“Thinking and learning in South Indian Music” by Ludwig Pesch, chapter 4 in:
Markus Cslovjecsek, Madeleine Zulauf (eds.) Integrated Music Education – Challenges of Teaching and Teacher Training Peter Lang Publishers, Bern, 2018. 418 pp., 29 fig. b/w, 2 tables
MOUSIKÆ PAIDEIA Music and Education/Musik und Bildung/Musique et Pédagogie. Vol. 1 pb.
This book was presented during the 33rd ISME World Conference for Music Education (isme2018.org) on Wednesday 18 July 2018.
About this book
Schools are generally oriented towards discipline-based programmes and therefore students often accumulate fragmented knowledge, disconnected from real life concerns. The eighteen contributors to this work suggest that music offers a highway to developing a more appropriate integrated education. They present a range of views on Integrated Music Education rooted in various cultural traditions, based on several interdisciplinary models and integrated arts curricula, inspired by psychological concepts and referenced to recent teaching experiments as well as original research.
In this innovative book, the reader is invited to go beyond the dichotomy between ‘education in music’ and ‘education through music’, exploring the opportunities put forward by Integrated Music Education thanks to a constant movement from the theoretical roots through a precise description of teaching activities to the benefits for students in terms of integration of knowledge, personal development, and social and cultural belonging. Lastly, there are some new and interesting ideas for training teachers.
Whatever we understand and enjoy in human products instantly becomes ours, wherever they might have their origin – Rabindranath Tagore*
During this presentation, musical figures from several distinct traditions were explored in a practice-oriented manner. The figures selected are appealing beyond South Asia where they originated many centuries ago and continue to play a key role in classical and applied music.
Our shared goal was to enable young and old to collaborate in a memorable learning process that blends seemlessly into any chosen subject, academic and otherwise.
The criteria for selecting a particular figure were (1) its flexibility as for combining it with another subject, for instance mathematics, geography or history; (2) its appeal going by prior experience with learners from different age groups; and (3) its scope for variation, movement, visualisation and analysis in accordance with learners’ specific needs and abilities.
As part of integrated music education, Indian music enables even complete strangers to share a useful learning process. This calls for a natural and playful approach to melody, rhythm, hand signs and body movement. In this manner we are prepared to include newcomers – children and adults lacking a common language – to instantly participate in music.
Indian music is valued for fostering memory, analytical thinking, concentration, and cooperation among peers. Its basic concepts are exhilarating and liberating whether or not there is scope for studying Indian culture in its own right. This is a boon in circumstances where verbal or written instructions fail to engage learners. Rather than resigning in the face of such formidable challenges, educators are free to experiment and spread solidarity through instant inclusion – the essential joy of “creating” music oneself. This aspect addresses a common fear among learners, namely to be left behind (again!), be it in music or other subjects – a fear that is all too often justified in competitive modern society.
To help educators to overcome such fears, we build lessons around simple figures that bind tunes, rhythms and movements together into a rounded whole. Some of these may appear familiar enough to “break the ice” if needed; and others are so fresh and mind-boggling as to trigger further experimentation among peers in informal settings – anywhere and anytime. For this to happen, we dispense with technical resources of any kind.
Adaptation is the key to rapidly changing learning scenarios wherein cultural stereotyping, a known stumbling block for educators all over the world, must be overcome. This is easily achieved by integrating Indian music into discussions of academic concepts, or by letting its rhythms enrich social and outdoor activities. Such activities are by definition location specific and all-inclusive.
Educators from Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Singapore and Switzerland were among the eleven participants in this one-hour session. They explored a time proven method suited to the needs of a wide range of abilities and learning goals; and this irrespective of participants’ cultural roots.
Of all living creatures in the world, man has his vital and mental energy vastly in excess of his need, which urges him to work in various lines of creation for its own sake […] Life is perpetually creative because it contains in itself that surplus which ever overflows the boundaries of the immediate time and space.
Rabindranath Tagore in The Religion of an Artist *
Der Vortrag mit dem Titel “Raum für Ideen? Zeit zum Spiel! Zum Sinn eines unbefangeneren Umgangs mit der ‘klassischen’ Musik Indiens” von Ludwig Pesch wurde in Über Europa hinaus – Indiens Kultur und Philosophie: Disputationes 2015 veröffentlicht. ISBN: 978-3-7065-5522-7
Umfang: 152 Seiten (kartoniert, durchgehend vierfarbig mit zahlreichen Fotos) und ist beim Studienverlag Innsbruck erhältlich.
Mit Beiträgen von Bettina Bäumer, Heidrun Brückner, Erhard Busek, Veena Kade-Luthra, Karl-Josef Kuschel, Ludwig Pesch, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Claudia Schmidt-Hahn, Walter Slaje, Alarmél Valli, Michael von Brück und Annette Wilke.
Informationen über diese Veröffentlichung und alle hier genannten Autoren finden Sie auch auf Worldcat.org >>
Angaben aus der Verlagsmeldung:
Künstler, Religionswissenschaftler und Indologen begeben sich auf die Suche nach der indischen Spiritualität und ihrer Ausprägungen in Kunst und Kultur, erklären Kunstformen und Rituale und gehen der Frage nach, warum die Vielfalt der indischen Mystik und Ästhetik den Westen seit jeher fasziniert.
Der Bogen spannt sich von der wissenschaftlichen Abhandlung bis hin zum persönlichen Erfahrungsbericht der indischen Tänzerin Alarmél Valli, die ihren Körper als “tanzenden Tempel” versteht. Neben Erläuterungen zur Gestensprache hinduistischer Epen wird die spannungsvolle Wechselbeziehung von Musik, Religion und Lebensphilosophien beleuchtet und ermöglicht einen facettenreichen Einblick in Indiens Kultur und Philosophie. Literarisch wird die Annäherung an den Mythos Indien durch Texte von Stefan Zweig, Hermann Hesse, aber auch von Nietzsche und Beethoven, gewagt, die alle den Mythos Indien mit seiner spirituellen Vielfalt zum Inhalt haben.
Dieser Sammelband umfasst die Vorträge, die während der Disputationes im Rahmen der Ouverture spirituelle der Salzburger Festspiele 2015 gehalten wurden. Diese Disputationes wurden vom Herbert-Batliner-Europainstitut in Kooperation mit den Salzburger Festspielen ins Leben gerufen, um den spirituellen Prolog der Salzburger Festspiele mit Diskussionen und wissenschaftlichen Erörterungen zu bereichern und zur Reflektion über interkulturelle und interreligiöse Themen anzuregen.
Purpose Probing the depths of Indian sounds and symbols both for their interdisciplinary potential and intrinsic value.
Content We pool musical, visual and numerical motifs. Sounds, hand gestures and movements link two school subjects within a single session; and more subjects wherever this approach lends itself to being integrated into a curriculum.
Method The “Musical Lotus Pond” is a biotope where beauty flourishes in unexpected ways. Each participant embellishes a sheet of paper containing numbers and shapes. These form the basis for musical activities. At the conclusion, the sheets are folded into small cones resembling the “school cones” traditionally used to entice European children to attend school. Children will spontaneously share their experiences with peers and family members.
Application for integrated education Analytical thinking, self-expression and teamwork are cultivated. For this purpose, motifs derived from Indian music are combined with those belonging to subjects as diverse as visual arts, geography, biology, physical education and maths.
Pure maths is a religion and in the East, valued for more than merely its technical application – Novalis (1799)
Background information Indian culture is permeated by synesthetic associations that make learning both enjoyable and (cost) effective. Moreover it fosters concentration and teamwork. It is therefore no coincidence that the ubiquitous lotus motif symbolizes the aspiration to rise above the ordinary and beyond predictability.
The presenters work with the motto “Adapting Indian Universals in Music Education” (AIUME); and this in response to the needs of children and music students. Contributions to exhibitions (e.g. Museum Rietberg Zürich and Royal Tropical Museum Amsterdam) complement their artistic and scholarly pursuits: one is a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist; the other trained and performed as flautist in India, and authored The Oxford Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music.
I surely know the hundred petals of a lotus will not remain closed for ever and the secret recess of its honey will be bared. – from Gitanjali by Nobel Awardee Rabindranath Tagore