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The Aims and Processes of Musical Learning

Updated: May 22, 2020

The Hampshire Music Education Framework aims to ensure that all pupils acquire musical understanding. This is the outcome of creative engagement in practical activities, which enable pupils to:

· Make music, learning how to develop practical skills in order to sing, play and make music confidently with others and on their own.

· Think musically, learning how to listen to and identify the structural and expressive aspects of music from different styles, genres and traditions; how to improve work in progress; and how to evaluate music’s quality.

· Incorporate context, learning how to change the way they create, perform and listen to music in ways that better reflect music’s historical, social and cultural origins,and its ability to communicate.

While these represent the essential aspects of musical learning, the process by which students learn is equally important: how students learn is as important as what they learn.

· Creativity should be at the heart of this process, both in terms of the learning strategies employed by the teacher, and in the music making challenges the students need to engage with.

· Quality in the musical outcomes should be a significant driver: not just accepting something that merely ‘keeps together’, but looking for music that has care, shape, balance, a sense of being magical and communicating strongly to the audience.

· Personal attributes can also be developed through the process of musical learning: imagination, resilience, determination, risk-taking, willingness to be open to new musical experiences, capacity to learn from mistakes and constructive criticism should all be built in to students’ musical experiences. Learning should incorporate the use of both acoustic sounds and music technology; and enjoyment should be an essential attribute of all lessons!

Author, Kevin Rogers

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