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Wait, we’re in week 7 now??

Okay so, we kind of didn’t touch this kind of stuff for 6 weeks as we shifted focus to the very fun and practical teaching styles of Kodaly and Orff-Keetman. But, we have carried on with the confrontational discussions that I feel are designed to make us think and ponder our teaching methods. This class was discussing problematic repertoire and what is or isn’t problematic. When looking at the reading by Klilio one of the first things I read was “With schools increasingly aiming towards democratic and inclusive practices and policies, the music teacher is no longer restricted to teaching a narrow selection of repertoire”. Now while I agree that we shouldn’t restrict the selection of repertoire, it just got me thinking. Why?? Why was there a restriction in the first place? What benefit could we possibly think this has to our students and to society as a whole? The whole idea that we have had to come to this realisation to me seems backward, we should have always been including a wide range of repertoire that encourages inclusion, it just seems like the wisest pedagogical decision to use content that all of the students are going to either be able to relate to or understand the most. In order to make the classroom more inclusive of the students, it seems to me that a good starting point for that would be to go to the students themselves. Something I read that really stood out to me was the idea that “music classrooms are seen as meeting places for musics of varying origins, practitioners, styles, and purposes. and students may also be encouraged to draw upon their own musical worlds and experiences as a source of knowledge construction” (Bowman, 2007; Elliott, 1995; Green, 2006, 2008). As cited in Kalilo, 2017. Every single student and classroom is different and thus we should give them the chance to express this uniqueness. Now while I believe that this can be done, the emphasis again has to be on the students. If the students are predominantly listening to popular music, what could the harm be in using their favourite music as a learning resource. Music, a subject that is about identity and creativity should be incorporating the student’s choice as a means to help foster this creativity and identity. Popular repertoire decisions in classrooms are more often than not, ethically, ideologically, and politically loaded, (Kalilo, 2017). If we can find a way to achieve this and incorporate student choice into it, there will most likely be some learning benefits as young people often use popular musics as a means of differentiating themselves from adults and school life (StÃ¥hlhammar, 2000).


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