Teaching objectives were a live issue in America during the 1960's. At
first, only natural sciences were concerned, but soon the cultural subjects, including
music, also became involved. A new evaluation of music as an indispensable
part of peoples' lives led to its being effectively integrated with the
total educational programme. This was done on a scale undreamed of before.
These progressive ideas, formulated in America, were not long in taking root
in South Africa.
A short account of existing conditions in South Africa in general, and in
Pretoria in particular, in the light of the ideas mentioned, highlights the problems
which music education must face where, in a materialistic society, so
much emphasis is placed on science and technology. The situation is complicated
by the plural social structure that exists in this country. The ideal remains,
however, to cultivate the entire personality through music education.
The historical background to music teaching in South Africa is outlined in
order to present the rather unique local problems more clearly. The British
system of music examinations, introduced in the Cape in 1894, has developed
into a very well organised educational programme, catering for everything
from initial tuition to professional diploma level. This system is managed by
the University of South Africa, also seated in Pretoria.
In the city of Pretoria, music education is well provided with talent and
physical resources. But the fact that no fewer than five institutions cater for
tertiary level education, is wasteful. It reveals insufficient planning and also
divided or overlapping interests. The private music teachers, the Technikon,
the Teachers' Training College, the Conservatoire in Jacob Mare Street, the
Department of Musicology of the University of South Africa and, finally, the
Academy of Music of the University of Pretoria, are examined in turn for their
educational ideals and objectives, in order to present a picture of the local
state of affairs. Each has good points as well as weaknesses. In the case of the
Academy, the quality of its teaching is questioned, especially with regard to its
conservative approach and its relevance to modern society. A number of proposals
are made for improved efficiency. These include extensive revision of
syllabuses, the planning of new curriculae, the assessment of teaching
methods, the expansion of library facilities, the use of audio-visual aids, and
implementation of a public relations programme.
The Academy of Music has an individual character which must be accommodated
in the overall university tradition. As a university institution, its
students should be identified in a way that sets them apart from non-university
students. The key to this identification lies in the students' being able to think
independently. The Academy must follow a broad educational programme at
undergraduate level, must maintain high standards, must assume leadership
and responsibility in music