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Vivian Knols, Lecturer at Conservatorium Maastricht, Launches book

27 June 2024

Front cover of the handbook Music Master!

Muziek Meester! is a handbook for music education in primary school and is primarily intended for teacher training students. However, it is also interesting for Music in Education students and for the ‘post bachelor’ Music Specialist students. In short: for anyone who wants to provide good music education in primary education.
The book describes what place music can take in primary school and how music can be offered to children from four to twelve years old in a practical and responsible way.
In this fifth edition, six musical domains are discussed: singing, listening, playing, composing and improvising, reading and notating and moving. There is a separate chapter about music and young children. Developments within the curriculum of primary school and teacher training institutes require more coherence between the various subject areas and training areas. That is why a new chapter on music and subject integration has been added.
The book provides a solid basis and opportunity for further depth. It is a source of inspiration for anyone who wants to get started with music in primary school and wants to give good and motivating music lessons.

According to Vivian Knols, there are three 'Muziek Meesters'; Rinze van der Lei, Frans Haverkort and Lieuwe Noordam. They initiated the writing of this book and were responsible for the first four editions. Vivian has a close network with Pabo (teacher training institute) colleagues. She has made contributions to the magazine ‘De Pyramide’ and has been an active lecturer at the Pabo since 1997. Since 2012, she has also worked as a lecturer at Conservatorium Maastricht. Her experience has not gone unnoticed by Michel Hogenes either. Vivian Knols was asked by Michel to collaborate on the 5th edition of the book ‘Muziek Meester!’ - a work specifically aimed at music teachers. The book, Muziek Meester!, gets students excited about music education for all ages.

What was the process of writing this book like? 
Vivian and Michel worked together on this book for two years. They made this possible by consulting online through Microsoft Teams. There was a solid structure, thanks to the previous editions, on which they could build. They not only expanded the existing content, but also added a new domain to the five that were already there. This new domain focuses mainly on composition and improvisation.

What can we expect from the new examples in the book? 
Vivian emphasizes that composing and improvising have become much more relevant, contributing significantly to the difference from the version of nine years ago. In the “Muziek in samenhang” (Music and subject integration) chapter, students can better understand the importance of cohesion, different forms of subject integration and its contribution to students' development. The book uses several resources to show good practices. 
New assignments have also been introduced, such as the ‘Wicked Music Assignment,’ where a variety of  assignments students stimulate to think ‘out of the box’.  The new examples in the fifth edition of ‘Muziek Meester!’ enable children to better understand music and promote development of creativity. 

Is there a specific order for using the teaching material in the book? 
Vivian Knols highlights that the book is structured to be read and used for teaching from beginning to end, but no strict order needs to be followed. The approach varies from person to person. It is perfectly acceptable to start somewhere in the middle or even at the end. The flexible structure gives teachers the freedom to adapt the teaching material to the needs of their students and tailor the teaching process.

When will the book be released? 
The book will be published at the beginning of July and is already on the book list of the teacher training institute (Pabo) and Music in Education programme for the upcoming school year.

We are extremely proud of Vivian Knols, for her contribution to music education by writing this book, ‘Muziek Meester!’ (5th edition). Vivian's dedication, expertise and innovative approach make this book an indispensable resource for the education of music teachers. Her collaboration with her colleague Michel inspires and supports both teachers and students. Congratulations, Vivian!

Want to know more? Then check out the sneak peek copy here and read the first chapter in advance. 
First chapter