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Freeing Music Education from Schooling: Toward a Lifespan an

Perspective on Music Learning


Myers, D. E. (2007). Freeing music education from schooling: Toward a
lifespan perspective
on music learning and teaching. International Journal
of Community Music, 1(1), 4961. doi:10.1386/ijcm.1.1.49_1
Myers article addressed many concerns about music programs in middle
school and high school. Three main points that I took away from the article
were:
1.) Producing successful ensemble performances in schools, while a
worthy effort in some respects, does not necessarily instill skills and
understandings that empower people to fulfill their musical drives and
potential over a lifetime (Myers, 2007, p. 3). This is a very strong point
for Myers to address. I would have to disagree with this point though.
With my experience in high school music programs, the extracurricular
band, choirs and musicals is what showed me that music was the
career that I wanted to pursue. Music is not something that you can
force upon anyone, they have to discover the passion for it
themselves. If students are willing to stay after school on a weekly
basis for a music program, then they obviously have the drive and
discipline to stick with music if they decide to.
2.) Despite frequent calls for expansion of general music through middle
and high school, models were scattered and fleeting, largely subject to
individual teacher initiative or limited funding, and had no large impact
on programs (Myers, 2007, p.7). I do agree with Myers on this point.
Music programs unfortunately lack a lot of basic structure to ensure
that all teachers are teaching relatively the same content and because
of that, it is difficult to see where funding is equally necessary for each
school. If the program had a little bit more structure than I think that
seeing similar problems that needed funding throughout schools would
be easier to address and therefore improve.
3.) The preferred musics are country-western and classic rock/oldies.
Classical music does not make it into the top five (Myers, 2007, p.8.)
This is another great point that Myers makes in this article. How are
students suppose to know if they like music as a whole if they are not
seeing the whole thing? A lot of teachers focus on a certain genre

that they find important (generally classical or jazz). There never quite
seems to be a good balance of genres being taught throughout the
year. If there was a more diverse teaching of music then I believe that
more students would be able to familiarize themselves and connect
with a certain genre that they see fit for themselves. If students arent
exposed to different genres such a pop then they may just ignore
music all together because they are not being taught any music that
they know or are interested in.
I really enjoyed Myers article. I think that it brings up some great debatable
concerns in regards to making sure that music is a life long learning interest
rather than just stopping after high school. A lot of these issues unfortunately
are in the students hands though. You cannot force a student to like music
so it is up to the teachers to make sure that they have expressed music in
everyway possible to ensure that the students can see there passion for
music. Each student learns a different way and perceives music in a different
way and so should teachers.