Nicholas Bannan


This article presents a snapshot of pedagogical practice that integrates singing, expressive physical gesture, aural development, music theory and creativity. The approach it outlines forms an attempt to transcend the instructional mode by which music theory is perceived by students to be independent of musical practice, or an artificial construct by which Western Conservatoire-trained educators impose their assumptions on students who find it of limited relevance or interest. It represents a response to the position, encountered in several educational contexts internationally, whereby students whose aural and musicianship development has failed to match their performing abilities or musicological knowledge aspire to tertiary music courses. In this sense, it re-visits the same problems that motivated Émile Jaques-Dalcroze to devise the pedagogical innovations he introduced, which also had their origin in meeting the needs of Conservatoire students, and similarly addresses the potential of teaching music theory with minimal reliance on verbal instruction or notation.