The teacher as builder of music learning contexts.

Year: 1999

Author: Dillon, Steve

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper examines the role of the teacher in constructing meaningful learning experiences for students of music in the classroom. Utilising data drawn from a larger doctoral participant observation case study, the research discusses the role of the teacher as 'builder' and interpreter of context, experience and reflection. It argues that; the teacher can facilitate both analytic and intuitive concepts in music through attention to the process as a system of context, experience, perception in and upon action, and structured reflection. It is proposed that the role of the classroom music teacher is; to act as 'gateway' to deeper musical experience in ensembles and studio learning, to provide access to a variety of musical experiences and to unify the understanding of music learning through reflection.

The paper is critical of the lack of attention to the affect of context upon the learning process and highlights current moves in educational philosophy and curricular to redress this. This conceptual information is examined further through narrative data, drawn from interviews with students and teachers as well as field observations of students and teachers involved in making music. The paper seeks to define the role of the classsroom music teacher more clearly and suggests that an emphasis upon the role of reflective practice as an experieintial system in the arts serves to unify the variety of music encounters that make up a students music education. The teacher builds and interprets the context of music learning so that music meaning may be both taught and caught.