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Rethinking the Traditional Wind Band

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ABSTRACT: The 21st century has brought new struggles to the instrumental band program, yet little has changed in wind band pedagogy (Kirchhoff, 1988). There have been alternative approaches to the traditional band rehearsal that could help support the growing diversity in schools and school band programs. World music pedagogy, typically employed in general music classrooms, can be adapted to engage students in multiple musical experiences in both traditional repertoire as well as other genres and styles. Critical pedagogy encourages students and teachers to work together to better understand their world through music, deconstructing the need for the director at the podium instructing students how to interpret the repertoire. Finally, there have been multiple studies that encourage wind band instructors to go beyond the traditional large ensemble and incorporate smaller ensembles that include chamber groups, mariachi ensembles, and steel bands. It is easy to forget that while students do not know how to play the instrument, they come to the music class steeped in their musical knowledge. By stepping away from the podium, even for a little, we can offer our students the chance to think critically and creatively that deepens their connection to music. Band directors are not just rehearsing for the next performance; we are educators supporting our students on their musical journeys.

Author: Lauren Diaz

Published 7/3/2020

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The Bankruptcy of Aesthetic Autonomy: Music as a Social Praxis and Agency

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Abstract: For many years, music education has followed the theory that it is rationalized in schools as aesthetic education. For many years, I have argued against this theory in numerous journal articles and books. The following is a light summary of my philosophy of music as a social praxis and form of agency. It is intended especially for pre-service students, and for those new to my ouvre, as an overview of many years of advancing praxis rather than aesthetics as the basis for music education.

Author: Thomas A. Regelski — University of Helsinki, Finland

Published 1/19/2020

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Waste in Popular Music Education: Rock’s Problematic Metaphor and Instrument-Making for Eco-Literacy

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Abstract: Popular music education can ease or worsen the waste problem. Waste refers to things with “no value,” and the Global North produces a lot of waste. Not limited to material, waste can be seen as a dominant metaphor in rock music. The guiding question for this essay is, what opportunity does rock music present for cultivating eco-literacy through music? Before we can find solutions though, we need to recognize rock’s distinctive ecological challenges. Popular music is both implicated in the challenge of waste, and can help music educators explore opportunities for resistance. In music education, qualitative research suggests instrument-making increases knowledge, interest, creativity, and builds attachment to an instrument, in addition to reducing material waste. In our field’s move to incorporate popular musics, instrument-making can be a part of eco-literate music pedagogy.

Author: Daniel J. Shevock – Penn State Altoona & State College Friends School, PA, USA

Published 06/16/2019

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Music Education as Global Education: A Developmental Approach

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Note from the Editor: For our first article of 2019, we are pleased to publish this article by Jennifer Mellizo. In it, the author proposes a globalist model and includes A Call for Responses. We welcome and encourage thoughtful responses to this article. Responses are treated as articles and follow normal blind-review and editing procedures. Please adhere to our submission format and guidelines. Darryl A. Coan, Editor

Abstract: Although there have been isolated pockets of discussion about the connection between music participation and global citizenship identifications, in many ways music education has remained on the sidelines of the wider global education movement. Sociocultural understanding has been discussed as a positive byproduct of music education, but not usually as an explicit goal. Yet, as Campbell (2013) argues, the consequences of an ever-changing, increasingly diverse and connected world “are considerable for systems of music education, and for individual teachers” (16). It is imperative for practitioners and scholars to consider the ways in which learning experiences in the music classrooms can cultivate higher levels of global competency without diminishing musical learning. Through this article, I propose a developmental framework for understanding the unique potential of music education to function as global education (MEGE). My core argument is grounded by the work of scholars who contend music education cultivates a sense of belonging, releases imagination, and fosters empathy. However, the framework I propose points this work more intentionally toward globalist ends and applications. Specifically, I argue music educators have unique potential to help students extend and deepen their understanding of “community” (Greene 1995). If today’s students can develop strong in-group affiliations at multiple levels of community (e.g., local, cultural, national/governmental, and global), they can become the types of citizens who will solve problems that extend beyond geographical borders, and collectively transform our world into a more just and humane place.

Author: Jennifer M. Mellizo – University of Wyoming Laboratory School, Laramie, WY, USA

Published 01/07/2019

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“That’s Not Real Music”: Problematizing the Resistance to Hip-Hop in Music Education

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Abstract: In this article, I seek to critically interrogate the field of music education’s hesitance to engage with hip-hop’s inclusion in music studies. I begin by briefly summarizing the pedagogical potential of hip-hop and then consider why much of the field­ still continues to express hesitance toward engaging with the genre and the scholarship surrounding it. To begin to answer this question, I mobilize a personal experience in a teacher education program in order to exemplify how the act of racial shaming, among myriad other forces, perpetuates a bias against music such as hip-hop and pedagogy of Whiteness in music education. To conclude, I draw theoretical and pedagogical implications for teachers and teacher educators engaged in combating a pedagogy rooted in White conceptions of art and education.

Author: Noah Karvelis – Phoenix Public Schools, Phoenix, AZ, USA. 
Published 06/29/2018.

Click here to read to the article. If this is your first visit to TOPICS, please read the note below.

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Applications of the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) in Music Education

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Abstract: Despite ongoing discussions about cultural diversity, practical progress towards a more inclusive and flexible system in music education remains slow (College Music Society, TFUMM 2014; Rampal 2015; Carson and Westvall 2016). As critical and reflective music practitioners and scholars, we should continue to explore every avenue that might promote higher levels of cultural sensitivity in our field. From the field of intercultural education, Milton Bennett (1993; 2004) proposes a framework for understanding and facilitating growth in this area, known as the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). Through this article, the author provides suggestions for applications of this framework in music education. Specifically, the author argues the DMIS framework can help university music teacher educators better understand the ways in which their students experience cultural and musical diversity, so they will be equipped to design individualized and relevant learning experiences that will move future music teachers towards higher levels of cultural sensitivity within the context of their teacher preparation programs.

Author: Jennifer M. Mellizo – University of Wyoming Laboratory School, Laramie, WY, USA. 
Published 02/20/2018.

Click here to read to the article. If this is your first visit to TOPICS, please read the note below.

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Curriculum Traditions, Music Education, and the Praxial Alternative

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Abstract: Curriculum studies are regularly overlooked in the pre-service training of music teachers. This article examines traditional curriculum theories and philosophies and their weaknesses. Then it offers an account of contemporary theory and philosophy, including praxial theory. A praxis-based curriculum model based on action ideals is offered.

Author: Thomas A. Regelski – Helsinki University. 
Published 02/20/2018.

Click here to read to the article. If this is your first visit to TOPICS, please read the note below.

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A Labor of Love: A Rationale and Second Grade Music Curriculum for a More Just and Equitable World

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Abstract: American music education systematically discriminates against Blacks and other minorities. Scholars have suggested practices for diversifying pre-service programs and higher education faculty; however, little literature focuses on race, power, and privilege in K-12 classrooms. Less literature exists by minorities reporting effects of Eurocentric music teaching on minority students, even though psychology, sociology, and education have published numerous studies on the phenomenon. The purpose of the article is to offer a new teaching model for music education in a second grade general music classroom. The curriculum aims to use music as a tool to develop critical learners who engage in dismantling systems of hegemony that permeate the field. Moreover, this curriculum seeks to give voice to the silenced and marginalized experiences of People of Color in the field and to implore others to tell their story. Paulo Freire’s (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed is used as a theoretical framework to defend the author’s ideals.

Author: Deejay Robinson – Boston University. 
Published 03/26/2017.

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Social Observations for Why Teach Music?

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Abstract: This account focuses on the value of music and music education as a social praxis. With that in mind, it explores five interrelated topics and the criteria for their praxies. First, what music “is”; then an analysis of individual music lessons; next, the challenges of general and classroom music; fourthly, issues involving ensembles; and finally, the reasons for choosing a career in music education. Frequent references to new praxial theories of music are assumed to be familiar in recent scholarship, and the value of music and music education is offered as a reminder of the importance, in each case, of music education as focused on musicing, not on aesthetic abstractions and premises. This is a survey of the impact of theory, of whatever vintage, and its relevance to praxis, not an examination of new research which is best explored in the sister journal ACT. And the theory addressed is well positioned to impact praxis, for those who look beyond status quo practices.

Author: Thomas R. Regelski – University of Helsinki. 
Published 02/09/2017.

Click here to read to the article. If this is your first visit to TOPICS, please read the note below.