Create: Improvise & Compose - How can students develop musicianship through creative m
The music content standards from the National Standards for Arts Education focus on improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments (Content Standard 3) and on composing and arranging music within specified guidelines (Content Standard 4). Pittsford's music curriculum addresses these National Standards in its music standard: create, which states "to inspire students in the application of their musical knowledge, all students will be provided with opportunities to create music through composition and improvisation."
In order to answer how teaching creative musical skills will lead to a student's lifelong enjoyment of music and to understand the importance of emphasizing these skills in the curriculum, four other questions must be addressed.
I. WHY ARE COMPOSITIONAL AND IMPROVISATIONAL SKILLS IMPORTANT TO BUILDING MUSICIANSHIP?
*Piaget: "the principal goal of education is to help people become capable of doing new things - to become creative and inventive."
*Gordon: "When a teacher provides students with the skill to create and improvise music, music becomes the property of the students themselves, and this should represent the ultimate goal of all teachers."
*Bailey: "there is scarcely a single field in music that has remained unaffected by improvisation, scarcely a single musical technique or force of composition that did not originate in improvisatory practice or was essentially influenced by it."
*Eisner: "the ability to experience or create music should be the primary aim of music education, for ultimately the function of music is to enrich human experience."
II. WHAT PRIOR KNOWLEDGE MUST THE STUDENT POSSESS BEFORE THESE SKILLS ARE APPLIED (IN PRACTICE/TO A PROJECT)?
*Ausabel: "If I were to reduce the whole of educational psychology to a single statement, it would be this: ascertain what the child knows, and teach him accordingly."
*Graves, Juel and Graves: "One very important consequence of [students] having these rich, internalized networks of schemata [prior knowledge] is that, once a particular schema is evoked, a huge store of knowledge becomes instantly available."
*FACILITY ON INSTRUMENT
*SENSE OF TONALITY
*AWARENESS OF RHYTHMIC VARIETY
*AN UNDERSTANDING OF HARMONIC CONTEXT
III. WHAT ASPECTS OF MUSICAL CREATIVITY NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN ORDER TO DEVELOP MUSICIANSHIP?
*What makes a good melody?
*What pitches enhance other pitches?
*How do various rhythms affect the motion of the melodic line?
*What meter best conveys the rhythmic feel of a piece to be created?
*How are musical works organized/structured?
*What instruments or instrumental effects convey the intended sounds?
IV. HOW ARE THESE CREATIVE SKILLS APPLIED (IN THE CLASSROOM)?
*Pittsford's Music Standard: Create: To inspire students in the application of their musical knowledge, all students will be provided with opportunities to create music through composition and improvisation.