1st Edition

Music, Informal Learning and the School: A New Classroom Pedagogy

By Lucy Green Copyright 2008

    This pioneering book reveals how the music classroom can draw upon the world of popular musicians' informal learning practices, so as to recognize and foster a range of musical skills and knowledge that have long been overlooked within music education. It investigates how far informal learning practices are possible and desirable in a classroom context; how they can affect young teenagers' musical skill and knowledge acquisition; and how they can change the ways students listen to, understand and appreciate music as critical listeners, not only in relation to what they already know, but beyond. It examines students' motivations towards music education, their autonomy as learners, and their capacity to work co-operatively in groups without instructional guidance from teachers. It suggests how we can awaken students' awareness of their own musicality, particularly those who might not otherwise be reached by music education, putting the potential for musical development and participation into their own hands. Bringing informal learning practices into a school environment is challenging for teachers. It can appear to conflict with their views of professionalism, and may at times seem to run against official educational discourses, pedagogic methods and curricular requirements. But any conflict is more apparent than real, for this book shows how informal learning practices can introduce fresh, constructive ways for music teachers to understand and approach their work. It offers a critical pedagogy for music, not as mere theory, but as an analytical account of practices which have fundamentally influenced the perspectives of the teachers involved. Through its grounded examples and discussions of alternative approaches to classroom work and classroom relations, the book reaches out beyond music to other curriculum subjects, and wider debates about pedagogy and curriculum.

    Contents: Introduction; The project's pedagogy and curriculum content; Making music; Listening and appreciation; Enjoyment: making music and having autonomy; Group cooperation, ability and inclusion; Informal learning with classical music; Afterword; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.


    Lucy Green is Professor of Music Education in The Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

    'If you want to teach popular music in schools then find out how successful popular musicians learn and apply these methods in the classroom. This blindingly simple insight has eluded much pedagogic practice to date. By innovatively theorising, demonstrating, and assessing the practical implementation of this, Lucy Green may have provided a manifesto for rebalancing classroom music teaching and setting it on a new and more fruitful track.' John Sloboda, FBA. Keele University. Author of The Musical Mind ’The book should be of interest to music educators, but also to teachers in any discipline as the ideas of the book can potentially be implemented in other educational settings than those concerned with music. Educators outside of the UK can also adopt such pedagogical strategies to their classroom, provided that they adapt the pedagogy so that it covers their curriculum content. The book should also be of interest to curriculum-designers and policy makers.’ Educate ’... this is a very important music education book, not only challenging established views and prejudices of music teaching, but also demonstrating how teachers could act to make a difference and work for change. Reading this book is a must for every music educator, not necessarily with the aim of copying every detail of the project, but to relate to, reflect and act upon in his/her ongoing music teaching. This project is also a very good example of praxis-based research. The thick descriptions and the sharp, well-structured analyses offer a great amount of valuable knowledge to researchers as well as educators.’ Music Education Research ’... the sophisticated and methodical analysis that Green brings to this work is a helpful illumination that should empower, promote and extend the activity of music educators across our schools.’ Journal of Music Technology and Education ’Viewed altogether, the Musical Futures initiative, the empirical authority and depth of this project, and finally