The centuries-old art of teaching music has significantly changed its elements and goals over the years, progressing like chords to find the right tone.
Music pedagogy came about in the 20th century when the elements of music education became a formal discipline focusing on the ability, understanding, experience, knowledge and interpretation of music. That development has led to new approaches to the overall learning experience for students of all ages worldwide.
In the online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum & Instruction — Music program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, learners have the added benefit of its National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accreditation. Students in the master’s degree program explore the history and philosophy of music education, theory and pedagogy.
Founded in 1924, NASM sets national standards for more than 630 accredited institutional members and their students, and it assists music learners throughout their educational process. Among NASM’s goals is to encourage creative new ways of teaching that could lead to further innovation in music pedagogy. They will gain practice designing programs and create and analyze tools for music instruction.
Graduates of the online M.Ed. program at Southeastern are ready for various career opportunities in teaching and administration.
The History of Learning Music
The roots of music education as part of a broader fine arts umbrella date back to Greece in 500 BC. Plato and Aristotle believed music was an essential part of education to develop young minds, leading to its inclusion in early curricula.
In the United States, music education arrived in Boston schools in 1830. Three years later, Lowell Mason founded the Boston Academy of Music. From there, music education expanded and became an integral part of the academic setting at every level in the country, from orchestras to marching bands.
The result of the arrival of music pedagogy includes four key innovative developmental approaches to music education over the years: the Kodály method, eurhythmics, the Orff Schulwerk and the Suzuki method. Teachers in scholastic environments and private instructors incorporate these methods to pass along their knowledge.
The modern approach to music education still includes a few of the same principles of ancient Greece, such as the belief that music education plays a large role in developing young minds as they become responsible citizens of society.
The Benefits Are Multifold
One of the biggest keys to music education today is that learning to read and play music strengthens children’s brains and leads to sharper focus and decision-making abilities.
Numerous studies have found that music education typically leads to academic success, a higher IQ, more creative thinking and improved cognitive function.
Today’s educators also realize that the human interaction element of music education is essential. As a result, educators are more aware of using non-verbal communication, like gestures, to develop relationships with students so they can succeed and thrive as musicians and students.
Research proves that playing a musical instrument can be beneficial to the brain at any age. More than ever, adults are taking up music education to improve their overall health and outlook on life. Plus, music remains a massive part of society and culture for people of all walks of life across every corner of the globe. It serves as a method of unification and enjoyment that people celebrate regularly.
Music pedagogy continues to adjust and focus on ways to improve methods and learning outcomes. Researchers and professionals are still understanding the effects of music on individuals and society, as well as the harmony of education and art.
Therefore, educators should continue to stress the importance of music education while ensuring that it continually improves. This isn’t easy sometimes in an age where arts programs are sometimes victims of school budget cuts and students have differing education access, but music continues to be a staple in society. Graduates of Southeastern’s M.Ed. C&I – Music program can pursue careers such as music coordinator, fine arts administrator, program administrator, K-12 music teacher and adult education music teacher.