As we listen and move to music, sing, compose, and play, we engage in musical experiences. These happen in formal learning settings, such as schools and rehearsal halls, but also in informal settings, such as homes and community centers. Musical experiences are fundamentally social and can teach us about ourselves and our relationship to others. This book explores some of the many ways we experience music and create musical meaning from infancy through older adulthood. While vignettes, narratives, and cases form the primary focus of each chapter, the contributors of the book use extant research and theory to deepen understanding of a particular phenomenon, idea, or experience. Chapters are written by leading experts who examine music teaching and learning. They employ various qualitative research methodologies, including case study, narrative inquiry, oral history, and ethnography, yet their contributions are readable, engaging, and refreshingly insightful.
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About the Author
Jody L. Kerchner is associate professor and director of Music Education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she is the secondary school music and choral music education specialist. Her research focuses on music listening and cognitive processing, portfolio assessment, college-public school collaboration, and music teacher identity. Carlos R. Abril is assistant professor of Music Education at Northwestern University where he teaches courses in general music, multiculturalism, and philosophy. His research focuses on the sociocultural dimensions of the music teaching and learning process, music perception, and the elementary music curriculum.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Musical Experience throughout Our Lives Part 3 Infancy/Early Childhood Chapter 4 Songs of Belonging: Musical Interactions in Early Life Chapter 5 From the Teacher's View: Observations of Toddler's Musical Development Chapter 6 A Community Music Program for Parents and Children With and Without Special Needs Chapter 7 Musical Portraits, Musical Pathways: Stories of Meaning Making in the Lives of Six Families Part 8 Childhood Chapter 9 Pulling the Curtain Back on Performance in the Elementary School Chapter 10 El Cameleon: The Musical Secrets of Mirella Valdez Chapter 11 Improvisatory Musical Experiences in the Lives of Children with Severe Disabilities Chapter 12 Composing in the Classroom: The Journey of Five Children Part 13 Adolescence Chapter 14 Strings Attached: The Reality Show Chapter 15 Drawing Middle-Schoolers' Attention to Music Chapter 16 At-Risk Teens: Making Sense of Life through Music Composition Chapter 17 Boys' Voices: Inside and Outside Choral Music Chapter 18 Music in Motion: An Overture to the Student Experience in the Outdoor Music Ensemble Chapter 19 The Violin and the Fiddle: Narratives of Music and Musician in a High School Setting Part 20 Adulthood/Older Adulthood Chapter 21 Creation to Performance: The Journey of an African American Community Gospel-Jazz Ensemble Chapter 22 Both Sides of the Coin: Experienced Musicians Tell of Lives Lived and Shared Chapter 23 Dancing Inside: Dalcroze Eurhythmics in a Therapeutic Setting Chapter 24 Voices of Experience: Lessons from Older Adult Amateur Musicians
What People are Saying About This
Musical Experience in Our Lives features a veritable pantheon of outstanding researchers and thinkers in the field of music education. They bring to this work important perspectives on the transmission, learning, and joy of music making from the youngest child to people in their later years.
These qualitative studies provide a detailed description of the sociological dimensions of music learning, helping us to understand that what is learned far transcends a particular classroom, teacher or setting.
I opened this book and was immediately engaged. This is a book about alignment, about broadening our perspectives on music education, about identifying the range of music learners in our society and discovering what they can teach us when we take time to watch and listen.
Kerchner and Abril have created a compelling collection that should be a part of every musician's library of inspirational books, and one that provides exceptional models for continuing research into the meaning of musical experience. There is no other publication like this in our music education literature.
Kerchner and Abril hope that readers of this book will consider new directions for music education in response. I say: Follow them-they are leading the way with this publication!
Jody Kerchner and Carlos Abril break new ground in this book by bringing together in one publication a series of narratives and case studies that illuminate the nature and meaning of musical engagement in formal and informal settings across the lifespan. Set in rich social and cultural contexts and authored by scholars with diverse interests, each study brings the reader to the heart of musical experience and meaning making at different developmental stages—infancy and early childhood, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood and older adulthood. The collection serves as a catalyst for expanding the vision and reach of music education and reassessing the impact of music on the human condition.
What a valuable resource for music education! Musical Experience in Our Lives addresses the essence of the musical experience through eighteen engaging topics, prepared by leading experts in the field. This very readable and insightful text spotlights the importance of musical experiences occurring in a variety of settings from the more formal to the informal, and resulting in the ultimate quest for life-long music makers.
Musical Experience in Our Lives is a compelling text that masterfully conveys the inherent value of "school music" within the larger dynamic landscape of engagement, learning, socialization, and meaning-making. Invoking an overdue and welcome lifespan perspective, Kerchner and Abril have shaped the work so that chapters collectively bridge the too-frequent divide between music in school and music in life. A must-read for those who are serious about music education as a crucial element of meaningful living.
Kerchner's and Abril's Musical Experience in Our Lives takes us a giant step toward what the field of music education most needs to become: more real. In chapter after chapter by the assembled writers the actual musical lives being lived by people at every stage, from early childhood through older adulthood, are portrayed thoughtfully and delightfully, demonstrating how rich and diverse those lives can be and how minimally related they are to traditional music programs in the schools. This is an indispensable book for all music educators, eye-opening, refreshing, mind-expanding, and hopeful for its encouragement of an invigorated profession.