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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: The contribution of Dr Joseph Groocock to music education in Ireland (1935-1997)
Degree Type: MA
Degree Specialism: Musicology
Supervisor(s): Mr Séan Mac Liam
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: June 2005
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: St. Patricks College, DCU
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1
Thesis Location / Link: Cregan Library, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Persons / Composers: Groocock, Joseph
Genres / Musical Instruments: Music history, music education
Abstract: Apart from biographical information, this research considers the considerable writings, published and unpublished, of Dr Joseph Groocock whose long years of service in Irish music education helped shape the musical careers of many students. His writings span many topics including sight-reading, aural training, harmony, counterpoint and fugue. The most significant of these are ‘Fugal Composition – A Guide to the Study of Bach’s 48’ (2003), and ‘Ear Training and Harmony based on the chorale harmonisations of Bach’. My analysis of these aim to provide interesting insights into his teaching philosophy and methodology which were sincerely valued over his long teaching career. They reveal someone whose educational values were rooted in a deep respect for the learner and an abiding passion for his subject. He was, in every respect, a reflective practitioner, whose intimate understanding of the techniques of J.S. Bach’s music and his absorption of the educational principles of John Curwen and Zoltan Kodaly inspired a unique approach to the teaching and learning of music at a time when music education was low in the national priority. The legacy of his contribution is not just measurable in the quality of graduates he helped produce but in the progression and continuity that is evident in the teaching materials he left, and his unique teaching style, which inspired so many.

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