First Instruments: Teaching Music Through Harmony Signing

ISBN : 9780190932053

Nicholas Bannan
240 ページ
178 x 178 mm

Written for music educators from K - 5 onwards, First Instruments is a practical guide to teaching musical ideas through the first instruments we develop in early childhood, laying the foundation for how the collective creativity the book presents can sustain a lifelong commitment to music-making: voice and hand gestures. Founded on the belief that all children are musical, the book gives music teachers the necessary tools to develop students' confident understanding of pitch relationships through improvisation and composition. Author Nicholas Bannan, a veteran pedagogue and children's choir director, accomplishes this in a classroom-tested system that combines Kodaly hand signs with extended use of physical motions that together result in deeply embodied musical knowledge. By participating in the book's many group exercises, students develop this knowledge that ultimately paves the way for acquisition and functional working knowledge of harmony that tends to elude most theory students. As Bannan shows, all effective music teaching needs to involve singing as the portal to a secure and transferable response to pitch. First Instruments encourages educators to draw on games, tasks, and activities in relation to their own curriculum planning. Marrying the development of fluent singing abilities with harmonic understandings, this approach supports musical creativity that is not dominated by the conventional features of a particular genre or style, but instead liberates the musical imagination and enables the exploration of musical styles from throughout history and all over the world.


List of Illustrations
About the Companion Website
Part 1: Why Singing?
Chapter 1 Musical foundations
Chapter 2 The anatomy of human music-making
Chapter 3 The instinctive and the learned
Chapter 4 Music as 'the missing link': a distinct form of thinking and feeling
Chapter 5 The aural feedback loop and inner hearing
Chapter 6 The four elements of vocal learning
Chapter 7 Lifelong participation and transmission
Part 2: Why Signing?
Chapter 8 Representation and Communication
Chapter 9 The two hemispheres of the brain
Part 3: Patterns of Leadership and Interaction
Chapter 11 Collective Creativity
Chapter 12 Signs about signs: the notation of Harmony Signing
Chapter 13 Working on Your Own
Chapter 14 Working in Pairs
Chapter 15 Working in Groups
Chapter 16 Working with instrumental classes and bands
Chapter 17 Working with vocal classes and choirs
Part 4: Building creatively on Harmony Signing
Chapter 18 What Are Students Expressing Musically?


Nicholas Bannan is Associate Professor of Music and the University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music. His earliest musical experience was as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, after which he went on to the King's School, where he played violin and viola and composed. Study at Cambridge University, where he was a Choral Exhibitioner at Clare College under John Rutter, led to a career that combined performing, composing and teaching in schools and universities, and as a community musician. Prof. Bannan has developed a reputation for collaborative projects, both within and outside the education sector, including the creative partnership Compose Yourself! He has made a leading contribution to the establishment internationally of the significant new sub-discipline of Evolutionary Musicology, and has taught and published in the field of Teaching and Learning in Music arising from projects both in pedagogy and in reflective practice methodology. His performance experience includes; professional choral and orchestral conducting, with special interests in early music, the 20th century, and new music. Formally conductor of The Esterhazy Singers in London, he now directs The Winthrop Singers of UWA and is on the music staff of St Mary's Cathedral, Perth. Prof. Bannan has taught at Eton College; Desborough School, Maidenhead; The Yehudi Menuhin School; the London College of Music; and Oxford Brookes and Reading Universities in the UK.