Headphone Library: A Music Education Guide
Music education prepares students to learn various forms of literacy, whether the children choose to sing in a choir, play an instrument, or simply student musical theory. It instills a sense of understanding among students while taking a “recreational” break from academic-based subjects. In fact, children may not realize that music education actually helps them retain information learned in their other classes. For instance, music educational lessons teaches students sequential learning, an essential skill used in reading comprehension. Researchers have discovered that music develops both sides of the brain, ultimately resulting in the child growing academically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Musicians propose theories and argue over when and where music originated, with many agreeing that it started before man existed. Historians chart out six different periods of musical style that greatly influenced the music of today, including Medieval/Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th century . The height of the Middle Ages spawned the creation of musical notation and polyphony. The Renaissance period witnessed the rebirth of music in a different light that was not previously created and perceived before it. The Baroque period introduced more experimental forms, styles, and instruments. Opera developed during the Baroque period. The Classical period introduced simple melodies and sonatas, primarily carried by the piano. The Romantic Period focused more on telling a story or expression, and incorporated many woodwind instruments. The 20 th century music introduced technological means of performance and appreciation of musical instruction among the masses. Students will study each of these time periods in relevance to their historical roots pertaining to music.
Music appreciation introduces students to a variety of concepts related to music, including music history, theory, and genres. Music appreciation aims to instill an understanding of the historical aspect of music, including rudimentary musical forms to contemporary expressions. Music appreciation covers early music forms, classical music, American jazz, gospel, folk, soul, blues, rock and roll, hip op, and Latin musicals. Music appreciation also delves deeper into understanding social trends related to music, and how the Internet has set the stage for more prominent music forms. Musical appreciation often incorporates a practicum requirement, which means the student will need to practice an instrument under the supervision of an adult.
Choral music involves a choir that sings a musical with one or multiple voices. A choir may have as few as a dozen singers or it can include upwards of one thousand voices, such as demonstrated in Gustav Mahler's “Symphony of a Thousand.” During the Medieval/Middle Ages time period, choirs supported the lead singer in the background, while performing the rondeau. During the 14 th and 15 th centuries, singers improved their performance based on the proposed music theory of the time, which led to societies rallying behind the composition of choral music. Meanwhile, European composers wrote music with the intention of having four singers perform the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass sounds. This led to the development and refinement of the a capella, cantata, anthem, motet, and oratio. Students who opt to take choir will learn the various musical forms, styles, and notation that it takes to make a successful choir work.
Band derives from the French word “bande,” which means “troop.” Bands differ from orchestra, because its members play brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. Orchestra includes bowed stringed instruments. Several types of bands exist nowadays, such as concert, jazz, and marching bands. However, the first bands originated in Germany during the 15 th century, which primarily used bassoons and loboes. Janish music became popular at the turn of the 18 th century, which featured Turkish instruments, such as triangles, cymbals, flutes, and large drums. Band assemblies continued to grow during the 1800s. In fact, a band consisting of two hundred drummers and one thousand wind instrument musicians assembled together for a large performance dedicated to the Russian emperor in Berlin, Germany. Other notable performances include popular band assemblies at Alexandra Palace, London and the Bell Vue, Manchester. Bands continued to grow in popularity which led to the formation of military marching bands during the American Revolutionary War. The sole purpose of military bands was to accompany soldiers during times of battle. Many educational institutions have marching bands composed of students that hold competitions to promote band music.
In ancient Greece, an orchestra referred to a place where musicians, dancers, and performers gathered together to entertain an audience. An orchestra involves an ensemble consisting of musicians who play bow stringed, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. An orchestra usually consists of over one hundred musicians that may have a chorus in the background. Claudio Monteverdi's “Orfeo” was a prime example of the earliest form of orchestral music. Stringed musicians often play cellos, double bass, violins, and violas in an orchestra. Brass instruments include trumpets and horns, whereas percussion instruments usually included the timpani. Woodwind instrument musicians usually opted for the bassoon, oboe, clarinet, and flute. During the 19 th century, orchestral instruments expanded to include the trombone and tuba. Composers complete the formation of an orchestra. Composers may actually perform, educate, and conduct orchestra music. Contrary to popular perception, conductors have the most demanding role in an orchestra. Students who master their instrument may become part of their school's orchestra, which may perform ensembles in front of a live crowd.
Professional Music Associations
In an effort to improve their musical knowledge and skills, students can opt to join a music association. Many credible music associations will aim to instruct the student towards mastery of his or her instrument. Some of these associations may ask for a donation or small membership fee; however, a portion may only ask for dedication and commitment to the group. Students may be asked to attend mandatory concerts to perform in front of large gatherings of people. Joining an association may also help improve the student's performance in their music educational studies.
By Robert Murdock