Chapter 1 The Music Curriculum is dedicated to musical education, its importance for students’ development, and its place in the school curriculum. The chapter examines the benefits of the student’s introduction to music from different cultures, including personal, social, emotional, and cultural advantages of learning about music. It also asserts that such lessons do not require a specialist teacher but rather a generalist who can foster a respectful attitude to different musical traditions and encourage students. In this reflection, I will focus on the ideas made throughout the chapter that I found interesting and informative.
The chapter raises several interesting topics relating to the importance of musical education in school. Specifically, it is noted that through exposure to music, students can be exposed to different cultures and gain a better understanding of the world in all its cultural richness and diversity. Presenting children with different musical traditions allows children to develop an appreciation of different musical cultures and, by extension, respect and understanding of the people and nations behind them (“Chapter 1. The Music Curriculum,” n.d.). Thus, it can be argued that the introduction to music can translate into students being introduced to different cultures and traditions. I believe that it is a meaningful argument that for this introduction to take place, teachers do not require a musical education themselves but rather a general appreciation of music.
Another point raised in the chapter that I find interesting is that music is a combination of personal, emotional, and social experiences. In particular, participation in structured musical activities is positively correlated with improved social behavior and promotes bonding with a social group (“Chapter 1. The Music Curriculum,” n.d.). It was surprising to learn that it is associated with improved learning ability and concentration and allows students to acknowledge, strengthen, and stabilize their personalities and further develop self-concepts (“Chapter 1. The Music Curriculum,” n.d.). Exposure to music has a beneficial impact on children’s self-perception, behavior, and social skills. Thus, the chapter argues that the introduction of music lessons to the school curriculum can promote achievement in other subjects due to improved learning ability and concentration.
In addition, I appreciated that the chapter addressed life-long learning and the importance of generalist classroom teachers in music education in school. It is pointed out that generalist teachers may not be as musically gifted or as experienced as specialist teachers and may not possess extensive knowledge of musical theory or history (“Chapter 1. The Music Curriculum,” n.d.). However, non-specialist educators, who can learn more about music alongside their students, can provide them with high-quality musical education through a variety of experiences, which do not necessarily include composing or performing. I think that the emphasis on the importance of applying similar approaches to teaching reading and language skills to musical education is particularly thought-provoking. Children should be encouraged and allowed to hone their musical skills in a safe and nurturing environment to grow to consider the musical activity as normal human behavior (“Chapter 1. The Music Curriculum,” n.d.). Overall, the chapter raises a critical point in arguing that a wide variety of musical activities can be implemented in the classroom and include all children regardless of ability.
In summary, chapter 1, entitled The Music Curriculum, concerns the place of music in the school curriculum. The chapter highlights several notions that I find to be of particular importance, including the fact that music lessons can be taught by generalist teachers and do not necessarily require a specialist educator. Furthermore, I value the implication that musical education is beneficial for students’ personal, emotional, and social development and contributes to them being able to learn better due to enhanced attention span, concentration, and learning ability.
Chapter 1. The Music Curriculum [PDF]. (n.d.).