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ERIC Number: EJ869369
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1069-7446
Finding Your Musical Oasis
Randall, Mac
Teaching Music, v17 n2 p32-37 Oct 2009
Repertoire selection is a balancing act on many levels, but the essential balance is that between education and emotion. If a given piece doesn't provide some element that can be used for the purpose of instruction, it's probably not worth considering. And yet it's also necessary to consider the emotional impact of a piece to judge it fully. This article discusses what teachers are looking for as they search for repertoire. For some teachers, technical considerations come first. Much depends, of course, on the age and skill level of the group for which one is selecting repertoire. Connecting to popular culture can certainly be a desirable thing, but because of the limits of time and budget, most teachers favor pieces that they feel have staying power. Related to the balance between education and emotion is the balance between challenge and comfort. No teacher wants his or her ensembles to either be bored by what they're playing or feel like they're floundering when they play it. Although many teachers set aside a certain period of the year to concentrate on selecting repertoire, the search may spread well beyond that. The methods that teachers use to find new music are as varied as the music itself. For many, publishers' catalogs remain invaluable, although Web-based editions have largely supplanted printed ones. After the agonizing is over and the music has been chosen, one more question remains: How will the students respond to it? The answer isn't always what the teacher expects. Pieces that have unusual features in them, like speaking or improvisation, get the biggest reactions from students. And then there are those lucky times when a teacher's repertoire choice actually serves as an inspiration to his or her students.
MENC: The National Association for Music Education. 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-336-3768; Tel: 703-860-4000; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A