Incorporating popular music and dance: A student-centered approach to middle school chorus
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Citation (published version)Ruth Debrot. 2017. "Incorporating popular music and dance: A student-centered approach to middle school chorus." Journal of Popular Music Education, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp. 297 - 316 (20). https://doi.org/10.1386/jpme.1.3.297_1
Middle school chorus in the United States is, from an adolescent perspective, primarily a means of socializing and making friends. Using Green’s (2008) notion of critical musicality, I designed a constructionist learning environment. Using critical participatory action research, conducted with my students rather than on them, we explored alternative pedagogical approaches to choral teaching and learning. We learned that collaborative learning fostered musical and social development in a heterarchical classroom environment that contributed to intersubjective understandings. It became possible for students to apply prior knowledge from outside of school to holistic, contextual, self-generated learning goals in the choral classroom. Incorporating popular music, technology and dance into the curriculum made learning relevant for these students. Choral educators may be able to implement student-centred curricula in choral settings more easily than is on occasion assumed.
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