- Activities Supporting the Integration of Art and Music in High School Education
- Tutor: Gerhard Lock
The national curricula (2011) emphasize the importance of integrated teaching, where learning activities and outcomes are interconnected through integration. However, there is still a tendency in education where art subjects do not carry greater value when integrated with other fields than improving intellectual capacity and test results. This master’s thesis aims to explore the practical implementation of integrated teaching of music and art to support general competencies. The thesis focuses on creating teaching units for music and art classes in high school, centered around the culture life of Estonia in the first half of 20th century.
The central research questions of the thesis are:
1) What are the common methodological approaches to teaching art and music history?
2) How do integrated activities support students’ understanding of the connection between art and music: concept, narrative, composition, and rhythm?
3) How does the use of sound contribute to the interpretation of visual works of art?
Based on theoretical concepts from various authors, the thesis proposes four integrated teaching units for high school students. These units aim to deepen students’ understanding of the cultural life of Estonia in the first half of the 20th century and the attitudes and mindsets of that era, thereby developing students’ cultural competence. Each teaching unit consists of two music and two art classes. The research results show that the proposed activities, which required constant interpretation of sound and visual language and switching between two modes of thinking, supported both visual and musical thinking. As a result of integration, students seemed to find it easier to understand cultural phenomena and concepts of the 20th century, white subject-specific skills, terminology, and factual knowledge were more in the background. Integration supported students’ understanding of music and art works as carriers of culture, expressing personal and social themes. The use of sound in analyzing works of art opened up new perspectives of interpretation, stimulating imagination and encouraging students to observe and describe details more closely. The integrated teaching of the two subjects also helped create a more personal connection with the students, revealing their specific interests and characteristics, which can be taken into account when planning future classes.
Keywords: art and music integration, high school education, art, music, concept, narrative, composition, rhythm.