An Introduction to Tonal Theory by Peter Westergaard

By Peter Westergaard

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Bentley 1975: 44) Bentley’s concern was that appropriate time should be apportioned to an agreed range of activities. In particular there was a crucial balance to strike between learning through the voice and through an instrument. Taylor (1979) echoed Bentley’s concern about the neglect of vocal skills, sight reading and aural training. Those seeking to sustain traditional approaches saw music education, like schooling in general, in turmoil. Simpson writes: Former certainties of aim are gone; changes in society, and in music itself, have led some to reject traditional curriculum content and methods out-of-hand.

There was a deeply experienced sensibility to her environment, its sounds and images and it was all this that provided Sybil with a remarkable sense of vocation and with a natural authority to teach others. At the heart of this lay relationships. We recall Sybil Marshall’s expression of gratitude for the trust her pupils had placed in her at Kingston as she experimented and made sense of being a teacher. There was no need to make mention of her coming to trust them. Jill’s growth from three-year-old interloper to poet, song writer and artist was evidence enough that the arts, singular yet interchangeable, were the place where a sense of completion, of wholeness could be experienced.

The Schools Council was established sponsoring curriculum development and recognizing the autonomy of the teacher. It was a time of ‘breaking out’ (Simon 1991), a reaching out for a more egalitarian and open society in which children and young people would be seen differently. Two official reports made the point. In 1963, the year of Sybil’s Marshall’s An Experiment in Education, came the report ‘Half Our Futures’ concerned with the education of pupils aged 13 to 16 of average and less than average ability.

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