Lowell Mason
The Father of Music Education in America
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Music 314
Foundations & Principles of Music Education

Dr. Peter LaRue, Instructor

Handout - Talking Points #9

Popular Learning Theories

Terms and Nomenclature:
1. mother tongue concept
2. rote learning
3. model
4. pentatonic
5. pragmatism - J.  Dewey
6. active learning [engaged]
7. passive learning

Pestalozzi - Lowell Mason - John Dewey

Although there are some fundamental differences in these approaches, the influence of Pestalozzi is felt heavily. Johann Pestalozzi (1746‑1827) was a great Swiss reformer of education. Pestalozzi rejected the idea that quality schooling consisted of nothing other than memorization and recitation. He substituted observation, experimentation and reasoning in their place. Pestalozzi was also one of the first to link the educational process to the natural development/growth of the child. He believed in the harmonious development of all the faculties of the child; the whole child,  by training the head, hand and heart. Education, according to Pestalozzi should be sequenced and structured so that each stage would grow/spring naturally from the preceding efforts [spiral curriculum]. Many of the ideas of Pestalozzi, became the "backbone" for the great work of John Dewey of pragmatist fame, and which still influences our schools today. Lowell Mason of Boston, later took the principles of Pestalozzi and directed them towards building a public school music curriculum [Hawes school 1838].

Goals of Mason included:
a. create musically intelligent adults [rather than professional musicians]
b. quality of music used in instruction is a vital importance [only music of artistic value should be used in instruction
c. the process of teaching is of greater importance than the product [process versus product]
d. to achieve in music; work is required
e. musical literacy is both a possible and desirable goal

Noted Learning Theorists

Sensory Motor [ages 0-2]
Pre-Operational Thought [2-7]
Concrete Operational 7-11]
Formal Operational [11-15]

1. enactive
2. iconic
3. symbolic