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Edwin E. Gordon is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the field of music education, and his groundbreaking Music Learning Theory (MLT) remains one of the most significant and effective approaches to teaching music skills and content to students.
Navigating Music Learning Theory, by author and educator Jill Reese, is an accessible and practical guide for general music teachers interested in incorporating the innovative concepts and ideas of Music Learning Theory in their own instruction.
The book is divided into three parts. In the first part, Reese provides an overview of the core pedagogical principles of Music Learning Theory, including a breakdown of its foundational Skill Learning Sequence. The second and third parts take a detailed look at Learning Sequence Activities (the tonal and rhythm patterns used to teach skills and content) and Classroom Activities (applying skills and content to songs, chants, and recordings).
Central to this resource are over one hundred pages of scripted lesson plans designed to guide teachers in presenting tonal patterns, rhythm patterns, songs, and chants with efficient and pedagogically sound language. The scripted materials are intentionally flexible, allowing teachers to use them as written or to modify them for their unique teaching context.
In keeping with Edwin Gordon’s ideas, Reese emphasizes the importance of balancing class instruction with individualized instruction and provides a number of tools and opportunities for assessment and tracking toward individual differences between students.
Regardless of a teacher’s experience or familiarity with Edwin Gordon’s ideas, Navigating Music Learning Theory is certain to help any teacher design and implement a robust music curriculum with engaging lessons that will maximize the musical potential of each student.
Dr. Jill Reese is Associate Professor of Music Education at The State University of New York at Fredonia. She is also on the teaching faculty for the Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML). She holds degrees in Music Education from Temple University (PhD), University of Michigan (MM), and Michigan State University (BM).