Devoted to the cause;Cross-phase;Reviews;Books

5th June 1998 at 01:00
MUSICIANS GO TO SCHOOL: Partnership in the Classroom. By Andrew Peggie. London Arts Board. pound;10. Elme House, 133 Long Acre, Covent Garden, London WC2 9AF

Musicians are going to school as participants in composition projects, as "outreach workers" for organi-sations, and as that most inde-finable yet potentially radical of categories, "musical resources". But we still don't know enough about why they go there and how to make it purposeful and exciting when they do.

Andrew Peggie is not only a much-respected musician, he is also a thinker with a good line in subtle questioning and wry aphorism. His readable book provides lively reflections on a range of issues directly related to the strange, intermittent encounters of players, pupils and their teachers.

He deals with large themes such as the potentially lethal but avoidable conflict between education and creativity, or the means by which a performance can make the ordinary extraordinary. But he also draws on experience to elucidate such crucial matters as how children recognise musical insincerity or how internecine school politics can be dodged by those who plan and prepare.

This book deserves to be read by all music teachers as well as by the growing band of musicians who find themselves not just entertainers and artists but gurus and guerrillas, too.

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