Knowing The Children We Teach places children at the center of music learning and teaching. What we understand about children determines how we teach them: the music learning environments we provide and decisions we make about music content and skills. Unexpressed, but no less meaningful, is the interdependent relationship between music teacher and children. Recent trends in music education emphasize what children should know about music more than what music educators need to know about children. This book offers insight into the innate traits of children such as goodness, kindness, needs, spirituality, playfulness and wonder. Each essay is supported through research and features data from music teacher-participants. When we engage children musically, we have opportunities to nurture children’s hearts, minds and spirits as well as our own.
Danette Littleton is a retired professor of music education and a former music teacher in elementary and preschools. She lectures and writes on children’s musical development, specifically the relationship between music learning and play. Her first book When Music Goes to School: Perspectives on Learning and Teaching is available through Rowman and Littlefield.
Meryl Sole teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education at New York University and Teachers College, Columbia University. She is an active researcher who focuses on the musical lives of toddlers, musical parenting and popular music education.
Essay 1. Born to be Good
Essay 2. Music and the Aesthetics of Care
Essay 3. What Children Need
Essay 4. Music and the Spiritual Child
Essay 5. Children’s Play with Music
Essay 6. Wonder-filled Knowing and Learning
Essay 7. Knowing Those Who Teach
Essay 8. Toward a Pedaogy of Hope
About the Authors
In this book Danette Littleton and Meryl Sole explore the nature of chlldren: their worlds of imagination, creativity, spontaneity, play, care and resilience and the many musical experiences that contribute to these worlds. Drawing on an interdisciplinary array of literature and on the testaments of multiple teachers, Littleton and Sole develop a child-based framework for music teaching, with attention both to the characteristics and needs of children of varying cultural and musical identities and social attributes. Throughout the essays, vignettes illustrate the ideas being discussed in a highly accessible way. The insights from this book provide a unique perspective on teaching that is valuable to music teachers and teacher trainers alike.
This heartfelt book reminds us of the innate goodness, playfulness, wonder, and spirit of the child. Littleton and Sole weave research, stories, and the perspectives of music teachers that build a case for a different kind of child-centered pedagogy. They portray the child as complex and complete; they call for an education that is delivered with compassion and care. An inspirational and informative read for music teachers who work with children.
This is a truly seminal book which unleashes the value of listening to children’s voices in taking forward and developing the relationship between learner and teacher. This book uniquely offers a vital resource for any new or experienced teacher or school leader looking to understand what we need to know about what music means to children and why learning music is an imperative for igniting teachers’ thoughts and beliefs about learners’ behaviours and emotional states and interdependence between learner and teacher for future-making 21st-century educators and learners.
The holistic care of students is at the heart of the music education ideas found in this book. Individual teacher accounts bring to life the issues of music education in the United States of America. The two voices of the authors shine throughout the chapters with a gentle, yet important call for action to listen to
the needs of both students and teachers to be playful, have time to wonder, to have individual needs noticed and valued so that we can discover our individuality through our encounters in the music classroom. This book is a must-read for those interested in deepening their understanding of music,
teaching and pedagogy; not in terms of repertoire and lesson planning, but rather in connecting with the values and beliefs needed to explore what students truly need from their music teachers.