Chapter 4 - Systems and Standards of Music Education

Be sure that you can identify a few musical characteristics of the music programs in the educational systems of the countries described in this chapter.

63    Argentina: Law in 1884 made music - particularly singing - mandatory subject in elementary school.
        -Today - no required musical study, but singing remains a prominent goal in elementary school
64    -Growing interest in contemporary composers

        Australia: Strong history of music and arts teaching
65    -Music is required through school years 7 or8
        -The arts are collectively a Key Learning Area within the curriculum.

66    Brazil: not a united position on music in schools - absence of continuity
67    -Music is evident in festive celebrations and special events, but not a curricular subject

68    China: From ancient times and into the 20th century, the Chinese viewed music as a means of knowing, morality, beauty and goodness.
69    -Singing by rote is most frequent school music activity but children also learn to read both Western staff notation and jianpu, a cipher notation.
        -See “Breaking Point 4.5” -- Can you read or create a notation for a simple children's song. Try “Bingo,” “Hot Cross Buns,” “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or another simple song.
        -Musically talented young people receive intensive training
70    Music is proclaimed as compulsory, but is less important than math, etc.

        France: Music is an important means for teaching the French culture
        -Required part of curriculum - amount varies at different age levels.

72    Hungary: Zoltán Kodály
        -music education begins with the singing of Hungarian folk songs, leads through ear training, and culminates in a musical independence.
        -one of the most musically educated populations in the world
74    Country's national standards for education include a list of basic musical instruments and equipment for all schools.

        Japan: curriculum controlled by Ministry of Education
75    -Elementary - general music classroom including Western and Japanese music
        -Secondary - mostly Western music

76    South Africa: resonant choral sound
77    -inclusion of movement and dance and improvisation atop rich textures
        -music in first 10 years of schooling as way of transforming South African society according to its new constitution

79   United Kingdom: compulsory study- ages 5-14 - primarily instruction in performance and composition
        -music in lower grades often taught by classroom teachers
        -optional for ages 15-16 - ensembles most often after-school opportunities

81   United States and Canada: Lowell Mason in Boston, 1830's - rise of singing in public schools
82   -rise in instrumental programs, about a century later - bands returning from WWI, affordable instruments, instrumental companies sponsoring festivals and competitions
        -linked to the federal, state and local tax base
83   -no nationally mandated curriculum in music

 

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Challenge: Sort these countries into three categories: Music is a. very important, b. important, c. not so important.