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What is music – sound arts about?

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.


Connections: Who is music – sound arts for?

Music is for everyone – the idea of being “unmusical” is a concept found only in Western musical traditions. From the moment of our first heartbeat, we are musical beings. Before we are born, we respond to our mother's heartbeat and to the sounds of our inner world. We are born musical – music is for everyone.

Music is a universal language used by all humans, from all cultures. Students are immersed in worlds of sound – music they personally select and the sounds of everyday life.

Through music, students express who they are physically, cognitively, spiritually, and emotionally.

Music – sound arts is for students who are seeking to:

  • connect with their own personal sound world and the sound worlds of their fellow learners, teachers, whānau, and community
  • follow professional music career paths – in the canon of historical, social, and cultural musical forms and genres
  • contribute informally as audience, participants or leaders in community choirs, ensembles, and cultural groups.

Purpose: Why study music – sound arts?

Music is alchemy – the intangible magic created in the sound space or the mind's ear.

It is the crafting of performances, compositions, and sound technologies that acknowledge the individual and the group.

It connects strangers, who may harmonise and resonate together or in opposition.

It affirms that a musical space may provide both comfort and discomfort.

Music – sound arts develops the craft of self-expression, affirming identity through personal connection with sound. Spaces are created where emotions and responses are expressed.

Past, present, and future music are explored through inquiry into our musical heritages.

The practice of music builds confidence and self-esteem, transforming students through supported explorations, which develop a strong sense of well-being and self-empowerment.

Students learn to be confident and resilient through taking the creative risks involved in performance and composition.

Students connect past, present, and future views of the world through their study of many different types of music.

Students access, invent, and transform sounds through the application of sound arts technologies.

We connect sound to symbol, and symbol to sound through the unique languages and literacies of music.

Knowledge: What is valued knowledge in music – sound arts?

Learning music provides multiple opportunities for developing a means of creative expression and the skills (such as self-management and problem solving) that every student needs for success in the twenty-first century.

Music can be a catalyst for changed personal understanding and a challenge to process what we find happening around us.

Valued knowledge in music – sound arts includes:

  • creative thinking and personal invention
  • the ability to move others through performance, composition, or sound technologies
  • the craft of taking an inspirational but raw idea and developing it to a refined and distilled outcome
  • the ability to make connections between seemingly unconnected musical cultures or ideas
  • collaboration – making music, creating sound worlds, inventing with others
  • the ability to move from symbol to sound and sound to symbol.

Music – sound arts connects in a unique way with each of the other learning areas:

  • with English and other languages through song
  • with the scientific world through acoustics
  • with mathematics and statistics through the mathematical principles of harmony and rhythm
  • with physical education through the physical application of learning an instrument
  • with health education through the benefits of emotional expression and response
  • with technology through enhancements to performance and composition
  • with the social sciences through the canons of musical history and culture, telling us about peoples’ lives, times, and places – expressed as the sound works of times and places.

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Last updated April 23, 2012