Every learner counts: Addressing our learners’ needs in Music Teaching and learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


If we bring to our mind the students in our music classes we realize that every single child has a unique profile in regards to readiness level, modes and speed of learning, musical experiences and preferences, learning needs, and many more. How could we then expect that all our students will learn the same way, through the same material and at the same pace? How can we give access to music to all our students if we teach to the middle, which is usually what happens in practice? The aim of the paper is to introduce participants in differentiated instruction in music teaching and learning in the various aspects of ‘musicking’ that take place in a music class. Differentiation (Tomlinson, 1999; Tomlinson, 2010; Standerfer, 2011) is about maximizing the potential in each learner. In order to ensure maximum student growth, teachers need to meet each child at his/her starting point and make the required modifications for students, rather than assuming students should modify themselves to fit the curriculum. Differentiated instruction encourages teachers to attempt to intervene and modify important pillars of the educational process, such as the content, the process, the product or the learning environment, providing numerous routes of access, through a variety of avenues and approaches. Every student is given respectful, worthwhile and valuable tasks, as well as equally interesting and equally appealing work to do. Strategies and ideas on how to differentiate music teaching and learning both in primary and secondary school will be discussed, in relation to performing, listening, improvisation and composition activities and assessment tasks, giving opportunities to involve all children in meaningful, interesting and challenging for them activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvery learner counts: Democracy and Inclusion in Music Education
Number of pages80
ISBN (Print)9783990 353813
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


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