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An approach to music education in the final phase of high school : possibilities suggested by the learning that took place in a student band playing original, popular music.

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In South Africa, both the paradigm for music education and the music syllabus need to change: music teachers need to correct and compensate for the consequences of the Apartheid system of the past, and they need to meet the challenges of the outcomes based model of Curriculum 2005, which has been accepted by the National Education Department as the plan which will be followed in the future. This dissertation attempts to contribute to the implementation of Curriculum 2005 by making a case study of a successful student band, Amethyst, all of whose members were almost entirely self taught in music. After identifying what the members of Amethyst learned and how they learned it, the work finds ways of applying the findings from the case study to the teaching of music in the Further Education and Training phase of Curriculum 2005. The case study is contextualised by a consideration of the salient characteristics of outcomes-based education as embodied in Curriculum 2005 and by including discussion of similarities between the way learning took place in Amethyst and the informal learning of music that takes place in African and Indian communities within South Africa. These similarities in learning methods are ones that fit well with the perspectives propagated by outcomes-based education. Practical suggestions for the classroom take cognizance of the intercultural ideals of Curriculum 2005, and these suggestions are presented within a framework based on the critical cross-field outcomes and specific outcomes identified in this curriculum. The matters of evaluation and assessment, as well as the content of learning programs are also addressed. This dissertation is based on qualitative research methods, including interviews with the band members, their parents, some students who were well acquainted with the band, and two educationists with specialised knowledge concerning the new OBE system. The case study also includes an exploration of the reasons for the boys choosing to teach themselves even though music was available as a subject in their school , an exploration which confirmed that the current music education system has become outdated.


Thesis (M.Mus.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1998.


Theses--Music., School music--Instruction and study--South Africa., Amethyst (Musical group), Curriculum planning--South Africa.