Concept-Based Pedagogy and its Application in the Private Clarinet Studio

  • DOI:


Educators are no longer the keepers of content. With the increase in accessibility to technology and the internet, teachers need to show students how to think critically and use facts to influence their own independence and creativity in the learning process. This paper outlines the history of concept-based pedagogy as well as its successful application in other interaction-based fields. It then demonstrates the application of concept-based pedagogy to a selected clarinet work. Using principles of concept-based pedagogy, the work is broken down to its component technical and expressive parts in order to address larger musical concepts. One exercise each in the areas of tone, technique, rhythm, and phrasing address challenges presented in the work. The goal is to demonstrate the successful application of an alternative pedagogy to the long-standing master-apprentice system of education established in the private studio.

Donald Henriques is an Assistant Professor of Music at California State University, Fresno. He earned degrees in ethnomusicology from The University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D. 2006; MM, 2003), in music composition from Indiana University, Bloomington (MM, 1985) and in music performance from California State University, East Bay (BA with honors, 1979). Dr. Henriques teaches courses in ethnomusicology along with directing the Fresno State Mariachi. In addition, he guides undergraduate research projects as part of the Music as a Liberal Art option.

During the course of his graduate studies, Dr. Henriques had the opportunity to work with some of the leading specialists in the field of Latin American music including Brazilian scholar Gerard B hague and Chilean composer Juan Orrego-Salas. His research focuses on mariachi and relationships with the transnational media industries (radio, sound recordings and film) from the late 1920s through 1950s. Dr. Henriques is a contributor to the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of American Music to be published by Oxford University Press, as well as the forthcoming book Transnational Encounters: Music and Performance at the US/Mexico Border, also to be published by Oxford.

Expand article
Read 592 times

Last modified on Monday, 10/06/2019

Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis, DMA, currently teaches clarinet at Stephen F. Austin State University. She performs throughout the U.S. and abroad, most recently in Belgium and Canada. Her dissertation won the Toulouse Dissertation Prize in Fine Arts.

Go to top