Popular vs Traditional

Having just watched this interview with Richard Gill  Counterpoint  I am struck by how much more at home I felt with his ideas compared with those of Ethan Hein of whose music on SoundCloud I only liked 1 or 2 tracks. Richard Gill’s is the only video so far in the course where I found myself diving for pen and paper so I could take notes. I didn’t want to miss a single word he said. Coming a close second was Lucy Green’s video which particularly got me thinking about what genuinely motivates the average student, and how much they learn when encouraged to learn the music they love, in a way that mimics those who are self-taught.

Richard Gill was extremely clear that the earlier school years should be about preparing students, mainly via voice, to be ready to receive tuition in secondary school in a variety of music types. He also said notation should be taught only if it’s needed, and not at the expense of the music i.e. sound should come before symbol. He did believe that we need to meet students where they feel comfortable and have some sense of familiarity, but also, importantly, that school can be where students are taught new things and introduced to types of music or instruments that they were not familiar with previously.

So for me a balance point is between Lucy Green’s model of meeting the student at their strongest motivation point, so growing with what they already know and love, and Richard Gill’s belief that students should be required to learn new things so that they are enabled to possibly discover a NEW interest. Somewhere between the two, embracing concepts from each, and developing and growing in line with the child’s development, may be the optimal way to go.


John Hattie was mentioned in the course, so I read this article Visible Learning. He wrote the book after 15 years of research about what really works in education. So much to digest…

I am learning a lot about education and teaching from this course, its extra readings and videos, and even from how the course itself is structured. Nice to know the course creators are “walking the talk”.




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