Piano and Voice

July 15, 2014 | Events | 0 Comments

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Well Balanced Curriculum

July 1, 2014 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Well Balanced Curriculum

Music is deeply rooted in human nature and learning music is something that many of us like to explore. The choice of institution, instructor, and a few other factors make music study, a pleasurable experience. It is therefore important to have the right mix of everything in music education.

What is a balanced curriculum and why teach a balanced curriculum?

A good music academy should have a balanced approach for holistic development in the student. It begins with the use of right books and methods, taught by experienced teachers, who effectively engage the student. A well-structured study is required to achieve the goal ahead, where every single lesson or activity is made enjoyable and meaningful. The three key areas that determine a well-balanced program and make it quality oriented are:

  •  Learning
  •  Performing
  •  Assessing

 

LEARNING

Communication:

It is important for the teacher to regularly converse with the students as they need to know, why they do, what they do. There could be a purpose behind every application but the student will not work towards it, unless it’s explained. For example, some teachers like to introduce music notes through theory lessons even before they begin practical training since they feel it makes learning relatively easy.

Practise:

It’s quite exciting when you begin music lessons but the need for real passion is realised only when it comes to sincere effort and hard work. The consistent practise at home is important whether you take guitar lessons or piano lessons to progress effectively. The students should avoid using the class time for practising old lessons. The teachers will appreciate when the students complete the necessary homework and come prepared to take the next lesson.

Syllabus:

Music learning should never become just another school going activity. Instead, it should be made as interesting as one would play a video game or spend time on Facebook. There are several modern method books on how to learn guitar or how to play keyboard and other instruments. These books give a lot of confidence to the student, especially beginners through their tune based learning exercises. It makes the student play the simplest of tunes, right from day one, where each tune is a lesson by itself that introduces something new in music. Additional study materials like supplementary tune book, technique book and theory book should be slowly encouraged once they start progressing. This in turn will make their music learning more interesting and challenging. It will raise the level of seriousness with which their practise becomes even more important to accommodate these things.

Improvisation & Own Compositions:

It may not be a good idea to remain confined to written music. Creative thinking along with the ability to explore and find responses can be nurtured through right guidance. Music promotes intelligence by encouraging personal expression and gives enormous scope for imaginative ideas. Also, a good balance between ear music and sight reading is important. The student will have to be well equipped in a competitive music environment that demands both the abilities.

 

PERFORMING

Opportunities:

Yes, we learn because we want to perform and for that we need opportunities to showcase our talent. It doesn’t really matter whether you are playing for a small or a large audience as far as you get a platform to do it. In many cases, the opportunity will have to be created by the institution or the teacher so that the student experiences performance.Such events will also give the parents and friends an opportunity to see the progress made by the student. Performing in a recital hall or auditorium is a different experience for the student whose playing is mostly confined to classroom or home. It requires a bit of skill that the student develops over a period of time.

Options:

There are several options like solo, duet, ensemble, etc. that can be offered to students when it comes to performance. Not all students will be willing to perform in front of an audience as stage freight might worry them. Solo playing can be done by students who are relatively bold, and the alternate options could be explored by students who shy away from performing. Competition is another great platform but the decision to participate in it should be left to the student. It is one step ahead, where the student is expected to demonstrate higher level of certain qualities like showmanship, technique and proficiency, to name a few. The students should be encouraged to present their own compositions in addition to the ones that they have been taught.

Frequency:

There can be as many events as possible to make them perform consistently. Right from a small time piano recital, to a mixed instrumental, to a vocal evening, there are many things that can be scheduled through the year. It can be anything from classical to contemporary music. This will certainly improve their playing. It will help the student to build a personal repertoire and be prepared to perform any time.

Confidence:

Performance enables the students to develop the required confidence as they keep doing it regularly. It happens all the more when they perform and witness other students play. As they do this, they share with others,and also learn from one another by observing the uniqueness that each student portrays.

 

ASSESSING

Structured learning:

It is better to have a framework for studying music, and the graded curriculum is a good way to go about it. The assorted collection of music that has been put together in increasing difficulty by accredited exam boards, helps the student to go through structured learning.

Qualification:

The student can work on the graded syllabus and take exams in music to earn certificates that are globally acclaimed. It is the common basis on which the student’s musical ability is generally ascertained. The student’s presentation is evaluated by a qualified examiner who gives an unbiased report.

Accomplishment:

There is a sense of fulfillment when the student earns credits in music. The exam repertoire is not limited to the assessment based on general parameters like accuracy, fluency, technicality but also provides the scope for own interpretation in several areas.

In conclusion, I like to highlight that the overall talent development is a major focus at our “Academy of Western Music”. All the courses here are well balanced, well sequenced and well implemented. It is a great facility where skilled faculty help you to enjoy every bit of your learning. If you’re someone looking for Music Theory, Piano, Keyboard, Drums, Saxophone, Violin, Vocal or Guitar lessons in Chennai, I can assure you that our academy will be the best in the city. The dream of every student who aspires to learn and master western music is made a reality at our Academy.

 

John Sudhakar
CEO -Academy of Western Music, Chennai.