TOWARD A LIFESPAN PERSPECTIVE IN MUSIC TEACHER EDUCATION
University of Wisconsin-Madison
David E. Myers
Georgia State University
Several current themes in education argue for looking at music teacher education within a lifespan perspective, including an emphasis on strengthening relationships between schools and communities; teaching for lifelong learning in a dynamic society; and maintaining vitality across the lifespan through engagement in creative activities. All three resonate strongly with core values in music education. A lifespan perspective encourages teachers to consider the nature of authentic, meaningful participation in music throughout life and to incorporate relevant skills and knowledge-building into school classrooms. These issues will be explored as they relate to choices of student-learning activities and the importance of teaching the child while envisioning the adult. The presenters will also address how music educators can equip students to embrace their potential for continued music learning, and preparing the music teacher to plan for long-term musical development. Rather than suggesting additional courses in the teacher education program, implementing strategies into existing teacher education courses will be explored, including field experiences with adult and older adult learners, action research on community music, analysis of teaching and learning that occurs in informal music-making, and participating in university leadership to develop school programs that intentionally use the community as a curricular resource.