Teaching-learning practices and experiences of selected students and staff in the School of Music, North-West University
This study of teaching-learning practices and experiences of selected students and staff in the School of Music at North-West University took the form of an instrumental case study. Data was gathered by means of personal interviews with ten students and five staff members in the school’s diploma and BA programmes. Two themes emerged, namely processes of musical transmission, and matters related to performance skill, repertoire and aesthetics. The interpretation of these themes was informed by the theory of community of practice. The first theme involves aural and literary musical transmission, with its categories tonic sol-fa and staff notation, rote learning, mass media and community music learning. Aurality is the basis of community musical performance, and aural transmission is also general practice in the School of Music. This is evident in the high incidence of spontaneous rote learning. The mass media furthermore emerged as a common mode of aural transmission. The integration of sol-fa and staff notation is another domain of transmission. This is evident in individual and peer learning strategies, as well as the teaching methods of staff. The second theme involves performance technique, repertoire and aesthetics. Student participants were found to possess prior skills and knowledge, while articulating emerging awareness of scientific approaches, especially in relation to vocal sound production and health. Data on vocal aesthetics in turn involves vibrato and tone colour, which relate to notions of social identity. This study points to the need to expand the interdependence of aural and literate modes of transmission, the integration of staff and sol-fa notation, collaborative learning, the use of mass media platforms and the relationship between differing musical aesthetics.
- Humanities 
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