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Hélène Boucher, PhD

Doctor of Music Education

 

Philosophical Approach

Philosophy as an Ontological Ethics- Løgstrup/Wheeler1

For Logstrup we are subject to an ethical requirement when we meet other people and this demand forces us to take care of the part of their life that has been placed in our hands. In other words, we are intimately connected with one another and this bond creates an ethical demand. Education involves asymmetric relationships: one person being more or less in the power of another person, this requires that we be vigilant when trying to meet the individual demands of our students.

An essential element of this ethical requirement is trust: "To associate or personally meet another person always means being at the mercy of his words or his conduct." This requires that trust is not abused.

Ethical demand involves a challenge, it demands love. Although it is sometimes difficult to love all our students, "we do what we have to do". We then act responsibly.

The binding element is mediation. This is what acts as an intermediary between humans engaged in a certain type of relationship: in our context, music is the mediator. The natural gap between people can be filled in different ways: "we must be united in a common endeavor, a common interest".

The ethical demand is radical for several reasons:
1. it is not spoken
2. it can be satisfied with a very significant or very insignificant act or word
3. we must respond to the request, even if we deal with people that we cannot love or whose presence we cannot appreciate.

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Adapting this vision for music education:

Trust: As teachers, we hold a part of each student's life in our hands. Our intention must be to take care of the part of each life placed in our hands.
An excellent curriculum is an excellent teacher who interacts with students in a pedagogical way.
We should allow our students to explore how a particular knowledge, competency or social interaction, modifies them as a person--how they affect their individual world. This concept is at the heart of good teaching.

Challenge: It is a difficult task to teach every day to large groups of students and to accept that everyone must be recognized and their individual requirements met. Love is demanded by students. If a music teacher likes music, but does not like the students to whom he/she teaches, then the learning environment is not all it could be. If the music teacher is more concerned by his/her own glory, or own aesthetic satisfaction, it is insufficient. The challenge is also to love all students, even those who, frankly, are not easy to like.

Mediation: Music is our "common interest" which mediates relationships. Education is not a business and students are not customers. "The art of teaching" requires love more than responsibility and music can provide energy in the recognition of our human ties.

 

"I teach people, not music…"

 

1. Wheeler, T. R. (2006). Toward a Framework for a New Philosophy of Music Education: Løgstrup as Synergy Between the Platonic and Aristotelian Perspectives in the Music Education Philosophies of Bennett Reimer and David Elliott (Doctoral dissertation, University of North Texas).

  MusicSpecialists

Pedagogial Approach

Active Teaching and Learning

1. What I hear, I forget.
2. What I hear and see, I remember a little.
3. What I hear, see, and ask questions about or discuss with someone else, I begin to understand.
4. What I hear, see, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill.
5. What I teach to another, I master.

Gartner, A. (1998). Mutual tutoring: Embedding and extending peer-assisted learning. In K. Topping & S. Ehly (Eds.), Peer-Assisted Learning, 281-289. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

 

Courses Taught

Department of Integrated Studies in Education
Education Faculty, McGill University (Montréal, Québec)

Undergraduate Courses:

Music Curriculum and Instruction for Generalists
Study of materials and instructional techniques grounded in an understanding of basic musical concepts and contemporary theories of music teaching and learning. Definition of musical objectives and rationales, selection and development of materials, review of QME guidelines. Participation through singing, movement, listening, discussion and lesson planning
and implementation.

Music Methods I
Preparation for Third Field Experience. Includes the study of music curriculum content and instructional approaches,
classroom management issues, lesson planning and program development for elementary and secondary schools.
Relevant professional competencies will be addressed, developed and assessed.

Music Methods II
Preparation for Fourth Field Experience. Follow-up of the topics introduced in Music Methods I.

  HélèneTeaching

Department of Music Education
Schulich School of Music, McGill University (Montréal, Québec)

Undergraduate Courses:

Music for Children
Using child-centered approaches such as Orff, Kodaly and Dalcroze, students will explore techniques and philosophies for cultivating musical understanding in children aged 6-12. Research related to musical development and the fostering of creativity will also be investigated. A field experience and curriculum organization component is included.

Music in Early Childhood
Organized as a laboratory, this course will explore the musical growth and development of children from birth to age six, with topics including heredity and environment, music skills and concept development, affective development, creativity, and musical activities.

Psychology of Music
The objectives of this course are to: 1. Explore various aspects of the psychology of music, including music and the brain, musical development in childhood, talent, perception of music, performance, practice, motivation, evaluation, teaching, performance anxiety, music therapy and music in the industry. 2. Make connections between research in music psychology and musical interpretation, composition, analysis and education. 3. Familiarize students with various research methodologies. 4. Understand and summarize research articles and develop a critical look at research results.

Music as a Profession
This course provides music students with information relevant to leading successful careers in the field of music. Over the course of the semester, numerous topics relating to this area will be presented and examined, including musicians' physical and mental health, practice techniques, entrepreneurship, and career development.

Doctoral Research Colloquium
The Doctoral Colloquium is a weekly lecture series organized by the Department of Music Research at McGill University.
The main objectives of the colloquium are:
1- To provide Ph.D. students with a supportive and stimulating environment to present their research and meet their PhD peers across disciplines in music;
2- To offer unique opportunities to engage with research presented by guest lecturers and McGill faculty members;
3- To encourage students to attend a variety of professional development workshops that serve as a forum in which students can seek advice on professional issues.

   

Music Faculty
Université Laval (Québec, Québec)

Undergradate Course

Philosophy of Music Education
PhD Various points of view on art: referentialism, expressionism, formalism. A fundamental philosophical conception of art in general (art and feeling, aesthetic meaning, aesthetic experience) and music especially (musical meaning, musical experience). The application of basic philosophical concepts to musical education as defined by aestheticism and praxialism.

Educational Psychology in Music
In this course, we are interested first of all in knowing how we learn music. We will examine the components of the processing of musical information and the ways in which humans appropriate music. We will then study the following question: what currents and pedagogical approaches should be favored in music education? In this context, we will explore various dimensions related to teaching and learning music in elementary and high school. Finally, we will determine how to interact with students with learning difficulties. Possible solutions to the main challenges in terms of behavior will also be suggested.
At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:
1. identify and differentiate the main components of the processing of music information;
2. to describe and explain the stages of musical development from early childhood to adolescence;
3. to distinguish current pedagogical approaches and method and to understand and analyze the processes involved in learning in music education;
4. choose relevant teaching strategies (used by the teacher) in music education;
5. to propose relevant learning strategies (used by the student) in music education;
6. to solve the main challenges in behavior and adjustment disorders in music education.

Graduate Courses:

Psychological Foundations of Music Education
The course aims to study different psychological foundations of music education in relation to the learning, teaching and performance of music in school or private contexts. The topics covered are: Music, brain and learning, musical development, musical skills and abilities, listening and musical perception, interpretation and expression, learning, practice and motivation, evaluation, teacher and teaching, performance anxiety, music therapy and the impact of music in our lives. The course also aims to train the student to summarize scientific studies, to study the research protocols used to carry out scientific studies in the field concerned, to know more deeply the results of research related to this field, to develop its meaning and to communicate to an audience of researchers, that is to say various professional skills that the student researcher must develop during his scientific training.

Seminar: Early Childhood and Music
Two main aspects are explored: musical awakening in groups, and the introduction of musical instrument through individual teaching. Some themes covered: different pedagogical approaches; techniques and strategies to teach music to young children; the musical development of young children; the global development of young children; musical preferences of young children; extra-musical gains (mathematics, reading, concentration); the role of the parents.

 

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