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Reading for classroom music teachers

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School Music Teachers

Inspiration and ideas for teachers of classroom music for the middle and senior years (Years 5 - 12)


Audiation is the process of both mentally hearing and understanding music, even when no music is present. In essence, audiation is thinking in music or thinking about music in a way that brain is able to give meaning to the sounds. You could compare this to a skill that many of us possess - that of thinking in words! The reason we can think in words is because our language education and experience has taught us this skill. Similarly, well educated musicians have the ability to audiate.

The term 'audiation' was invented by music psychologist, Edwin Gordon who has written on it extensively. However, Hungarians were using a similar term “inner hearing” well before Gordon published in this field.

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Trying to teach and play an entire activity from Total Fun in the space of one lesson is a bad idea and is likely to take the fun out of the activity. Good teaching will enable your students to be drawn into the games, enabling the majority of students to participate and ensuring that all students have a successful and enjoyable experience. 

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Play is an inherent human trait. People of all ages love to play. Essentially, there are two types of play, structured and unstructured. Games are an example of structured play. People all over the world play games for the simple reason that they are fun! Games have also been an integral part of education for centuries. Consider such diverse examples as: battle simulations, hangman, crossword puzzles, role-play, computer drills, and flight simulators. There are two ideas implicit in the use of games in education:

  1. A desire to harness the motivational power of games in order to ‘make learning fun’.
  2. A belief that ‘learning through doing’ in games is a powerful way to learn.
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Body percussion involves using the body to generate percussive sounds. It may be performed alone or as an accompaniment to song. The folk traditions of many countries include the use of body percussion. Some examples include: Indonesian saman, Ethiopian armpit music, palmas in flamenco, and the hambone from the United States.

Percussion sounds are produced when a player hits, scrapes, rubs or shakes an instrument to produce vibrations. The same techniques can be applied to the human body. Additionally, the body has other unique possibilities including the use of inhaled or exhaled air and vocal sounds.

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