Music is not a theoretical subject like Science or Math that is why it is arguably more challenging to teach such. Music teachers must then tap resources to further augment, enhance and improve their teaching competence. Instructional strategies, methodologies and materials, including various music teacher resources have been developed thru the years that most music teachers use for their lessons.
One such approach is the Kodly method, which stresses the benefits of physical instruction and response to music. It resides within a fun, educational framework built on a solid grasp of basic music theory and music notation in various verbal and written forms. Trademark methods include the use of solfege hand signals, musical shorthand notation (stick notation) and rhythm solmization (verbalization).
Another is the Orff Schulwerk, which begins with a students innate abilities to engage in music, using basic rhythms and melodies. It encourages improvisation and discourages adult pressures and mechanical drills. To accommodate the requirement of the approach, a special group of instruments was developed from modifications of the glockenspiel xylophone, metallophone, drum, and other percussion instruments.
The Suzuki method, meanwhile, uses music education to enrich the lives and moral character of its students by creating the same environment for learning music that a person has for learning their native language. Love, high quality examples, praise, and a timetable set by the students developmental readiness for learning a particular technique make up this said environment.
Swiss musician and educator mile Jaques-Dalcroze also worked out a method divided into three fundamental concepts the use of solfege, improvisation, and eurhythmics. The last, the methods trademark, teaches concepts of rhythm, structure and musical expression using movement. It allows the student to gain physical awareness and experience of music through training utilizing all senses, particularly kinesthetic.
Other notable methods include Gordon Music Learning Theory, which provides the music teacher a comprehensive method and resources for teaching musicianship through audiation, the developer Edwin E. Gordon’s term for hearing music in the mind with understanding. Another is Conversational Solfege, which views music as an aural art with a literature based curriculum. The scheme consists of rhythm and tonal patterns and decoding the patterns using syllables and notation.
The Carabo-Cone or Sensory-Motor Approach to Music, on the other hand, involves using props, costumes, and toys for children to learn basic musical concepts of staff, note duration, and the piano keyboard. In Manhattanville Music Curriculum Project (MMCP), meanwhile, students are given freedom to create, perform, improvise, conduct research and investigate different facets of music in a spiral curriculum.
New methods for community music education in urban setting are Applied Groovology and Path Bands. It advocates parents encouraging their children to more freely experience the natural joys of improvised music and dance though grooving and dandling. Path Bands, in particular, use improvised multicultural brass bands for active lifelong participation in music.
New methodologies and strategies are sure to arise. These will be welcome addition to the accepted set. Yet, no matter how many choices there exist, any noble music teacher would choose only what he thinks is best.