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Hear, Listen, Play! How to Free Your Students' Aural, Improvisation, and Performance Skills



Spiral Bound
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
List Price: $34.08

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Hear, Listen, Play! is a book for all music teachers who are unfamiliar with, yet curious about the worlds of ear-playing, informal learning, improvisation, and vernacular musics. For decades, or even hundreds of years, a divide has slowly been developing between the realms of notation-based musical transmission, and aural/oral methods. Yet that divide is by no means a necessary aspect of music learning, and musicians who are lucky enough to dwell on both sides of it count themselves as so much the richer for doing so. This book aims to provide a door into those other worlds for any teacher who would like to open it.

Starting with a brief discussion of how popular musicians learn in the informal realm, the book then applies many aspects of their learning practices to three main areas within music education. Firstly it tackles the one-to-one specialist instrumental lesson, then ensemble work such as band and orchestra; and finally the generalist or specialist classroom. The methods within each section have been systematically tried and tested in research projects spanning more than a decade, yet the book is written in simple, non-academic language which teachers will quickly find applicable to their working lives. Vignettes from the research participants themselves provide color throughout the book, and give illustrations of how both teachers and learners have experienced the methods themselves.

This book is not a prescription for one particular way of teaching or learning; it does not aim to critique, replace or change the excellent practices that are already on-going in the diverse world of music education and pedagogy. It simply offers something which is likely to be new to many teachers, and which they can, if they so wish, add in to the mix. The professional judgment and expertise of the teacher is surely the lynch-pin on which all good teaching relies; and the open nature of this book, along with its frequent calls for teachers to not only adopt, but adapt, its methods according to their own and their students' needs, is a testimony to that.

Author Biography

Lucy Green is Professor of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. She is widely recognized for her pioneering work in developing new pedagogies based on the informal learning practices of popular musicians. She is also renowned for her writings on music education in relation to ideology, musical meaning, and gender.

Table of Contents


How could informal learning practices relate to formal music education?
The organisation and use of the Handbook
The audio materials: an overview
Why informal learning?
Why popular music?
How do popular musicians learn?

PART I: HeLP in instrumental settings
HeLP in instrumental settings: preliminary practicalities
HeLP in instrumental settings: the basic steps
Some possible combinations and orders of stages: instrumental tuition
How are students likely to respond?
Teaching strategies: the role of the teacher in instrumental settings
What were the overall views of the participants?

PART II: HeLP in ensemble settings: bands, orchestras and other groups
HeLP in ensemble settings: preliminary practicalities
HeLP in ensemble settings: the basic steps
How are students likely to respond?
Teaching strategies: the role of the teacher in HeLP ensemble settings
What were the overall views of the participants?

PART III: HeLP in classroom settings
HeLP in classroom settings: preliminary practicalities
HeLP in classroom settings: the basic steps
Some possible combinations and orders of stages: the classroom context
How are students likely to respond?
Teaching strategies: the role of the teacher in HeLP classroom settings
What were the overall views of the participants?

Appendix A: Findings from an aural test experiment
Appendix B: The research lying behind this Handbook
Appendix C: Related work on informal music learning and formal music education
Appendix D: Websites
Appendix E: Audio track list
Appendix F: Recording credits

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