Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Third-Stream Music Education: '...concerts are a self-evident part of any music program.'

[Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, 14, 1st Place Laureate in Violin at Sphinx Competition, Jan. 27, 2008]

AfriClassical exchanges blog roll listings with “Third-Stream Music Education,” written by Cary Stewart, the Director of Bands and Middle School Fine Arts Team Leader at an American international school overseas:
Third-Stream Music Education
June 19, 2009
“Concerts are Integral
I recently responded to a call for assistance (read: ammunition in rhetoric) from a colleague who was actually asked to justify having any concerts at all. His new campus administrator wanted to take all after-school Band performances off the school calendar.”

“We do three major formal concerts per year, plus as many small performance opportunities as we can scare up. Concerts are critical because they (1) are required assessments under every major music standards currently published; (2) are the culminating event of any Band season; (3) form both summative assessment as the capstone of the previous curricular unit as well as formative assessment as the launching pad for learner reflection and goalsetting for the subsequent curricular unit; (4) are the reason students sign up for Band; (5) are the reason parents rent the horns, buy the reeds, pay for the lessons and listen to the horrendous first year of at-home practicing; (6) are the music department’s (and the school’s) number one publicity and recruiting strategy; (7) enhance the school’s community nature and warm the school’s atmosphere; (8) are fun. I cannot name a single research study that attempts to explain WHY we do concerts, because every study I have ever read (in music education AND in educational administration journals) begins with the paradigm that concerts are a self-evident part of any music program. We can quibble about how long a concert should last, how much classical vs. pop music should be programmed, or in what grade level students should transition from recorders to orchestral wind instruments, but we cannot really find any support in either research nor anecdotal literature for arguing against concerts as an integral part of the curricular and extracurricular music program.”

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