The Ways Children Learn Music: An Introduction and Practical Guide to Music Learning Theory (Google eBook)

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GIA Publications, 2000 - Music - 207 pages
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The other reviewer (imho) either did not understand Bluestine, or does not care to view MLT favorably. As a Doctor of Music, coming from a performance career to teaching children in a high school setting, the greatest frustration I have faced is the inability to teach all students, at all 'auditation' levels, all of the material that is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the art and function of music. What Bluestine has done, frankly, is to de-mystify Gordon, MLT, and all the heated discussions I remember hearing among my Ed.D. colleagues in grad school, about whether Reimer or Gordon was right. Is Bluestine passionate about MLT? Of course. Is he fair in his analysis of other viewpoints than Gordon's? Absolutely. But I fully believe that what Suzuki does for instrumental study (incremental learning step by step, over time, with numerous repetitions to achieve mastery) is exactly what Gordon does, in the realm of solfege, rhythm patterning, and the basic level skills that are analogous to a phonics-based approach to teaching English- something Bluestine notes and comments on in his text. Having training in Writing Road to Reading methodology, and having taught my own children in this fashion, I can attest to these ideas having merit. Music IS a language, and we need to break it down, so that any child may learn to speak it. What is most appreciated in Bluestine's book, however, is the simple, direct, no-nonsense writing style, and the ability to 'look inside the head' of those who utilize MLT in their music curricula. My music department is inaugurating the AMMA test in the fall, and we will be using Feierabend's MLT approach toward Solfege, using insights derived from this book, which is much to be commended. 

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This author fails to comprehend basic philosophical tenets regarding the inherent value of music in human experience. While the foundational ideas of Gordon's methodology are certainly present, attempts to substantiate the value of the method by negating the philosophical arguments of aesthetic education in general and Reimer specifically are merely sad. Bluestine may be equipped to execute Gordon's recipes for music education, but sadly he is unable to grasp the deeper meaning behind the actions in which he engages to cook up something new. If you have any respect for the nature and value of music, if you truly passionate about engaging children in meaningful ways with music, then you can skip reading this book. 

Contents

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