Why should only Mozart, Bach or Armstrong be taught in classrooms? Pete Dale, a professor of popular music at Manchester Metropolitan University, asked the question, and suggested that the inclusion of more contemporary genres, such as rap or electronic music, would stimulate the learning of students in difficulty .
Why the contemporary music, the one we listen to the radio or see at television on a daily basis, such as hip-hop or electronic music, is not taught in the classroom? Pete Dale asks the question, and brings some answers. “The lessons of school music rarely recognize the existence of such music (the EDM, which is included in its most comprehensive definition of” Electronic Dance Music “) in British culture. […] A serious teaching of the rave and post-rave era in a classroom is extremely rare.”
Pete Dale made the observation in 2013, when he wanted to teach the art of DJing to a group of trainee teachers, who where about to teach in “difficult” establishments. Dale notes that these schools were located in cities where young people were familiar with the grime and bassline scenes. Despite this, the young teachers were not at all familiar with these styles and equipment like turntables.
Pete Dale’s conclusion is simple. Teachers are not trained to teach electronic music, and more generally types of electronic music that would allow pupils to feel close to the content of the course and to become more involved. After teaching apprentices the art of mastering a controller (which he believes could be made available in schools through lower prices) and having seen a certain amount of enthusiasm on their part, Pete Dale calls for this teaching in schools.
“It is of paramount importance,” he says, “to engage students with music they know and love [which would] make the school more familiar and welcoming, and it could even help change a few Stereotypes according to which “certain types of people” listen to “certain kinds of music“.