Music Theory – “Core” or “Chore”?

May 1, 2014

I’m founding a school. Not that I really have that much to teach to established musicians, but I’d like to work with those who are a bit younger and less fixed in their ways.

I want to teach them about music theory – that boring exam everyone who wants to go from good to great must pass at one point or another.

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Notable development

March 22, 2014

Yes, I’m going to get all self-promotional and a touch ranty for a moment, but this is important to me.

Music education is a difficult balancing act between artistic development and summative assessment. By this, I mean that different people develop at different rates and have differing strengths which require addressing on an individual basis. Sticking every pupil through the same exam is a valid way of normalising progress and setting a bar to be reached.

My problem is just that. We set the test around those things that are easier to assess – performance, listening skills, memorising scales and reading music from the page at first sight. These things tend to be right or wrong – binary choices we can score against a total. Read the rest of this entry »