Classroom Discussion and the Community of Music Majors

James A. Davis


Modern theories of teaching and learning recommend that students actively participate in their own education. For the music history teacher this usually means some form of in-class discussion. Yet generating meaningful discussions can be problematic, and many instructors lament the difficulties they experience when attempting to instigate and sustain discussions in their classes for music majors. Viewing the community in which these young musicians live and learn through the lens of ethnomusi­cology helps to explain how music majors perceive their role in the classroom, which in turn sheds light on why they may or may not engage in classroom discourse. An awareness of the social and professional dynamics surrounding music majors can help instructors handle student responses in a way that promotes engaging discussion in the music history classroom.


discussion; active learning; community

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ISSN 2155-109X