David Wade Website homepage Biography
© Robin S Stevens 2017
Biographical Summary
David Wade (1942-2012) - Choral Conductor, School Music Teacher and Kodály Music Education Practitioner
Choral Director and Classroom Music Teacher David Wade was born in Yorkshite, United Kingdom, and emigrated with his  family to Australia in 1971. He undertook teacher training at St John’s  College, York, and graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London,  majoring in pipe organ. He later qualified for the Associate Diploma in Piano   (AMusA) of the Australian Music Examinations Board. David then undertook  a Bachelor of Education degree at Deakin University and went on to  complete a Master of Education in 1996. David was appointed in 1971 to the  staff of Geelong Grammar School, Highton Campus, where he taught  classroom music to students from Kindergarten level to Year 9 as well as  being musical director for several musical ensembles including choirmaster  at the Highton Campus. He retired from Geelong Grammar School in 1992  and then taught mainly piano and singing in private practice. He was a  highly gifted and committed music educator who was highly respected by all  who came under his influence. David was also dedicated organist and  choirmaster who made a significant contribution t the musical life of All  Saints Church, Newtown in Geelong.  Kodály Teacher and Researcher David based his classroom music teaching on the Kodály method, being one  of the most highly skilled and well respected Kodály practitioners in Victoria.  His belief in the effectiveness of the method was demonstrated in a  Professional Research Project entitled “Approaches of Music Educators to  Kodály-based Music Education in the Australian Context” which he  completed in 1996 as part of his Master of Education degree from Deakin  University.  This research report is not only a fine piece of scholarship but  also represents a significant contribution to research which has on-going  significance for Kodály-based classroom music teaching in Australia.  A copy of this research report may be accessed as a PDF file by clicking on the icon opposite:  Below is the abstract of this research project.
Wade, D., “Approaches of Music Educators to Kodály-based Music Education in the Australian Context”, MEd Professional Research Project,  Faculty of Education, Deakin University, 1996.  In undertaking this research study, it was hoped that further information would be obtained, together with further insights into the reasons underlying particular  courses of action adopted by practitioners of music education in the chosen (not random) sample. The participants were selected for their experience with regard to  the Developmental Music Programme (Kodály based) of Deanna Hoermann. The study is placed in its historical context by a discussion of the origins of Kodály's  philosophy of music education and the pre-reformation state of music education in Hungary. The research problem is then considered. The focus shifts to Australia,  for one aspect of the research question is the need to discover the effect of a foreign culture's system of music education upon an English-speaking society, such as  that of Australia. The desire to discover the extent and manner of modification, its underlying motives, and its resultant value in comparison with Kodály's Hungarian  original, was a driving force of the inquiry.  The research methodology, 'qualitative research' is considered and its suitability for the purpose of the inquiry discussed, including a review of the methodological  literature. Case study is employed as the research vehicle, but with the difference that here the participant is not the 'case' to be studied, but rather the particular  approach to Kodály-based developmental music education. One medium for the gathering of data was the questionnaire, another was the interview and the third the  non-participant observation of class music lessons. The participants consisted of two Kodály experts and four Kodály practitioners.  All were interviewed separately, one set of questions being directed to the experts  and another to the practitioners. The experts' areas of agreement formed the basis of the questions later included in the practitioners' questionnaire. Non-participant  observation of class music lessons was used still later to locate areas of teaching practice apparently at variance with answers supplied in the questionnaire.  It was seen to be of importance that the study should have a foundation in music educational research already published. To this end the substantive literature was consulted and any area relating to the present inquiry noted. This literature  considered Kodály's educational beliefs and the influences upon his professional development, and in addition tabled descriptions of experiments in music education  in which the Kodály approach was examined, both in isolation and in comparison with other music systems.  Two chapters are devoted to the description of the collection, presentation and discussion of data from the Kodály experts and the Kodály practitioners, one chapter  for each group. Included are the formulation of questions, the format of interviews, the method of data analysis and the comparison of responses, among others. These  two chapters carry the main body of detail in the research, the data being examined both by topic and by question.  The final chapter seeks to draw conclusions from the data in order to establish a realistic and reliable impression of the current state of the Kodály approach to music  education in one area of Victoria. On a personal level it seeks to document the beliefs of Kodály music educators, as set beside those of Kodály, so that insights may  be gained into their activity in music education, not only regarding their thoughts and actions, but more significantly, the convictions which daily direct their  professional lives.  From the conclusions, certain recommendations are made by the researcher. These fall into two categories: recommendations for changes in approach to the task of  music education among Kodály music practitioners, their employers and the parent body in schools, and recommendations for further research into topics of interest  brought to mind by the present inquiry, but lying outside its scope.