Just about everybody shares the view that music enriches our lives, and most would agree that getting young people acquainted with music-making in school can be an important part of their overall development. Why is it then that K-12 school music education is seldom an inspirational starting point for music-making? In the US for instance, statistics show that the vast majority of middle and high school students don’t take any music classes at all. Without an engaging music-ed offering in school, exposure to the joys of music-making is left to be determined by diffuse social factors, chance and luck.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of teachers who are trying to counteract this state of affairs by taking a different approach to their classes; one that uses young people’s innate creativity as the entry point to music education. At its core, this methodology revolves around letting students make music that is meaningful to them. It may sound straightforward, but as our documentary movie “The Creative Element” shows, the challenges for teachers involved – keeping up with changing musical styles, learning and maintaining new technologies, pushing back against traditional notions of music education – are numerous.
The rewards however, as pointed out by the students in the movie, are also many and diverse. Whether it’s something to look forward to in the school day, a formative experience for the duration of the course, or perhaps the beginning of a life-long pursuit, activating kids’ creativity opens up pathways for development that can go beyond the classroom.
Watch “The Creative Element” below and read on to learn how Ableton supports music teachers through Ableton for the Classroom.