This chapter examines the musical practices and procedures of choruses such as the famous Gay Men’s Chorus within the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities of the United States and Europe, and more specifically the discourse in and around them. It focuses on choral pedagogy as it is found in such ensembles and communities, drawing on the literature and first-hand accounts from singers, conductors and audience members, and examines what they uniquely value in their singing. Specific questions include: what is a good sound for an early MTF (male to female) transgender singer? Is it good to have female tenors in your ensemble, and if so, how many? How does the meaning of a song change for singers and audience when sung by a group of 250 gay men? How does that inflect the way in which that song should be taught to the singers? In short, is there a queer choral pedagogy?
Many of the societal injustices historically perpetrated against persons with disabilities are well known: educational segregation, inaccessible public buildings and programs, and lack of employment opportunities. Less obvious and rarely acknowledged are issues related to the social integration of persons with disabilities and the resulting educational implications. Students with disabilities who are socially accepted and well assimilated into their school and are more likely to graduate and to secure employment. Indicators of social inequities are often subtle and overlooked, thus making teachers powerless to facilitate classroom interactions that contribute to the well-being and educational success of students with disabilities. The ability to embrace diversity in all its facets and to advance social justice requires that educators (1) understand disability culture and its place within the majority culture, (2) recognize stereotypic and stigmatizing views of persons with disability, and (3) create socially and musically inclusive environments for students with disabilities.
When considering teaching and conducting diverse populations in community choirs, one must begin with discussions of the phenomenon itself: a description of the term, a brief history of adult singing ensembles in the United States, and an exploration into the many types of community choirs and issues such as age, gender, exclusivity, purpose, and goals. Examined research on these issues is organized into large topics such as adult learning theories (music literacy and learning styles) and adult physiological concerns (untrained adult singers’ vocal mechanisms and aging voice issues). Personal identity growth or creation as individual musicians must be taken into account, as well as social implications of ensemble identity (among group members and by external community members). Finally motivation for joining and remaining in community choirs will be part of this chapter. That necessary phenomenon is examined through lenses such as choral repertoire preference, social needs, and personal goals fulfillment.
Kari K. Veblen
This article examines current research and practice in formal, nonformal, and informal learning for adult music students. In a formal setting, the teacher controls the materials, pacing, and interactions in a structured environment. Nonformal learning practices involve systematic and deliberate but less regulated pursuits that occur outside of educational structures. Informal practices comprise aspects of knowledge and skill acquisition that are largely experiential.
This article considers the influence of the National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook, Basic Concepts in Music Education (1958), on the actions of music teachers. The Yearbook strongly influenced emerging scholars working towards a doctorate in music education and searching for substantive ideas that would support their own contributions to their chosen vocation. Research-based efforts in music education have fostered impressive growth in further theory, but had little impact on school programs and practices. Several conditions in music education that support the separation of theory from practice are discussed.
Hermione Ruck Keene and Lucy Green
Music summer schools in the United Kingdom offer a holiday context for “serious leisure” for amateurs, and high-level tuition for aspiring professionals. The majority exist in distinct spaces for either the vocational or avocational musician; Dartington International Summer School is anomalous in that it is attended by amateur, aspiring professional and professional musicians. Theories of leisure as symbol, play, and the other, and Bahktin’s theory of the “carnivalesque” are used in this chapter as lenses to view participant experience. Mantie’s concept of the learner-participant dichotomy sheds light on the clashes and complementarity arising from the differing intentions of the participants. The chapter discusses how the leisure-learning context of the summer school impacts on participants’ musical identity, and can serve both to challenge and reinforce hierarchical status relationships between vocational and avocational musicians.
Analyzing Student Data to Inform Instruction and Increase Student Growth: Assessment in American Music Classrooms
This practice-focused chapter describes analyzing student work (ASW), a process used by some music teachers in the United States to assess student work, analyze the results, and modify and improve instructions based on that analysis. Throughout the ASW process, specific qualities of student work are assessed using rubrics (markschemes). For teachers, the ASW process addresses the two questions “What do we do if a student is not proficient?” and “What do we do if a student is proficient and beyond?” The ASW process focuses on one aspect of student work at a time and provides data that enables teachers to modify instruction to improve student learning. Teachers can use data yielded from the ASW process in three ways: (1) to inform instruction and improve student proficiency; (2) to describe student work present and missing to construct a rubric; and (3) build consensus in scoring student work as a data team.
Culturally, many Africans feel that African music must be taught in context and through methods that are specific to Africa. Thus far, “African culture” and instructional practices in Africa have not succeeded in consistently incorporating computer-based technology for music education into regular classroom instruction, even at those few schools that can afford it. Computer-based technology must therefore prove to have a generic role of preservation and advancement of the culture if it is to be integrated in music education. Through discussion of music teaching in Namibia, Ghana, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya, this chapter illustrates how governmental educational policy reflects and relates to expectations for technology in music education.
It seems that many concert programs are presented without enough concern for the overall flow, purpose, and direction of the choral performance itself. Often, many wonderful selections are included, but rarely do they truly work together in tandem or with enough significant diversity and color changes to warrant the audiences complete attention. Several unique models for programming at all levels are discussed. Questions are raised concerning choral programming tendencies (from Psalm choral settings to mixed meter music to Carmina Burana) and how the building of varied repertoires and unorthodox pairings can assist true success. In this age of diminishing crowds, fiscal resources, and rehearsal time, our ability to creatively weave the material to capture our singers and our audiences at the same time is extremely critical. Finally, we touch upon engaging the audience from the moment the ensemble takes the stage until the final ovation.
Peter Gouzouasis and Danny Bakan
This chapter, written creatively as a scripted conversation between a professor and a doctoral student, asks how researchers might study music-making in a plethora of community music settings using arts-based methods. On the surface, arts-based educational research (ABER), art-based research (ABR), creative analytical practices (CAP), and arts inquiry (AI), may seem one and the same, but there are distinctive historical and theoretical nuances between them. We crafted this composition in a reflexive manner with theory and research embedded in the scripted conversation to explore these nuances. We point towards the conclusion that music communities, where participants are actively engaged, are well suited to inquiry through methods that include creative ways of representing and understanding both music and learning. In a conversational way, we explore distinctions, contexts, possibilities, problems, and the power of engaging arts-based research in the study of community music-making.