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Music in Education

Music is both an art form in its own right and also a highly effective teaching and learning methodology, which has been shown to operate successfully in formal and non-formal educational settings. Students will be introduced to the philosophies underpinning this creative educational approach, to its history, and to a wide range of music in education and performance techniques and to their use in diverse educational contexts.

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Course Coordinator | Ms Marita Kerin

Music Education Lecturers | Dr. Aidan Seery; Blanaid Murphy; Dr. Susan McCormick; Robert Harvey; Dr. Carmel O'Sullivan

Summer School Date | 16th - 28th July 2018

Is this course for me?

This is a new course offered by Trinity College Dublin in association with the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). It is provided for recognized teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary education, youth leaders, music in education practitioners, performers and others with a professional interest in music and arts in education.

See more details on the main courses website

Course Overview

The Master in Education (M.Ed.) (Music in Education) programme is available by Summer School. As this is a modular programme designed specifically to support distance learners and international students, prospective applicants may choose one of the following study modes.

Option 1: One Year Full-time* - 4 strand modules, 1 common M.Ed. module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods and 20,000 word dissertation completed in one year. Most of the taught component is completed through attendance at a summer school during July. Students will be required to attend face-to-face and online tutorials, and occasional weekend lectures during the academic year.

Modules One and Two are completed during week 1. The assignments relating to the taught component is completed during the subsequent academic year.

Module Three is taught during week 2 of the summer school. The assignment relating to the taught component is completed during the subsequent academic year.

Module Four is taught as a blended learning module during week one and the subsequent academic year. Dissertation Students complete a dissertation of 20,000 words under the guidance of a supervisor during the academic year (September to August). Applicants to the 1-year full-time M.Ed. must submit a description of their area of research interest as part of the application process. For further details, and an outline of the format required, please contact master.education@tcd.ie

Module Five is taught during week 1 of the summer school. The assignment relating to the taught component is completed during the subsequent academic year.

Option 2: Two Years Part-time - 4 strand modules, 1 common M.Ed. module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods and a 20,000 word dissertation completed over two years. The taught component is completed in year 1 through attendance at a summer school and supported by on-line learning and occasional weekend lectures (if based in Ireland during the academic year). The dissertation is completed during the second academic year as a distance student.

Students wishing to progress to the dissertation year must submit their completed coursework for the taught component of the programme (5 modules) by May 31st of the year following entry to the programme.

Year 1 (two week summer school) and Year 2 (one week summer school) - Dissertation
Eligible students attend a second summer school (one week in July) to prepare their dissertation proposal and study plan, and then complete a dissertation of 20,000 words under the guidance of a supervisor during year two of the programme (September to August).

Option 3: Three Years Part-time - 4 strand modules, 1 common M.Ed. module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods and a 20,000 word dissertation completed over three years. The taught component is completed in year 1 (2 modules studied) and year 2 (2 modules studied) through attendance at two summer schools and supported by on-line learning and occasional weekend lectures (if based in Ireland during the academic year). The dissertation is completed during the third academic year as a distance student.

Year 1 (one week summer school) and Year 2 (one week summer school)

Eligible students attend a third summer school (one week in July) to prepare their dissertation proposal and study plan, and then complete a dissertation of 20,000 words under the guidance of a supervisor during year three of the programme (September to August)

*Note: full time students are required to be based in Dublin during their academic year of study.

  • Start Date: July 2018
  • Overview

    The taught component consists of five modules totally approximately 200 hours. Modules 1, 2 and 3 are held in Trinity College, Dublin during two very intensive weeks in July with subsequent work being carried out during the year. During the summer school period, workshops, lectures and seminars are also held during many of the evenings and on both Saturdays. The course is taught by tutors with international reputations in the field of Music in Education and Performance Studies. Students will be involved in practice focused workshops and seminars covering approaches to music in formal (primary, secondary and tertiary level) and non-formal educational settings. Tutorial support is built into the Summer School programme, and each student is entitled to tutorial time with a tutor to discuss assignments and academic progress. Online and face-to-face tutorial support is also provided during the academic year. Module 4 is delivered on-line in a blended learning model. Students may have an opportunity to participate in some of the Drama and Theatre in education modules and activities which is also run in parallel with the Music Summer School.

    Typically, students on this programme register for option 2 and take the first four modules in year one, complete the related assessments from home, and those students who have attained a satisfactory level in their module assignments and are eligible to progress to the dissertation year, attend for a second, week-long Summer School the following July, in preparation for masters level study. This is a research year and students will be involved in the writing of a dissertation under the guidance of an assigned supervisor. Students are required to submit their dissertation within twelve months normally.

    Students who for any reason do not wish to continue to the dissertation on the M.Ed. programme may, after satisfactorily completing five modules, apply to exit with a Post-graduate Diploma in Educational Studies.

    Course Modules

      Module 1 | Philosophies of the Arts and Music Education

    • This module will introduce music students and musicians to music philosophical discourse, exploring a broad range of perspectives of the value of music and music education while debating the strengths and/or weaknesses of each perspective. This programme considers the views of influential thinkers in music, the arts and music education. The programme will include contemporary practical examples and will encourage participants to engage in philosophical debate. The programme is inclusive of students with little or no background in arts/music education philosophy. It will introduce students to the richness of the literature in the field and will be pitched appropriately for general education, music education and arts education graduates as well as for musicology, music theory, and music performance graduates.

      Module 2 | Module Two: Performance Pedagogy

    • This module places a strong emphasis on performance focusing on choral conducting techniques. The course will deliver insights into practical matters such as vocal health and warm ups; writing choral arrangements; rehearsal techniques; interpretation; improvisation, developing the ability to read, analyze and interpret a choral score. The course will include coordination, confidence and techniques necessary to rehearse and perform a work for choir as well as the skills of critique and analysis.

      Module 3 | Module Three: Irish Music and Culture

    • This module will explore traditional Irish music in both general and educational settings as a way of deepening the quality of participant understanding of the links between music and culture. Strategies which will equip participants with practical skills to develop their music performance and their level of engagement and mastery of concepts relating to Irish traditional music will be explored. Aural skills will be developed to extend participant experience of "learning by ear" through group music-making. Lectures on the contributions of key pioneers in the field will provide a theoretical backdrop to this primarily practical module.

      Module 4 | Module Four: Blended Learning Critical Reading Seminar

    • The critical reading assignment is designed to allow students to formulate an overview and assessment of varying methods and approaches to Music teaching. In-depth reading is organised around a structured theme, which requires critical evaluation of the readings, and students are encouraged to establish contact with a number of other students on the programme with whom they will share and critically discuss their responses to the texts (peer-buddies). This reading module seeks to increase students' critical awareness, ability to discuss theoretical concepts, relate theory to practice and engage in the learning of others.

    During the Summer School, students will be introduced to the major conventions in professional and academic writing and research methodology in preparation for completion of their coursework assignments.

    Teaching and learning strategies

    Students will be involved in practice focused workshops and seminars covering approaches to Music in formal and non-formal educational settings. Each of the four modules is individually assessed. A variety of methods including projects, case studies, portfolios, reports and essays are used. The integration of theory and practice is stressed in the content of the modules and in the assessments. Experiential and active teaching and learning strategies are used in the presentation of modules. Full details regarding the specific nature of assessment is provided at the start of each module.