School Music courses
For many people, an engagement with music in their ‘free time’ is very important. Contact with music - in whatever form – is related to shaping a happy life, both individually and in the community. To this end, music tuition makes a vital contribution to general schooling: young people should cultivate a meaningful engagement with the diversity and variety of music which they can establish for themselves and in relation to others. They can also learn aesthetic judgement. Anyone who would like to help them in this task – in other words, anyone who is interested in assisting school students on their way to musical education (which cannot be limited only to school hours, and which will never come to an end) with knowledge and skill as a teacher, and thus to empower them in music-based learning and in gaining diverse experiences with music – should aspire to the profession of music teacher.
This profession is one of the most self-determining of musical professions. It is also distinguished by its broad spectrum of forms of contact with music and the vast variety of different kinds of music with which professional engagement is required, and by its diversity and rich variety. In addition to teachers’ responsibility for the vast array of music-based activities in their everyday professional lives, there is the requirement to deal continually with new groups of young people whose musical experiences can be expanded and differentiated in class. Furthermore, as they are always working with new groups of children and teenagers, music teachers must work continually on building their own professionalism, in other words on constantly educating themselves further, as visualised day by day.
There are at least six reasons for choosing to study School Music Teaching at Folkwang University of the Arts:
1. An experienced team of university teachers guarantees a high level of training in every artistic, academic and educational/theoretical discipline that is relevant for practical work in schools. The Education component of the course is undertaken at Folkwang University of the Arts, with the other tuition subject/subjects being usually taught at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
2. Music (including jazz), theater (including musicals) and dance are all taught at our university. This means that chances to ‘look over the fence’ and also to work in areas such as big band and musicals – which are precisely relevant for practical work in schools – are both available.
3. Project work and work that combines subjects and disciplines are fixed elements in the course specifications, i.e. they are intended in the sense of ‘counting for something’ (not just as an interesting extra flavour). In this way, students can acquire the skills necessary for the kinds of work that are listed and increasingly required in school curricula/syllabi.
4. Demands in the multimedia area are becoming greater and more pressing for teachers of music. At our university the relevant training takes place in collaboration between music theory and our own "Institute of Computer Music and Electronic Media" (ICEM).
5. The number of hours spent on principles of music teaching and musicology during the semester is greater for students of School Music than in other course specifications. This is because the Education component of the course at Folkwang University of the Arts is partially conducted within the framework of educational and academic events, so as to ensure that the training is as practice-oriented as possible.
6. Engagement with practical school tuition is an obligatory element in the School Music course in the music specialisation. In both the basic and upper-level stages of the course, students are guiding the musical learning of school students at schools in Essen with academic and education-related support; in this way they can acquire experiences early on that will prepare them for their professional practical work in the future.
For entry to the School Music course at both levels, candidates must pass a qualifying examination that tests their background in music theory, their skills in the artistic instrumental subject that they wish to pursue (e.g. singing), the possibilities of their singing and speaking voice for training, and their capacities for music-based communication and presentation.
The School Music course creates the conditions for an independent appreciation of the tasks in the tuition of music for the relevant type of school. The student’s own artistic experiences gained in the course are important foundations for thematising music in the classroom. In the areas of musicology and music pedagogy / principles of teaching, students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for giving music tuition in the relevant type of school in an objective way and with full cognizance of problematic areas.