Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Learning to perform: towards a new understanding of espert musical learning

Learning to perform: towards a new understanding of espert musical learning

Rosie burt-Perkins, Royal College of Music, UK

Rosie is a research officer at the RCM in London. Her presentation is split into two parts. First she explains different theories in expert musical learning. In the second part she tells us about her doctoral work. It´s not always about ”practice makes perfect”. You can´t spend all your time practicing because others will be more prepeared than you for the world outside the 4 squaremeter room you practice in. You have to experience life as it really is.

At RCM they asked a group of students in the program Learning to perform:instrumentalists and instrument teachers differnt questions about how they practice on their instruments, both before, during and after the program. During her presentation she showes us some of the answers from the students. They discover that by expanding their horizon on how they practice on their instruments and also listen to music they normaly wouldn´t listen to they get a different perspective on how it is to be a proffessional musician.

Performing Arts as Experiential Educational Fields

Første foreleser på årets Bimuc-konferanse var Liora Bresler som er professor ved University of Illinois som har gjort en grundig studie på emnet Performing Arts as Experiential Educational Fields. Hun fortalte for eksempel om forskningsmetodene som blant annet innebar både aktiv og passiv observasjon av grupper og intervjuer med lærere, elever, artister og publikum, men også de som var ansatt på i en konserthall og i tillegg folk hun kom i kontakt med i lokalmiljøet. Gjennom sistnevnte fikk hun deres utenforstående mening, noe som er en interessant betraktning.

Jeg syntes spesielt hennes tanker om likheter og ulikheter mellom artister og lærere var interessante. Felles for begge er for eksempel at begge at de står på en form for scene og skal nå ut til en gruppe mennesker. Det er også felles at man aldri kan bli helt utlært og at det kreves et visst engasjement i tillegg til kreativitet, innovasjon og en rekke andre forutsetninger for å være en god lærer/artist. Ulikhetene går for eksempel på lønnstrinn, om publikum er der fordi de virkelig ønsker å være der og Bresler stilte også spørsmål ved om man trenger et like sterkt indre engasjement som lærer i forhånd til hva man trenger som artist.

Paul Inge

Music Education and Musical Diversity in Mainland China(By Linn Pauli and Martin Mason)

Jiaxing Xie was the keynote speaker on the second day of the BIMUC conference.
He started by giving us an introduction to the enormity of the Chinese school system by giving us numbers such as 200 000 music teachers. He also gave us an impression of the richness of Chinese traditional music consisting of 56 ethnic groups , 600 traditional instruments and of course, 8000 years of history.

He then moves on to tell us about problems that we can very much relate to in Norway, that is the problem of globalization and the threat it poses to the traditional music. The numbers he presents are dramatic. A study done amongst academics in Bejiing show that 96% like pop, 53 % like Western music and 26 % like traditional music. The most dramatic number is probably that only 2 % of the students in school listen to traditional music.

After this he clarifies the differences between the ways of learning this tradition the "traditional" way and the more formal way of learning in the school system. And points out the need to integrate the traditional into the school system. Seeing as the way to "save" this music is not to document it in the form of recordings, but rather teach it to the children in the schools. With a focus on the local tradition of the area.

This could be done specifically by changing the curriculum, training the teachers and utilizing new technology and techniques. There have already been positive developments such as a requirement that the pupils learn a certain amount of traditional music. Other examples could be that the music teachers are required to learn a traditional instrument and song before they can move on to other styles of music.

He concludes that the approach to music should be like learning language, first you learn your own dialect, then you move on to the "official" language and finally you learn foreign languages.
This means getting to know the songs from your hometown firstly, then move on to for example the Han music, and eventually foreign music.

Monday, 21 April 2008

BIMUC 2008

The second BIMUC conference is soon approaching! BIMUC 2008 takes place in Hotell Norge, Bergen from 28th-30th of April.

Check out the programme with links to abstracts at http://www.bimuc.no

During the conference this blog will display short descriptions of all the presentations and concerts at BIMUC.