By way of conclusion, in this chapter I state a synthesised view of the issues around African music education. In this book, African music education has been presented as one or all of the following:
The teaching and learning facilitated by African music. This recognises the art form as a body of knowledge, knowledge of a cultural and aesthetic nature. It is appropriated for sensitisation of individuals about values, beliefs and practices that are indigenous to the people of the land of Africa, past and present.
The teaching and learning of African music. This recognises the value and validity of the art form as a discipline worthy of study and assimilation. It considers a literature, writable, and the tenets of orality that make the music such a formidable force for training in musicianship, where perceptual, performance and analytical skills are enhanced and taught in relation to the idioms and other content of this body of knowledge.
The teaching and learning of Music in Africa. This points to Africa’s unique context, an environment where things musical are significant in each of life’s important events, leading to the continent’s wide scope and acceptance of artefacts and works of art under the umbrella term musical arts. This accommodates works from outside the continent, whose basic content and definitive characteristic features are of an acquired nature, not home grown. The types of music that find themselves in our curricula, the ways in which we approach the teaching and learning of skills and knowledge, the resources that we utilise to grow musically, are the subjects that one would delve into under this theme.
The teaching and learning of music in an African fashion. Because of the art form’s unique structure and content, it presents unique ways of dealing with it, dealings that include its dissemination and assimilation. When followed, these methods provide a deeper sense and understanding of what music truly means, giving further insight into the function of music, and the spirit that it evokes in humans who delve into its creation through performance and composition. This procedure, though not static, has basic principles, chief of which is participation, hence the 328teaching and learning of music is successfully done in a fashion that engages learners in music-making activities.
Teaching and learning of music by an African. From an oral tradition, the African typically gains meaning from experience. Participation and involvement are therefore very appropriate ways of learning. This makes demonstration a very appropriate way of teaching. When accustomed to making music in a participatory way, the learners will best apprehend concepts and learn skills in and through participation – a participatory way of teaching and learning. Apprenticeship, in any formal or modified form, becomes a valuable approach to teaching the African music (teaching music to an African).