Music education or music as educator: a reflective approach to roles

Αγαλιανού Ολυμπία

Κεντρική Ομιλία

Session Κεντρική ομιλία: Ολυμπία Αγαλιανού - Μουσική εκπαίδευση ή η μουσική εκπαιδεύει: αναστοχαστική προσέγγιση στους ρόλους ( Sunday, 17-Apr-22 12:00:00 EEST )

Each teacher constantly confronts with three interdependent questions: what, how and why I teach. The order in which they are posed varies and, to some extent, depends on the educational context that sometimes define the answer to one of them, thus influencing the others. The subject of music education is music. As a comprehensive art, that encompasses also speech and movement and as a universal dynamic phenomenon, it is almost impossible to give music a conceptual definition. It is also difficult to define its content as an educational subject. So what do we teach, how and why? Often, we praise music education because it helps develop cognitive skills or aids in school performance. Sometimes we present music education as a way of relaxation and other times as the acquisition of various skills, that leads to participation in a very demanding practice that requires "talent". It seems that many times, either music in education is used as a tool for irrelevant purposes, or it is perceived with awe because participating in music is presented as something very demanding

My wish is to present the autoethnography of my confrontation with the questions of what I teach, why and how which led me to reconsider my role. Dealing with music education in different communities and at all levels of education, having less to do with the professional culture of conservatories, I treat music as a social art. I easily realized that performing music is a rich experience full of meanings ready for reflection. Assisted by Carl Rogers's person-centered theory, I began to identify myself as a mediator in the role of inviting music and facilitating music praxis. Influenced by the vision of Christopher Small, the thoughts of David Elliot and fascinated by the flow theory of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, gradually I trusted the role of educator in the music itself. My main concern was to ensure the participation of everyone, from any of the roles of composer, performer or audience, so that music takes on teaching. Systematic observation revealed that music could teach each participant what he or she needed or were willing to learn through a differentiated learning process.

Realizing that technology has completely changed the ways, we listen, perform and create music, in conjunction with the development of the completely different pole of community music, intensify my effort. In addition, my relationship with Orff-Schulwerk, guides my searches, given the ancient Greek concept of music, the power of rhythm, the value of the elemental and its development.  It also brings to the core improvisation and composition by offering techniques and strategies that focused on creativity and ensured participation.

That is why my intention is through autoethnographic references to reverse the roles and to trust teaching in the music itself. In this view, teachers take on the role of facilitator and participate in the music praxis with a distinct role in each group they organize and lead.

  • Ταυτότητες και ετερότητες στη μουσική και τη μουσική εκπαίδευση
Keywords music education, roles, music praxis, reflection
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Olympia Agalianou is Special Teaching Staff at department of Early Childhood Education of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (N.K.U.A.) and teaches in master programs of N.K.U.A, University of Macedonia, Ionian University and Democritus University. He is the author of a monograph, numerous chapters in Greek and foreign language publications and articles in journals and conference proceedings. She has served in primary education, has worked as a choreographer and collaborates with institutions and universities in Greece and abroad in an adult education programs. Her research interests focus on community music and the connection among arts in education with the aim of personal development and social cohesion. She is the honorary president of the Hellenic Orff-Schulwerk Association.