MU202 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-20: A Teacher

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3 Jul 2017

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Notes on Veronika Cohen: Musical Creativity: A Teacher Training Perspective
Wanted: Teacher to bring out the maximum musical creative potential of her
students. The successful candidate needs to:
• have a solid understanding of the musical creative process;
• have excellent skills of observation;
• have the ability to encourage the unique creative leanings of each pupil;
• provide the skills and knowledge the pupil needs to actualize his creative potential;
be able to suggest musical problems that will challenge the pupil to engage in creative
be supportive and give helpful evaluation and suggestions and avoid imposing her/his own
taste or musical values on the pupil;
create an emotional climate which allows experimentation without fear of failure and yet
instills a striving for excellence:
• be personally involved in some creative activities.
Curb the urge to teach.
Don’t interfere if there is no need.
Unless there are signs to the contrary, assume the student is doing
something that is worthwhile to him.
Treat the pupil’s work with respect.
If you feel impatient, work on your impatience or walk away.
Do not let suggestions for further work grow out of your impatience.
Do not impose your aesthetic values on the pupil. It is his/her piece.
Your job is to help the student actualize what s/he wants to create.
If you hear a different piece in your head go create your own piece.
Analysis of the process of supporting creative development:
How can we support exploration?
How can we encourage mastery?
How can we pose interesting musical problems that will serve as a framework for
improvisations/ compositions?
How can we give helpful feedback?
How can we create “space” for the creative child to function in the school setting?
How can we build a sequenced curriculum for creative development?
The problem of not imposing the teacher’s aesthetic preferences comes up again
and again. It can’t be helped, it just happens every year that teachers who were
hoping to discover another John Cage end up with a pupil whose fondest wish is to
make up a simple folksong with tonic dominant chords, while the student who hates
contemporary music gets the pupil who wants to use tone clusters, etc.
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