Joseph, D. & Harris-Hart, C. (2008). Exploring creative music making as a vehicle for integrated teaching and learning. Proceedings of the XXXth Annual Conference: Innovation and tradition; Music education research 147-159. Melbourne, Australia: Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education.
The arts have evolved with each society as a means of consolidating cultural and social identity and connecting past with future generations (Russell-Bowie, 2006, p3). Situating the arts within a broader interdisciplinary curriculum, we believe, allows students to discover and explore social issues and their relevance to students' contemporary lives. We argue that creative music making through composition promotes a deeper and more personally relevant teaching and learning experience for teacher education students, particularly when situated within an interdisciplinary framework. The challenge for us as teacher educators' is to prepare pre-service teachers for both disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning as is required by the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS). At Deakin University, in the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary/Secondary) Degree, the postgraduate unit called Humanities, Societies and Environments; Language and Music Education adopts an interdisciplinary pedagogy that encourages students to learn from each other, share content knowledge and make links between and across VELS domains. In this paper we reflect on the possibilities exploring of creative music making to enhance the teaching and learning of social education, with particular reference to issues of environmental change. Specifically, we reflect on non-music specialist students' experiences in Semester 1, 2008 using Jeannie Baker's book Window (1991) as a platform to deliberate about the impact of urbanisation on the environment. Through dramatisation and a sonic environment students were able to both further conceptualise issues of social change and their understandings of the power of integrating music across other VELS domains.
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