By Paul Woodford
Read Online or Download Democracy And Music Education: Liberalism, Ethics, And The Politics Of Practice (Counterpoints: Music and Education) PDF
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Extra info for Democracy And Music Education: Liberalism, Ethics, And The Politics Of Practice (Counterpoints: Music and Education)
Although connoting negativism to some, the word “criticism” more properly implies breadth and depth of experience coupled with a commitment to careful research, analysis, and judgment about things that matter. It is an expression of intelligence, caring, and social responsibility in which the goals are growth and awareness of possible consequences of beliefs and actions. 14 Criticism seeks the improvement of society. ”15 Given that a liberal democracy depends on individual citizens engaging in public deliberations about shared values, one would hope that music education would contribute to the end, that it would prepare children for democratic citizenship.
17 The current confusion about musical criticism is really one of values and standards. Many music educators continue to believe that the western musical canon represents the high-water mark of human musical achievement and should be used as a yardstick or set of preestablished, objective, and permanent standards for judging all music. ”19 Some academics even contend that western classical and popular music have no connection. 20 But if all music and performances are equally valid or merely relative or subjective—if we live in a world in which no qualitative musical distinctions can be made—then none of it really matters to society.
55 Even more disturbing is the relative lack of conversation between York’s music teachers and students with respect to their obviously conflicting musical beliefs and values. Some teachers use popular music as a stepping-stone to the classics, while many grudgingly acknowledge that it ought to be taught for reasons of national pride or because it represents a huge industry providing pleasure to a multitude of people, especially the young. ”57 Popular music is mentioned in the United States National Standards for Music Education and may actually be prevalent in many American and Canadian school music programs, but there is little acknowledgment that it should be taught for its own sake as something warranting serious scrutiny and criticism.