The American Approach VS The European Approach
To Teaching Music
Discover the differences between The European Approach and The American Approach to teach music, exploring historical influences, structured curricula, and teacher-student dynamics that shape these contrasting realms.
Historical and Cultural Influences
European Approach: Many European countries have a long and rich classical music tradition. The European approach often places a strong emphasis on classical repertoire and music theory, sometimes requiring years of music theory education before starting an instrument.
American Approach: The United States, being a culturally diverse nation, incorporates a broad spectrum of musical genres into its teaching approach. While classical music is certainly part of the curriculum, there can also be a focus on jazz, pop, rock, and even world music, depending on the teacher and the goals of the student. Also, students are not required to learn music theory before starting an instrument. Music theory is included in the instrumental lesson.
Structured vs. Flexible Curriculum
European Approach: European music education systems may follow a more structured and standardized curriculum. There is often a clear progression of skills and repertoire that students are expected to master at each level. Most European music schools have one or two mandatory exams each year to check on the students’ progress.
American Approach: Music education is more flexible, allowing for a greater degree of customization based on individual student interests and goals. This flexibility encourages creativity and exploration of different musical genres.
European Approach: The teacher-student relationship in Europe may be more formal and hierarchical, with a strong emphasis on discipline and respect for tradition.
American Approach: The American approach often fosters a more informal and collaborative relationship between teachers and students, encouraging open communication and a partnership in the learning process.
The American Conservatory of Paris
The Conservatory implements the American approach to teach music. Students can progress at their own pace in an encouraging and motivating environment. They learn how to read music with their instrument in their hands making it a very natural process. Our teachers are comfortable teaching various styles of music and encourage their students to explore different genres. We can prepare students for ABRSM exams (read our blog about exams), but these exams are never mandatory.