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How Popular Musicians Learn: A Way Ahead for Music Education (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series) (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series)


Publisher:Ashgate Pub Ltd



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About the book:

During the last 150 years or so, many societies all over the world have developed complex systems of formal music education based on Western models. Common to most are one or more of the following: educational institutions, from primary schools to conservatories, partly involving or entirely dedicated to the teaching and learning of music; written curricula, syllabuses or explicit teaching traditions; professional teachers, lecturers or "master musicians"; systematic assessment mechanisms such as grade exams, national school exams or university exams; music notation; and a body of literature, including texts on music, pedogical texts, and teaching materials. Alongside or instead of formal music education there are always, in every society, other ways of passing on and acquiring musical skills and knowledge. Within these traditions, young musicians largely teach themselves or "pick up" skills and knowledge by watching and imitating musicians around them and by making reference to recordings or performances and other live events involving their chosen music. This book is based on the outcomes of research from interviews which took place between October 1998 and May 1999 with 14 popular musicians living in and around London, aged from 15 to 50. Informal learning practices and formal educational experiences over the last 40 years of the 20th century were studied. The conditions necessary for informal music learning are discussed, especially in terms of the musical enculturation of children. The characteristics of informal popular music learning and those of formal music education are compared, and the author considers whether the learning practices, attitudes and values of popular musicians, as articulated throughout the book, may or may not reasonably be adapted and included within formal music education in a move to help re-invigorate the musical involvement of the populace at large.

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