learning—gained greater control over our knowing. As audiation matures, it reflects on itself. It uses signs to represent itself, indicating its own consciousness of audiation, a higher level of music learning, a deeper level of musical understanding.
Audiation develops consciousness of its own knowing most efficiently through the use of tonal and rhythm syllables—a mirror that reflects audiation, a tangible model that functions as audiation. These signs are in the realm of audiation, but speak to both audiation and language. The syllables provide a bridge from audiation to thinking, a common language for communication between the two ways of knowing. Audiation flirts with the intellectual mind through syllables, but demands that syllables grow out of its own unique way of knowing rather than be imposed by the intellectual way of knowing.
As audiation matures in self-consciousness, tonal and rhythm syllables become the mediator to the next plateau of music learning—music reading and writing. Syllables serve as the link between the intangible audiation and the concrete notation until such a mediator is no longer needed. The musical mind and the intellectual mind become more intimately entwined in music reading. The thinking mind becomes the more aggressive suitor, engaging in a set of strategies for scanning print, finding cues that arouse audiation, and comparing cues with each other. Yet audiation dominates the encounter. They give and take, engaging together in a complex process of problem solving, through which they construct meaning.
The multi-faceted phenomenon of audiation tacitly serves music reading, listening, and composing, but finds its own voice in performance. Audiation generates tuneful and rhythmic performance, in-tune singing and playing, steady tempo, stylistic interpretation, and musical expression. Audiation delivers the life and breath, and the breadth of music.
“My best recommendation to music teachers of the next century is to improvise, improvise, improvise! Get rid of the notation. Learn from music learning theory to teach children to make music without the aid of notation or music theory. Follow religiously the process of the way we learn language. That would be the most important thing they could do for themselves and for their children.”
Teachers, do we believe this to be true? Is Dr. Gordon saying anything that is new? He’s been around long enough now, that we should be somewhat familiar with his sequence and its hierarchy. Listen first, babble like a baby, and that involves creativity too, then apply the labels, synthesize and then notate. Our standards focus on creating, performing and responding. We also know that when our students create, they are using the higher order thinking skills that enable success in so many areas. Go to the full interview for more info.