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Upcoming Events

 

International Seminar: Learning Music Through Play in Out-of-School Context

Play

Faculty of Music, Laval University, Québec City
April 13-15 2019

 

Play as the Pillar of the Young Child’s Musical Experiences

by Hélène Boucher

According to the Kodaly method of teaching, the child should be allowed a phase of preparation before any formal musical learning. It is during this preparation stage that the child will experience the music concepts in an unconscious way. Experiential learning is viewed as essential for developing the cognitive and physical sensations of the musical elements. Although an activity can be at the same time game and work, it is the hedonistic experience of the child that will lead the early childhood music educator. In this workshop, preparatory musical games, inspired by Kodaly’s philosophy of music education, will be shared. These games can be adapted for individualised studio teaching as well as for small groups of children.

 

 

Canadian Association of Music Therapists Conference

Musico

DoubleTree by Hilton Gatineau - Ottawa
May 23-25 2019

 

The Impact of Participating in a Music Program on the Socio-Emotional Development of the Young Child.

by Aimée Gaudette-Leblanc and Hélène Boucher

 

The quality of interactions between parent and child greatly influences their attachment and the social development of the child (Goodman, Newton and Thompson 2012, Williford, Carter and Pianta 2016). Moreover, the development of secure attachment can be impacted by low parental education, low income, marital conflict and single parenthood (Cyr, Euser, Bakermans-Kranenburg and Van Ijzendoorn, 2010). Several researchers studied the intervention strategies implemented to support the quality of the interactions and the emergence of safer attachment within at risk families. Because of its interest in children and their parents, music therapy programs for families seem to be a way to explore this issue. These programs offer musical activities that encourage the adoption of predictable and warm behaviours by the parents. In addition, the structure of the music seems to help children regulate their behaviors while making them available to therapeutic intervention. This lead to the following question: Can participation in a music therapy program for families support the development of secure attachment between parent and child?

We suggest that under certain conditions, the practice of musical activities would have a positive effect on the quality of interactions and the development of attachment. It is also possible that these favourable changes within the mother-child dyad would have a positive impact on the child's social development. This presentation aims to discuss the theoretical and empirical background supporting these claims. First, the evolution of the attachment theory will be summarized and the concept of parental sensitivity will be defined. Then, research findings regarding the contribution of the practice of music on the quality of interactions, the development of attachment and the social development of the child will be presented.

 

 

 

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Past Events

 

Artful Inquiry Research Group (AIRG)

McGill University
October 12th to 13th, 2018

AIRG

Music as a factor contributing to human well-being and flourishing and its roots in early childhood education

by Hélène Boucher and Aimée Gaudette-Leblanc

As professionals in music education, one of our many roles is to prepare vibrant early childhood music teachers. This presentation will offer a concrete example of the role music plays as a social change agent in early childhood settings, contributing to the flourishing of emotionally balanced individuals. We will first present the theoretical framework of holistic praxial musical learning, involving proactive, reactive, and interactive musical behaviours that integrate the mind, body, and spirit. According to this framework, teaching and facilitation are necessarily empathetic and compassionate. This approach will then be experienced by the participants, in collaboration with four-year-old children, through a participatory musical experience. This will allow participants to see a research project in action that measures the social impact of musical activities. The researchers seek to demonstrate causality between early childhood musical experiences and socio-emotional development. This case study is part of a larger research project funded by SSHRC (1) focusing on the relationship between music and well-being throughout the lifespan. Preliminary results will also be presented as part of the debriefing with the participants., after their musical co-experience lived with the children.

Plan of the presentation:
15 minutes – introduction of topic and theoretical framework
30 minutes – musical activity co-experienced by participants and 4-year-olds
15 minutes – debriefing the co-experience with the children in connection with preliminary research findings

1.How music learning acts as a protective factor, contributing to the development of socio-emotional competence for vulnerable populations. Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2017-2020. Dr. Valerie Peters, Principal applicant.

FAMEQ - Fédération des associations de musiciens éducateurs du Québec

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
October 25th to 27th, 2017

FAMEQ

The Kodaly method: A playful and structuring contribution to your teaching!

You're looking for new ideas for games, songs and activities to teach music?

You want to explore a proven technique for teaching and learning the different musical elements?

Join us for an introductory Kodály workshop. During this training, we will explore the basic principles of this method.

The Kodály approach is based on the work of the Hungarian composer, educator, philosopher and ethnomusicologist, Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967). It is now widely used worldwide to train children and adults. This method uses a carefully organized sequence of the different musical elements and uses songs and musical games adapted to the development of the children. By using folk music from here and elsewhere, students are exposed to a systematic and organized presentation, allowing them to assimilate sound concepts according to the internal logic of music. They are guided to discover, articulate, read, write, improvise and create with the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony and form using singing, creative activities, instrumental work, while developing movement, listening, memory and internal hearing skills. This instruction is intended to provide students with the skills required to write what they hear and sing, as well as to hear and sing what they have read (sight reading).

The Kodály method is a philosophy of music education, a structured program to teach the main musical elements, concrete techniques to enable children to learn to hear, read and write in a playful and effective way. In a word, an approach based on the experience and feeling of music. Preschool and Primary Education Orders.

 

Creative

Creative Connections Conference

University of New-Brunswick, Fredericton
November 16th to 18th, 2017

 

A Lived Experience of a Philosophy of Music Education Inspired by the Work of Canadian Composer R. Murray Shafer

Hélène Boucher and Toby Moisey, McGill University

 

Abstract

Participants will compose a collective musical work, and a soundscape with its visual representation, inspired by Canadian composer Murray Shafer. Musical instruments, sound objects, color pencils, pastels and paint will be used. We wish to demonstrate how music connects with visual arts and how philosophy can be taught through experience.

 

Workshop - Description

In 2016, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts held an arts education collaborative exploration. Our participation was inspired by the Soundscape concept of Canadian composer R. Murray Shafer, in which all sounds in an environment become part of the music that surrounds us. Pre-service student-teachers were introduced to this philosophy of music education through a lived experience rather than through a traditional lecture.

We propose to replicate this lived experience. Participants will do an ‘ear clean up’ activity, followed by a collective composition using diverse types of papers as sound producing objects while exploring a creative form of notation. They will then compose a soundscape in small groups along with its visual representation. The composition will be done with instruments and sound objects, while the visual representation will be done with color pencils, pastels and paint. The soundscapes will be presented and creative processes will be described. Leading questions will help construct their understanding of this philosophy while links will be made with the results of our qualitative research.

Our goals are to show how music can connect with visual arts, to demonstrate how philosophy can be learned through experience, and how sounds become the soundtrack of our life.

 

 

EaprilEuropean Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning

(EAPRIL 2017), Häme University of Applied Sciences, Finland
November 28th to december 1st, 2017

 

A Lived Experience of a Philosophy of Music Education Inspired by the Work of Canadian Composer R. Murray Shafer

By Hélène Boucher and Toby Moisey, McGill University

 

General Abstract

In 2016, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts held an arts education collaborative exploration. The theme was “The Space Between,” that which we do not directly perceive, but which is imbedded within the human experience. Our project consisted of a philosophical experience in action using the work of the well-known Canadian composer R. Murray Shafer. In his Soundscape concept, all sounds in an environment become part of the music that surrounds us (Shafer, 1969). Pre-service student-teachers were introduced to this philosophy of music education through a lived experience rather than through a traditional lecture.

The workshop we are proposing is a replication of this lived experience. The participants will take part in an ‘ear clean up’ activity (Shafer, 1967), followed by a collective composition, then by a small group composition of a soundscape and its visual representation. They will present and describe their process. Leading questions will then be used to help structure their understanding of this philosophy while links will be made with our qualitative research results. The goal of this workshop is to demonstrate how philosophy can be taught and learned through experience and, how it needs to work hand in hand with practice to create meaningful learning.

 

Detailed Abstract

Theoretical Background

Two views have dominated the field of philosophy of music education: the aesthetic vision, (Reimer, 1970; 2003) and the praxialist view (Elliot, 1995; 2014). In the aesthetic vision, the work of art is at the center of the whole process leading to the aesthetic experience. In the praxialist approach, the central element is the individual and the different roles taken, musicer and listener, when interacting with music in its context (Bowman, 2000).

There is one element missing however, the actual ‘lived philosophy of music education’. In our qualitative inquiry, we documented how pre-service student-teachers were introduced to Shafer’s philosophy of music education through a lived experience. We also followed three of them as they were teaching children using this vision. We demonstrated that through a lived experience, they recognized the main elements of this philosophy, identified Shafer’s definition of music, and applied this vision in their teaching.

Methods to Create Hands-On Experiences in the Workshop

First, the participants will take part in an ‘ear clean up’ activity, followed by a collective composition done with diverse types of papers used as sound producing objects while exploring a creative form of notation. They will then compose a soundscape in small groups along with its visual representation. The composition will be done with instruments and sound objects, while the visual representation will be done with color pencils, pastels and paint. These activities are inspired Ward’s (2009) music lessons teaching soundscapes to children.

Each group will present their soundscape and describe their process. Leading questions will then be used to help construct their understanding of this philosophy while links will be made with the results of our qualitative research.

“A soundscape is any collection of sounds, almost like a painting is a collection of visual attractions. When you listen carefully to the soundscape it becomes quite miraculous." (Schafer, 1969).

Goals for the Workshop

Our first goal is to demonstrate experiential teaching and learning of philosophy, and how it needs to work hand in hand with practice to create meaningful learning. Our second goal is to show how music can connect with visual arts, how they can complete each other and how through the creation of these soundscapes, one is offered freedom to create without the limits and possible fear that formal training and traditional music notation can induce.

In addition, we wish to help the participants become conscious of sounds that surround us. These sounds can have a powerful impact in our everyday life, generating stress and anxiety and participating in what Shafer calls ‘sound pollution’ (Shafer,1967). But at the same time, these surrounding sounds become the soundtrack of our life and construct our memories and who we are. As Schafer said: “Portions of the world symphony have already been played…” (Schreiber, 2014).

Supporting Practice-Based Educational Research and Improving Educational Practice

In contemporary philosophy of music education, the learner is in “the place between” as a mediator, in the roles of: performer, listener, and creator. The importance is in how he/she lives these experiences and constructs his/her own knowledge. The work of art is no longer central, it is now the individual in context that is central. (Elliot, 2001). In this workshop, we want to give participants the opportunity to be at the heart of this practice by having them live this philosophical experience. “There are no more teachers, just a community of learners” (Shafer, 1975).

Additionally, this workshop is an attempt to demonstrate that subjects traditionally considered purely intellectual, such as the philosophy of education, can and must relate to the reality of the practitioner. This is a crucial element to improve both the educational practice of philosophy, and its awareness and relevance to the next generation of educators.

 

List of References

Bowman, W. (2000). What should the music education profession expect of philosophy? Arts and Learning Research, 16, 54-75.

Elliot, D. (1995). Music matters: A new philosophy of music education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Elliot, D. (2001). Modernity, postmodernity and music education philosophy. Research Studies in Music Education, 17, p. 32.

Elliot, D., and Silverman, M. (2014). Music matters: A philosophy of music education, (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Reimer, B. (1970). A philosophy of music education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Reimer, B. (2003). A philosophy of music education, advancing the vision, (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Schafer, R. M. (1969). The new soundscape: A handbook for the modern music teacher. New York, NY: Associated Music Publishers.

Schafer, R. M. (1967). Ear cleaning: Notes for an experimental music course. Toronto, On: Clark and Cruickshank.

Schafer, R. M. (1975). The rhinoceros in the classroom. Toronto, On: Universal Edition.

Schreiber, E. (2014). “Silence filled with sound”: Spatial and visual metaphors in Raymond Murray Schafer’s idea of soundscape. In P. Lang (Ed.), Visual learning: Power of the image: Emotion, expression, explanation (pp. 131-141). Frankfurt am Main: Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften.

Ward, K. S. (2009). Musical soundscape: Teaching the concepts of R. Murray Schafer to elementary students. Canadian Music Educator, 50 (4), 40-42.

 

EAPRIL Power Point Presentation.

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International Kodaly Symposium 2017, University of Alberta, Canada
August 8th to 13th 2017

Kodaly

 

Kodaly gave primordial importance to the folksongs and the transmission of musical culture. People from many countries, having been trained by this Hungarian school, have made collections of their own folklore that are suitable for music instruction in their respective cultures. In doing so, they have discovered recurring melodic and rhythmic elements which have led to various adaptation of the Kodaly sequence.

Some authors, in addition to making significant changes to the sequence (starting with the sol-do relation instead of the sol-mi), have emphasized cultural differences in the use of solfege as regards movable and fixed do. Ribière-Raverlat (1975) speaks of “the do which can take the notion to move around … Young children adapt well to this movement and take it as a game. Let their teachers … learn to ‘play’ as well!”

While this is a charming image, this idea attempts to avoid a real problem. A culture that uses fixed do exclusively does not easily accept such ‘play’. This point has been raised by Legrady:

“It does not seem possible to introduce solfege with relative positions (movable do solfa) in those countries which use the syllables do, re, mi, etc. already to designate musical notes as for example in Quebec, France, Russia, etc. … The teaching of solfa in relative positions may never be possible until the Latin countries decide to replace do, re, mi, etc. by the alphabetical names C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C – and this replacement will be as difficult as to introduce the metric system to North America.”

― Legrady, T. (1967).

Also, a similar problem arises in using rhythmic syllables which, in French are very logical. Would it not be an advantage for Francophones to retain these? When various Kodaly groups choose to use the beat based system developed by Gordon (Bluestine, 2000), can we consider these modifications as legitimate? At what point is it an adaptation to the dominant culture and from when is this method being distorted?

I am proposing a critical review of what has been written on this subject, and an alternative for countries where the culture of fixed do is deeply anchored. I suggest the use of absolute solfege in combination with the use of movable numbers, equating to moveable do solfa, and I will share my personal experiences in proceeding this way.

Until now, the use of moveable do solfa and traditional Kodaly rhythmic syllables have greatly limited the possibility of training francophone teachers in this approach. It is time to find solutions that will allow the work of Kodaly to flourish in the Twenty-First Century.

List of References

Bluestine, E. (2000). The ways children learn music : An introduction and practical guide to music learning theory. Chicago: GIA Publications.

Legrady, T. (1967). Lisons la musique. Adaptation canadienne-française de la méthode Kodaly. Livre du maître – 1ère année. Ottawa : Fides.

Ribière-Raverlat, J. (1975). Chant-musique: Adaptation française de la méthode Kodaly. Livre du maître – 1ère année. Paris : Alphonse Leduc.

 

 

Kodaly Symposium Power Point Presentation.

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