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Introduction to Music Education

Music education is a huge topic. Let’s talk about tutoring a younger child first. There are dozens of music schools out there that try to motivate children to have music as part of their life. Three of the more famous institutions are the Orff-Approach or Orffschulwerk, the Suzuki Method and, of course pianolessons101.

Schulwerk is a German word for school work and Orff is the last name of Carl Orff (1895-1982), founder of Orffchulwerk. Carl Orff’s philosophy in music schooling involved group lessons with plenty of singing and instrumental improvisation. Some of the commonly used instruments include: glockenspiel, xylophone and various percussion instruments. Parents are encouraged to be involved with the kids in the course. That means that they have to hear all the children smash their instruments while keeping a wholesome smile on their faces for their child’s sake. The Orff-Approach’s goal is to promote independence of thinking and confidence in young children. In fact, I took this course at a very young age. I remember it to be a positive experience.

The Suzuki Method differs from the Orff system in that it encourages students to concentrate their energy on one particular instrument. Heavy emphasis is placed on learning music by imitation. The Suzuki Method publishes its own sheet music and audio recordings as part of its educational method.

The more traditional music education route involves private instrumental lessons and ultimately instrumental exams. Some of the internationally recognized organizations that examine and award certificates to candidates include: Royal American Conservatory of Music (U.S.A.), Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (Canada) and the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada). Many high schools accept a combination of practical and theory examinations as an equivalent high school credit.

Music education has a large place in our school system, from classroom recorder tutoring to string orchestras, concert bands, jazz ensembles and choirs. High schools follow a very specific curriculum as the school educational system is preparing serious music students for university level education.

Finally, music instruction has become part of the information highway. Many musicians use the internet to learn an instrument, do musical research or fill in gaps in their musical education.

 

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