Saturday, March 07, 2015

The Music Outreach Principle

"Music should be a present to other people. If they at this early age can think of the idea of giving, of thinking of other people, then their lives will be different" - Dr John Diamond
The Music Outreach Principle is an extremely simple social philosophy of music making. It draws on the philosophies of Dr John Diamond of the Institute of Music and Health, New York, encompassing a modern interpretation of the idea that sharing music making promotes general well-being as well as skill development. As the name implies, the Music Outreach Principle involves making music with the intent of altruistically reaching out to others. In essence, individuals involved are encouraged to think: ‘I make music in order that others will make music, for the benefit of all’. This intent is exercised not just from ‘teacher’ to ‘student’ but is passed on from individual to individual so that all music making ‘reaches out’ in an on-going cycle. The aim of the Music Outreach Principle is to allow all participants to be both givers and receivers of music through helping others to engage in music making. All participants become facilitators in shared music making (from Music Engagement Program website)
The Music Engagement Program of the Australian National University’s (ANU) School of Music is a new paradigm for music education that has been designed and developed by Dr Susan West based on the Music Outreach Principle explained above and therefore focused on the social intent embedded in the music making, rather than the skills that are traditionally defined as ‘progress’ in music development.
The 70/7 Series (seventy songs over seven years) represents over 10 years research in the development of a new approach to music in education known as the Music Outreach Principle. The 70/7 series is a base-line approach to music-making at the primary school level under which students learn ten songs for each year of primary school kindergarten to Year 6. It has been developed in consultation with primary school students and their teachers over ten years.

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