Music Education

Figure 1.--This is the earliest known depiction we have of a nusic lesson. The teacher is obvioult the bearded adult at the right. The other two individuals are boys or youths. They look to be older teenagers, but depictions in Greek art do not procide realistic age representations. Inscription: teacher/ΣΜΙΚΥΔΟΣ and his student/ΕΥΔΥΜΙΔΕΣ). In the middle is a boy (ΤΛΕΜΠΟΜΕΝΟΣ) who narrates the piece. Apparently Greek musical pieces came with a text, perhaps poetry. The pottery here is described as Attic (Athens area) red-figure hydria and is dated to about 510 BC. It was apparently found in Vulci (an Etruscan city). The artist/potter was Phintias.

Music education is the teaching and learning of music. Traditionally this has meant teaching the young to perform. Primarily in the 20th century with the demoritzation of education the idea of music education has been extended to include music appreciation to those with limited musical ability. We know very little about music education in many ancient civilizations. In fact, we do not know a great deal about music in early civilizations. Unlike art and sculpture, music compsitins are lost without notation and ancient civililations did not have musical notation. Thus all we know about music in many early civilizations are the images of instruments. And this is also true with nusic education. The first image we have fojnd of music education is Green from the first mileanium BC. Unlike many ancient civilizations we know a great deal about Greece and Rome because there literature to an extent has surved. With the fall of Rome, music survived as a church function. An musical education became a province of the church. Song schools both provided music education and church choirs. Not much informarion is available on the ages of the children involved. Only slowly did music develop outside the church. The nobility was interested in entertaiment and over time demanded greater sophistication. We areunsure how court musiucians were educated. We suspect that family tradition was a major factor. Generally in the medieval era, children inherites the roles of their parents. As the medieval economy quickened, entertaiments became importanbt in markets and fairs. Royal courts supported the arts, both for presitge and for entertasiment. And important courts founded academies to foister the arts, including education. These academies were continued even after monarchies began to decline or were replaced by republics. These acadeies sought out talent rather than inherited status. Modern schools to vsry degrees include music appreciation and sensitivity. Programsd can begin in preschool. Music programs, however, are often abandoned by school districts facing budget probelms. Governments got involved in various ways. We note an American WPA Project during the Depression. Educators have discussed at what age a child's music education should begin. For many years virtually no attention was paid to educating very young children. Gradually this began to change. One educator playing a major role in modern music education was German composer Carl Orff. He was especially concentrated on very young children.


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Created: 2:36 AM 2/17/2010
Last updated: 2:36 AM 2/17/2010