Fumbling Towards Vulnerability: Moving Out of the Familiar for Music Education's Sake, by Lesley Dawe
Dawe, L. (2016). Fumbling Towards Vulnerability: Moving Out of the Familiar for Music Education’s Sake, Canadian Music Educator, (57) 2, pp.22-24.
Within the article, Lesley Dawe focuses on her own experiences trying out a new constructive and creative way teaching as a music teacher at school. She also discusses about the struggles she faced when trying out this new approach to teaching and why other music educators should try a similar approach inside their classrooms.
Dawe begins the article with how she was taught music in her early years. She talks about the way that her teachers taught her the basics about music and her reception about it. I feel that I can relate to the way that she was brought up as a music student. Personally, I was raised in an elementary music school where we were only taught the 'proper way' to sing and play our instruments. I was interested when she mentioned how she felt 'vulnerable' when offered to have a creative approach in her performances. I can relate to her on a personal level, as there have been moments in my life where I have felt traumatized as Dawe when I have been offered chances to share my creativity in my classroom.
One thing that stood out for me was the she discussed the difficulty of finding a balance of teaching the foundations of music and having a constructive and creative atmosphere in the class. While there maybe some students that enjoy being taught in a traditional pedagogical environment, there may be students who are forced to be less creative, and therefore have a hard time getting a grasp on the concepts of music. I can agree that there should be some kind of strategy that teachers can utilize where all students can show their creativity in music.
For me, there wasn't anything I found in the article that frustrated me. I would have to say that Dawe has a strong article for music educators to consider looking at about changing the pedagogical curriculum to cater to students looking to express their desire for music. Her advice for those who want to follow in her footsteps of trying a new teaching style seems vague when she says 'simply start small' (24). However, by saying this, it allows the educator to think more creatively and experiment in their classrooms to further engage their students in a variety of ways.
What Would I Ask the Author?
- What were some of the different strategies/activities that you experimented with inside the classroom? Was there any difficulty in choosing what would benefit both you as a teacher and your students?
- Is there a routine that you have when planning out new ideas to implement in your classroom? For example, if you have a really good teaching habit that is really effective in class, do you keep using it for a number of years, or would you try something different from that in order to keep your students interested?