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

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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