For most of my 16 years at MTNA, I have advocated that a proper music education involves, even requires, both public school music as well as private teaching.
The public-private partnership provides the means for integrating music into the whole fabric of a child's life. Public school music without the involvement of private music instruction becomes shallow and narrow. Private music instruction without the support of public school music becomes isolated and exclusive. Each aspect, public and private, is necessary to a child's mental, emotional, physical and musical development. Alone, neither is sufficient. The tasks of music education are too great and the benefits are too important to be left to one or the other.
The International Society for Music Education has come to embrace this vision, establishing in 2008 a new "Forum for Instrumental and Vocal Teaching." I had the privilege of assisting in its development and now serve through 2016 as its chair. This forum focuses on the role of the studio, private teacher and the nexus with the classroom teacher. This opportunity has greatly expanded MTNA's role and influence in music education on the international stage, and it has provided me a glimpse into the kaleidoscope of ideas and practices that make up music education around the globe. Let me share an example.
Recently, I moderated a panel at the International Symposium for Research and Higher Education in Music in Porto Alegre, Brazil. My panel included distinguished music educators from Spain, Brazil and Great Britain. Of particular interest to me were the comments by professor Sarah Hennessy of the University of Exeter. Her focus included an argument that music is for all students and that music education must be inclusive and integrated into the entire curriculum. She postulated several issues that undermine the public's "confidence" related to music. She points to a deeply held belief among the masses that "music is a gift" only a few possess. Furthermore, there is a "narrow view" of what it is to be musical and a lack of opportunities for students to apply musical training. But most concerning of all is the widespread feelings of "failure or exclusion" during early musical experiences.
Private music teachers, especially MTNA members, have a unique opportunity to confront and eliminate these barriers. Our "Music for Everyone" and our "Recreational Music Making" programs, in tandem with our national student competitions, confirm our broad view of musicality and participation, and to our firm belief in the inclusion and success of all students, regardless of their musical interests or skill level.
MTNA is thoroughly committed to being an indispensible partner: to you in your local teaching, as well as to the larger community of music educators throughout the world.
-Gary L. Ingle
Executive Director & CEO
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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