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Kodaly, Orff, Suzuki and Gordon: let’s work together!

June 3, 2010

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.

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