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The main purpose of music in education is to encourage as many children as possible to have an appreciation for music.  By using the term appreciate, it is implied that children should not only value and enjoy music but should be able to discuss and recognise quality*.  The process of discernment requires experience of any knowledge about the music under discussion, therefore music in education should be developed through experience and the knowledge gained through that experience.

Music is intrinsically gratifying in itself, it should not always have a purpose but, on occasions, be aesthetically appreciated for its own merits.  Although the performing of music in concerts and other additional curricular activities is important, it should not be the most important aspect of music in education. The child who really has begun to value music will be the one who, out of choice, will listen to music at home, broadening his / her listening repertoire as experience is gained. This general aim should be achieved by aiming to challenge all children, this includes both the children receiving a musical education i.e. those who hold more specialist knowledge than the average child and the other children who only encounter practical music experience in education, as part of their general education.

*quality: distinctive character apart from pitch and loudness, timbre (Oxford Dictionary)


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