Engaging Students with Music Education : DJ decks, urban music and child-centred learning book cover
1st Edition

Engaging Students with Music Education
DJ decks, urban music and child-centred learning

ISBN 9781138858381
Published March 16, 2017 by Routledge
174 Pages

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Book Description

Engaging Students with Music Education is a groundbreaking book about using DJ decks and urban music in mainstream schools to re-engage disaffected learners and develop a curriculum which better reflects overall contemporary tastes. Many young learners are ‘at risk’ of exclusion; this book argues that for such individuals, the implications of such a shift in the music curriculum could be especially positive.

Drawing extensively on the author’s own wealth of teaching experience, and bridging the gap between practice and theory, this book demonstrates through case studies that DJ decks can prove extremely valuable in mainstream classroom situations across the secondary school age ranges. Addressing challenging and crucial topics, combining rigorous theoretical analysis with practical suggestions, the book addresses questions such as:

  • Are DJ decks actually a musical instrument, and are they suitable for classroom teaching?
  • Will Ofsted's school inspectors approve of music teaching involving DJ decks and urban music?
  • If we bring urban music into the classroom, will this further marginalise classical music?
  • Are DJing and MCing skills recognised within examination specifications, at least in the UK?

Current teachers will find the practical advice on how to incorporate DJ decks and urban music into their classroom especially helpful, whilst educational researchers will be captivated by the critical discussion of the child-centred tradition and a theoretical approach which stretches from ‘continental’ philosophy to practice-based reflection.

With an insistence that the starting point for music education should always be the interests and experiences of the learners, this book is essential reading for those music teachers and researchers interested in the benefits of non-standard music-making in the classroom.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part I: Engaging disaffected students  1. Curriculum tensions  2. Child-centred learning  3. Understanding students  4. Inclusion  Part II: Working with students and whole classes  5. Classroom management  6. Remixing the KS3 curriculum  7. Remixing the KS4 curriculum  8. Advanced DJing skills  9. Using new technologies  Conclusion

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Pete Dale is an internationally renowned musician. He has taught music at numerous schools, Newcastle University and Oxford Brookes University, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Popular Music at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.


‘I recommend this refreshing approach to engaging students in the music classroom. The work is based on the personal experiences of the author, and written very much from the heart. Peter Dale has used DJ decks and urban music many times in various classrooms, but had not been involved in this kind of music as either a fan or a musician before. Therefore the book is an open invitation - not a closed shop for the already initiated - to any music teachers who wish to enliven their classrooms and engage even more of their learners.’ – Professor Lucy Green, UCL Institute of Education, UK