I think if we ask any parent or educator if he thinks it’s important for children to have a good musical background, everyone will certainly agree, since music is very important to all. The importance of music in our lives is almost unanimous. Many parents feel that they have not had access to the music world and care about providing this to their children. Among educators many argue that music, in addition to being important in the cultural formation of the child, can also aid in the acquisition of skills important to learning in general. But many parents ask themselves as to whether or not certain types of music should be listened by children.
But how should this be done? What musical training should be given to our children?
Traditional methods X modern methods
In the twentieth century, a number of music educators have gone deeply into the question of the best methods for introducing children into the world of music. Most of them emphasized the need for the musical experience to come before the formal teaching of music. This is really important and is in line with several studies in the field of learning psychology. However, along with these new methods that certainly bring many contributions, there has also been a false view that traditional methods do not have any quality, since they would start from an authoritarian conception of teaching based on model reproduction, meaningless repetition musical, in practice without reflection. At the other end would be the modern methods, which emphasize the activities of creation, perception and reflection.
The predominance of a simplistic view of this dichotomy between traditional and “modern” methods has led to totally ineffective teaching practices. To simplify, let’s examine just one question: the choice of repertoire to be worked with children.
Cultural diversity or cultural segregation?
In most of the texts on music education we find, implicitly or explicitly, the idea that traditional teaching privileges the repertoire represented by European music and that this music does not reflect the cultural reality of the country, is the result of a process of colonization that forcibly imposed its culture. Instead, we should privilege our true origins, which would be represented by African and indigenous culture. That is, with an argument based on the valorization of cultural diversity, there is in fact a movement of cultural segregation that increasingly elicits access to culture. Click here.
The view that European music, which influenced the whole world (Western and Eastern) does not deserve to be taught because it represents a process of colonization, induces us to two major mistakes: to deny the main influence of our music, including the popular one, and to offer to our children only a quality of more than doubtful quality, commercially and aggressively disseminated by the mass media. If we think that childhood is the period when we are more open to absorbing all kinds of music, depriving our children of listening to a large and varied repertoire can bring great harm.