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[xmca] Re:Vygotsky, Suzuki, and Carl Orff

Hi all,

What about Kodaly? I've never seen any explicit mentions of Vygotsky in
any Kodaly material, but since studying Vygotsky in my postgrad work
I've often been struck by some similarities in philosophies. 

In my Kodaly training I was taught that every musical element should be
taught using the preparation, make conscious, practice sequence. During
the preparation phase the children sing songs, play games, dance and
play instruments to real pieces of authentic music that contain the
solfa or rhythm element that will later be explicitly introduced,
providing a context for experiencing the element in a musical way. I
relate this to Vygotsky's work as building everyday concepts about music
through experience and participation in social activities. It could also
be considered to be in the Zone of potential development that Elena
Kravtsova describes - i.e. immersion in experiences that will one day
lie in the zone of proximal development, but for the moment are beyond
the child's zpd.

When the teacher believes the children have a thorough grasp of using
the element (unconsciously) in a variety of different contexts, the
teacher gives the "make conscious" lesson - isolating the new solfa note
or rhythmic element within a single musical phrase and asking the
children to identify 'something new we don't know the name of' and
looking at how it compares to the other elements in the phrase we do
know (e.g. this new note is a step higher than soh). The teacher then
provides the name for the new note (in this case, lah) and teaches the
corresponding handsign and staff notation. I would liken this to
Vygotsky's scientific concepts - providing a formal definition of a
concept which has already been experienced in its 'everyday' form.
Vygotsky says that the strength of scientific concepts is that they can
be used with conscious awareness and volition. Once the children are
conscious of the new solfa note or rhythmic element it then (with
practice) becomes a concept they can use and manipulate in performing
and creating their own music - i.e. understanding of the concept is
gained through participating in the zpd with the teacher and peers to
practice using the element in a variety of contexts with differing
levels of support until an independent understanding has been
internalized and it becomes part of the child's zone of actual
development (able to be used independently and creatively).

Of course, the degree of alignment between cultural-historical theory
and a Kodaly lesson all depends on how the lesson is actually taught
(unfortunately, often very strongly transmissive rather than
co-construction of meaning). Maybe Kodaly teachers could benefit from
learning some 'scientific concepts' about CH theory to have conscious
awareness of how they teach their lessons???!!!

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have jumped off the sinking music ed ship to do
my PhD research in a different area after all???

> ------------------------------
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:16:41 -0400
> From: Elia Nelson <eliajn@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Vygotsky, Suzuki, and Carl Orff
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
> Message-ID:
> 	<cdc47bb40909171816x1f173a9ao97cf5b210213ddaa@mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> David,
> Thanks for expanding on my off-the-cuff response.  I'll freely 
> admit that I
> am not particularly familiar with Suzuki's theory, only his methods 
> as I've
> seen them widely applied in the States.
> Do you have a reference to Suzuki on personal tutelage as in your 
> point(b)?  I'm curious about the connections between this 
> personalism and the (as
> noted in my previous post) emphasis on the part of Suzuki-method 
> teachers on
> group lessons and parent involvement.
> Thanks,
> Elia
> ------------------------------------------
> Elia J. Nelson, nelsoe3@rpi.edu
> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
> Dept. of Lang., Lit., & Comm.
> On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM, David Kellogg 
> <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:
> > I feel strongly that Vygotsky would be opposed to the Suzuki 
> method on
> > several grounds:
> >
> > a) Suzuki is naturalistic. He makes an explicit parallel between 
> music> education with native language learning and everyday, 
> spontaneous concepts.
> > Vygotsky argues that foreign language learning and science concepts
> > represent the next zone of  development for school age children.
> >
> > b) Suzuki is personalisic. He is heavily based on individual 
> tutelage,> along the lines of the "teacher-pupil" duet which 
> Vygotsky condemns in the
> > "Preface to Thorndike".
> >
> > c) Suzuki is elitist. He invests heavily (literally and 
> figuratively) in
> > the bourgeois family, and this has made it peculiarly susceptible 
> to the
> > kind of elitist education schemes Vygotsky abhorred.
> >
> > I am not so sure about the Orff Schulwerke method. Orff ran a 
> gymnasium in
> > Germany in 1925 and Vygotsky may or may not have been aware of 
> his work. On
> > the one hand, Orff method teaching rejects naturalism, 
> personalism, and
> > elitism and embraces something that is very clearly a community 
> of practice
> > (with peripheral participatory roles for very young children). On 
> the other,
> > Orff makes an explicitly parallel between musical phylogenesis and
> > ontogenesis that Vygotsky would probably not be comfortable with.
> >
> > Of course, Orff's later relationship with Nazism, which, like 
> Wagner's, was
> > not unrelated to his views about phylogeny and ontogeny in music, 
> was> something Vygotsky could not have known about. In fact, we 
> still don't
> > really know about it ourselves. On the one hand, Orff wrote music 
> that was
> > highly appreciated by the Nazis and took Nazi commissions that other
> > musicians would not touch with a barge pole (e.g. the de-
> Judification of
> > Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream"). On the other, he was 
> close friends
> > with the founders of the White Rose, Orff claimed to have been a 
> White Rose
> > member himself, and I think it is quite possible.
> >
> > David Kellogg
> > Seoul National University of Education
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> > http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
> >
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> End of xmca Digest, Vol 52, Issue 78
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