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Every Child a Composer

Music Education in an Evolutionary Perspective

Nicholas Bannan

This book breaks new ground in drawing on evolutionary psychology in support of advocacy for music education, and the presentation of innovative musical pedagogy. The book adopts the perspective that musical experience is the birthright of all human beings through the decisive role it played in the evolution of our species, the traces of which we carry in our genes. The author draws on scientific developments in acoustics, neuroscience, linguistics, archaeology and anthropology to examine theories that have emerged powerfully during the last twenty years and which argue for the significance of the practice of music as foundational to human culture. This position is examined in parallel with research into how children learn musically, and the role that creative decision making plays in this. A series of strategies is presented that explores collective creativity which draws on vocalisation, the use of gesture, and instinctive responses to harmony to develop musical imagination.

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Chapter 12: Further exercises to develop security of location


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Further exercises to develop security of location

The value to confident aural development of the acquisition of secure location is so important that a set of further procedures can profitably be devoted to this key skill. In the initial games of Chapter 7, we encountered procedures that introduced random chord-building (see pp. 173–4). It is worth re-visiting the sound-world these earlier games gave rise to, but this time beginning to impose order on the improvised chaos. The potential of the games that follow involves similar activities at a variety of levels of difficulty: the hardest provide challenging warm-up material for upper secondary or even tertiary students.

Resolution games

1. Begin with the instruction: ‘Silently imagine any note you like, high or low, and try to hear yourself singing it before we actually start. On my downbeat, sing your note, and then start listening to how it fits with other notes people in the room are singing. You can choose either to hold onto your note, because you feel it forms a potential relationship with the note someone else is singing, or, if you would prefer, move: but only up or down by step. If you choose to move, do so by the smallest steps that you feel move your voice so that you can help create a triad. Breathe when you have to. It may take quite a long time, but eventually you will all end...

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