Research Articles (English)

Pedagogy versus performance in primary classroom music teaching: Lessons from a ‘usable past’ in Wales

Authors: Gary Beauchamp orcid logo (Cardiff Metropolitan University) , Thomas Breeze orcid logo (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

  • Pedagogy versus performance in primary classroom music teaching: Lessons from a ‘usable past’ in  Wales

    Research Articles (English)

    Pedagogy versus performance in primary classroom music teaching: Lessons from a ‘usable past’ in Wales

    Authors: ,

Abstract

From the earliest days of music in the primary (elementary) schools of England and Wales there has been pressure to equip children with the ability to perform music. The early influence of the established Church, and the value attached to musical performance ability as part of cultural aspirations or perceived heritage, ensured that teachers were judged on their ability to perform music, and in turn teach their pupils to do the same. Indeed, throughout successive legislation and the rise to graduate status of the teaching profession primary school teachers have been judged on their perceived ability to perform music themselves rather than on their pedagogic ability to teach it. This resulted in a situation where other aspects of musicality were virtually ignored and opportunities to develop alternative pedagogies, based a broader range of musical skills and interests, were neglected by successive policy makers. It is argued that with a broader conceptualisation of music envisaged in the new Curriculum for Wales, lessons can be learned from a ‘usable past’ which may enable primary school teachers to develop new pedagogic approaches, which would allow them to respond to children in an informed, artistic and musically sensitive manner, rather than requiring specific musical ‘skills’.

Keywords: music education, wales, primary

How to Cite:

Beauchamp, G. & Breeze, T., (2022) “Pedagogy versus performance in primary classroom music teaching: Lessons from a ‘usable past’ in Wales”, Wales Journal of Education 24(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.16922/wje.24.2.6

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