‘Musical Futures’ in the Secondary Music Classroom and the Development of a Positive ‘Musical Identity’

Marina R Y Gall, Verity Stoffell

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paperpeer-review

Abstract

In the UK, for many years, there has been considerable debate about the place of ‘popular’ music in schools (Swanwick, 1968; Vulliamy & Lee, 1982; Gammon, 1999; Crow, 2006). Green (2003) acknowledged the positive effects of including popular music in the curriculum, but stressed the need for this to be accompanied by informal learning practices adopted by the majority of popular musicians. Some time later, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation supported the development of ‘Musical Futures’ – a new pedagogical approach to musical teaching and learning in schools; its primary aim of was to maximise the enjoyment and achievement of all pupils in their musical learning within the classroom (Green, 2008). Musical Futures was seen as “a new way of thinking about music-making...that brings non-formal teaching and informal learning approaches into the more formal context of schools” (D’Amore et al., 2009, p. 9). Recently, the approach has been adopted by many schools across the UK (Musical Futures/Paul Hamlyn Foundation, undated).

This paper reports on a study of 6 English secondary school teachers’ views on the introduction of ‘Musical Futures’ into their music curricula for students aged 11-14. Since ‘Musical Futures’ is a pedagogical approach that is subject to wide ranging variations in term of how it is delivered, the research study took the form of semi-structured interviews; this enabled the collection of broad-based contextual information from participants which supported a more detailed exploration of the following research questions:

1. What are teachers’ perspectives on how ‘Musical Futures’ impacts upon student motivation and attainment? Does this impact differ according to students’ attainment in the subject or to whether or not they have instrumental tuition?

2. What are teachers’ perspectives on how ‘Musical Futures’ impacts upon student motivation towards musical genres other than those related to ‘popular music’?

3. What are teachers’ perspectives on the success of ‘Musical Futures’ in terms of impact upon both uptake and suitability for study towards school music examinations after the age of 13/14 (Key Stage 4)?

This paper reports on key findings, particularly questions 1 and 3, and discusses how these point to the significance of ‘Musical Futures’ in relation to the development of a positive ‘musical identity’ in students aged 11-14 (Lamont, 2002; MacDonald, 2002).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event8th International Music Education Research Conference - University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Jun 201313 Jun 2013

Conference

Conference8th International Music Education Research Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityExeter
Period9/06/1313/06/13

Keywords

  • Informal Learning, School Music, learning and teaching

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