Reflective Practice in Music

Reflective Practice in Music

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2063-5.ch001
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This chapter proposes that music-making is a reflective practice and critically examines the issues of reflective practice in music listening, performing, and creating in P-12 and community schools. The author illustrates the framework of reflective practice embedded in music practice followed by proposing how music teaching and learning can be shared reflectively. Next, as a trait of this book, the author also adds an Asian perspective to understand reflective practice in music teaching and learning with a comparative and international topic in music education. Confucian philosophy of learning and Suzuki's philosophy that every child reflectively learns from the perceived environment.
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Making sense of complexity, instability, and uncertainty requires us to evolve the unique way of pursuing actions in an ongoing manner. Donald A. Schön describes the concept of reflective practice and/ or reflection-in-action in his book entitled The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action as the ability to reflect on one's actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning and action (Schön, 1983). According to Schön (1983), an artful practice in any profession always deals with complexity, instability, and uncertainty; thus, the reflective practice always entails meeting challenges in situations with unexpected and constant changes in an ongoing manner.

The reflective practice has been discussed in various fields. Dixon, Lee and Ghaye (2015) describe about reflective practice as follows:

We suggest that it is important to appreciate that ‘reflective practice’ is neither singular nor an uncontested term, as this may limit our understanding and application of reflection. Without appreciating the complexity and scope of term, our understanding of the concept and potential utility of reflective practices may be limited. (p.2)

Dixon, Lee and Ghaye (2015) continues, and say:

We suggest that certain kinds of reflection are both central to and supportive of the processes involved in the effective management of change. Reflection is a skilled practice that uses experience, knowledge and inquiry processes to increase our capability to intervene, interpret and act positively to understand the root causes of success and to apply this to improve future performance. (p.13)

Similarly, Lee, Chesterfield, Shaw and Ghaye (2009) describes the reflective practice as follows:

A ‘reflective practitioner’ is someone who, at regular intervals, looks back at what they do and considers how they can improve. They ‘reflect’ on what they have done. (p.286)

Nevertheless, in music practice and music teaching and learning, reflective practice is embedded and integrated in music, and often appears in an ongoing manner. Musicians listen to what she/ he creates in sound and react to the musical sound in situ, and change constantly to improve one’s performance as she/ he performs. This book locates the reflective practice within music, and reflection-in-action as a special trait of music making, learning and teaching.


Frame Reflection In Music

This book proposes that the reflective practice is an essential element of music making as well as music learning and teaching. In music performance, according to Schön (1983), “reflection tends to focus interactively on the outcomes of action, the action itself, and the intuitive knowing implicit in the action” (p.56). Schön (1983) described how Jazz musicians are reflecting on and in action and said as follows:

Listening to one another and to themselves, they feel where the music is going and adjust their playing accordingly… As the musicians feel the direction of the music that is developing out of their interwoven contributions, they make new sense of it and adjust their performance to the new sense they have made…More likely, they reflect through a feel for the music. (p.55-56)

Not only the Jazz scene but any type of music playing especially in ensemble settings, requires reflection in action to feel for the music and react to each other in a shared sense.

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