oa Africa Insight - The teaching of music South Africa

Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



The teaching of music often creates unique challenges for both tutor and student, especially where the educational goals are at variance with the society's aspirations. In the study of language, culture plays a key role in enabling a student to comprehend fully the nature, the idiosyncrasies and the rationale behind the rules that apply to syntax. This is the case with music education also: before one can structure effective music education programmes, the culture and nature of a people must be understood. In the new South Africa the politicization of musical aesthetics is inevitable - and in fact essential - in order for music to be seen as mirroring the nature of South African society. Bearing in mind that: Music can be studied and appreciated in many ways. It can be approached as an art that comprises great exemplars and masterworks; or it can be viewed as the entire product of a whole people. It can be studied as a chain of history in which each event causes another; or it can be considered a group of processes that reflect in sound what is happening in life. It can be regarded as a group of techniques, a craft in which structural relationships are translated into patterns of sound.1

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