Changing the Ecology of Music Learning
Shinichi Suzuki based pedagogy around it; ensemble directors repeat it throughout rehearsals; and aspiring jazz musicians sit with pen and paper, listening and transcribing the great jazz players of yesterday and today. Listening, responding, and creating are the verbs that can broadly describe music learning. The Sci Tech Band is remarkable in that it overcomes two significant barriers plaguing school-based music programs in this country. The first is providing access to in-school music education for a population that reflects the youth demographics of an area. The second barrier that the Sci Tech Band overcomes is incorporating key aspects of youth development into ensemble music-making. Of the 596 young people who participated in the Sci Tech Band in 2018, 516—nearly 87%—are Latino or African-American. The question of how to incorporate youth development more fully into music learning is a challenging one given the training mechanisms and accountabilities associated with many school-based music programs.