A history of music education in New Zealand state primary and intermediate schools 1878-1989.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Music education has been part of the New Zealand curriculum since the nineteenth century yet it has not been perceived as a "mainstream" subject in the school curriculum. This research examines how music has been perceived in the curriculum, and looks at the effectiveness of the teacher in implementing music education programmes during the existence of the Department of Education between 1878 and 1989. While the Education Act of 1877 established the Department of Education, in practical terms the Department only started to function in 1878 and ceased to exist in 1989. External events such as the two economic depressions of the 1890s and the early 1930s, and the two World Wars, had a deleterious effect on music education development. In the local political arena there was inconsistency in attitudes towards the subject that further inhibited growth. The majority of immigrants during the nineteenth century were from Britain. A review of the sight singing movement in England is included in chapter one to determine why singing dominated school music in the New Zealand curriculum. In 1928 the syllabus changed from "singing" to "music." This reflected a wider concept of musical activity, including musical appreciation, movement and the playing of musical instruments. The 1920s represented an era of many new initiatives in school music, dominated by the appointment of the first Supervisor of School Music, E. Douglas Tayler. The subsequent appointments of four British music lecturers to the four Training Colleges augured well for school music. Broadcasts to schools programmes that featured prominently in the lives of many New Zealand school pupils, had begun life with Tayler's music programmes in 1931. The appointment of the National Adviser of Music, W.H. Walden Mills in 1958 represented another important milestone in music education, since no-one had held this position on a national level since Tayler's resignation 27 years earlier. Walden Mills' influence was manifest in the appointments of District Music Advisers during the 1960s who provided a much needed support service to teachers. Further developments in music education occurred during the 1970s with the implementation of special music programmes in certain schools, including the Music Teacher Scheme (MT scheme) and the composers in schools scheme. During the 1970s and 1980s awareness of other cultures became an integral part of school music programmes, and contemporary music of all kinds became an acceptable part of the school environment. Two significant events that reflected changing attitudes towards music education were the publication of the Tait Report in 1970 and the Ritchie Report in 1980. A CD accompanies the thesis giving examples of school songs published in various song books used in New Zealand schools between 1878 and 1980.