The Influence of Culture on Music Teaching and Learning

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Barton, Georgina
Griffith University Author(s)
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Chaseling, Marilyn (Editor)

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Tweed heads, QLD, Australia


Music tells us something of the particular culture from which it comes... and each musical culture also has its own way of being processed... [The] musical culture of a society is very much affected by the way it is transmitted, learned and taught. If we wish to know why a music is as it is, one place to look is the system of transmission (Nettl, 1998, p. 27). There are many ways that teachers approach the transmission of music knowledge. This diversity is often the result of cultural influence. Differences between teaching styles can be evident in both the methods of teaching and the modes of communication used. The choice of specific teaching methods such as demonstration, rote learning, repetition, visual or verbal cues; and communication styles such as aural/oral or written modes can be determined by the cultural context in which the music is taught. This paper explores the extent to which culture influences the methods of teaching and modes of communication used within the music teaching and learning context. It presents data from a comparative study between Queensland and Karnatic (South Indian) instrumental music teachers. Both the similarities and differences between these two contexts will be discussed paying particular attention to how culture influences the ways in which these teachers teach. The paper will then suggest how this knowledge may be relevant to developing a model of teaching in the Australian classroom context.

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Australian Association for Research in Music Education: Proceedings of the XXVIth Annual Conference

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© The Author(s) 2004. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference’s website or contact the author(s).

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Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified

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