INTRODUCTION TO SECONDARY MUSIC SYLLABUS
The music syllabus is designed to involve the cultural expectation of a student in secondary school. It gives the learner an opportumty to know the music of Kenya and that of the rest of the world. It also provides a chance for the learner to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes which will be useful in creative faculties, good use of leisure time and use of music as a means of communication.
The syllabus has been reorganized taking the following into consideration:
The content has been reorganized to enable the learner begin with local Kenyan music with a view to identifying talent and gradually expanding his/her scope to the music of other countries over the four year course.
ii) Practical Approach:
The learner is expected to acquire proficiency in performing selecting types of music both vocal and instrumental. This will help develop the creative skills, self-expression and satisfaction leading to employment.
iii) Cost Effectiveness:
The syllabus emphasizes on improvisation and use of locally available materials and resources without compromising quality. It involves all concepts of musical knowledge suitable to the learner in secondary school. It advocates for innovativeness and is designed in such a way that the linkage with what is learned in Creative Arts at primary school level is not lost. It is also designed in such a way that the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired will enable the learner to fit in institutions of higher learning.
The music course has four units namely Basic skills, History and Analysis, Practicals and Project. Each unit is further subdivided into topics and subtopics with specific objectives for each sub-topic. The content has been carefully selected to infuse such pertinent contemporary issues as drug abuse, HIV/AIDs, teenage pregnancy, early marriages, integrity, child labour, gender and Infonnation Technology (IT). At the back of the syllabus are three appendices on:
Suggested Learning and Teaching Experiences
Suggested Assessment Methods
Some topics like accentuation, syllabic division, word rhythm, word painting and figures of speech in melody writing are taught although they are covered in poetry and languages. This overlap is necessary when one is dealing with a topic like composing songs where the above concepts are used. Another area is pitch which is also covered in Physics in more detail. Study of Western History is also covered in History, although our emphasis is on the music aspect. The topic on Time may also appear in other subjects like Geography and Mathematics. In Music, Time must be taught in order to explain R.hythm.
The syllabus has been designed taking into consideration the time allocated to the subject, i.e. 3 lessons for forms 1 and 2 and 4 lessons for forms 3 and 4. Use of double lessons is recommended when dealing with such topics as practicals, aurals, and harmony.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the study of Kenyan Music is receiving more attention than before. With consistent and resourceful use of study approaches, such as visits, participation in music activities, projects and use of resource persons, the syllabus promises vibrant class discourse.