Facing the MusicShaping Music Education from a Global Perspective

Facing the MusicShaping Music Education from a Global Perspective

Huib Schippers

Print publication date: 2010

ISBN: 9780195379754

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Facing the Music investigates the practices and ideas that have grown from some five decades of cultural diversity in music education, developments in ethnomusicology, and the rise of ‘world music.’ It makes a case for the crucial role of learning music in shaping rich and diverse musical environments for the twenty‐first century, both in practical terms and at a conceptual level: “what we hear is the product of what we believe about music.” Advocating a contemporary, positive and realistic approach to cultural diversity in music education and transmission, the book takes into account and celebrates the natural dynamics of music, regarding every musical act as an expression of its current contexts in terms of cultures, communities, and underlying constructs, and establishing that “most music travels remarkably well.” In seven chapters that each approach the issues from a different angle, the book gradually unfolds the complexities of learning and teaching music ‘out of original context’ in an accessible manner, and presents a coherent model to approach these, as well as lucid suggestions for translating the resulting ideas in practice. While mapping the various factors that determine all acts of music transmission, it also comes to surprising insights into the nature and preconceptions underlying much formal music education settings across the world, including those focusing on western classical music. Based on an insider's view of both the delights and challenges of music in multicultural societies, Facing the music provides a rich resource for reflection and practice for all those involved in teaching and learning music, from policy maker to classroom teacher.