Does the world need another music method?

The grade system, the Kodàly method, the tonic solfa method, the Suzuki method, the Yamaha method, rock schools, carnival percussion orchestras… the list goes on and on. The world full of music schools, academies, community centres, online courses and other institutions that teach music in all sorts of different ways. This being the case why would there be a need for yet another music method? Did we have to create Edara? In our humble opinion, yes. Here’s some reasons why.

First, we (the founders of the method) have inherited an unusual combination of music learning approaches: we have received formal musical training from traditional institutions such as conservatories and academies; we have received the informal training that comes along with the life of a professional musician; we have come into contact with an influx of distant musical cultures, especially from Latin America and west Africa; and we have received the invaluable apprenticeship from Barak Schmool, one of the UK’s foremost innovative music educators.

Then, over the course of years, we have slowly assimilated these influences and have started to integrate them into a unified approach to learning music for ourselves and teaching music to others. What’s more, we have made an effort to generalize the approach to learning music in general, irrespectively of genre, instruments, age groups or background. This effort has led us to synthesise a small set of activities which we believe deal with the core of what people normally call musicianship. We have thus ended up with a distinct and unified general music learning method.

This is not to say we are the only ones who can make these claims of originality, there are many other new music methods and they all have their merits . Every generation of music teachers gets to update their profession to reflect the changes in the musical landscape. This is particularly relevant to our generation. Our society has greatly changed in recent history and musical education is still coming to grips with it. For all its richness and history, music pedagogy is a live field which welcomes and is even in need of innovation. There are still a lot of residues from the old regime and there are many emerging alternative trends which are unfolding, still being developed. The world does need not one, but countless new music methods. Edara is just our inevitable contribution.

Now let’s get down to specifics. What are we trying to achieve with Edara? We want to provide an egalitarian education, one that does not exclude most people from the privilege of playing music. We want to engage with students at all times, making them active and the centre of the music making experience. We want our activities to be playful and yet to encourage intense concentration and focus. We want our ensembles to foster group collaboration all the while reinforcing individual autonomy. We want to do away with unnecessary theory whilst retaining the aural substance.

How do we plan on achieving all this? We’ll leave that for another post. Thanks for reading, remember you can comment and subscribe to the blog at the bottom of this page.

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