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Transforming Music Education

Estelle R. Jorgensen

Publication Year: 2003

"Brilliant... important reading for those who teach music, who write the curricular plans for teaching it, and who guide prospective teachers to the profession.... It is a must-read, for it awakens thoughts about why we teach and how." -- Patricia Shehan Campbell

This quintet of essays examines the reasons why music education should be transformed, investigates the nature of education and musical transformation, and suggests alternative educational models and strategies. Estelle Jorgensen frames her argument for new approaches against the backdrop of historical musical and educational practice and draws on literature from various fields. Transforming Music Education is addressed to current and future music teachers, those who train them, and all who are interested in revolutionizing music education.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Table of Contents

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pp. ix-xv

Many music teachers have passed through my classrooms, and I have talked with many more in this country and abroad about their lives and work. Making sense of my own experience, the stories I have heard other teachers tell, and the educational writers whose work I have read is a tall order. In my first days as a teacher I was eager to succeed in an educational...

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pp. xvii

This book has been a long time in the making. I am especially indebted to my students at Indiana University School of Music, to my colleagues here and abroad, and to my teachers who bequeathed a rich legacy in their printed words and the memory of their being. Much of what follows in these pages has been mulled over in my classes, lectured...

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1. Setting the Stage

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pp. 1-18

We live at a time of profound change. This reality fundamentally affects our understanding of the world and human relationships, the way we live, our beliefs and values, and our relationships with others. Now, more than ever before, we see ourselves as inhabitants of planet Earth, living in a fragile world that we can sustain or destroy. We have more information about the...

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2. Justifying Transformation

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pp. 19-47

In this chapter I suggest that music education needs to be transformed for two reasons. First, the mortality of human beings and the fact that education is carried on by one generation after another necessitates transformation if it is to succeed in the long term. Second, because it is undertaken by human beings, music education is beset by systemic problems that afflict the wider...

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3. Transforming Education

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pp. 48-76

Successive waves of educational reform in the United States during the past century have met with mixed success, in part because they have addressed symptoms rather than underlying causes of systemic societal and educational problems and because the reforms have not been critically thought through or pursued over the long term. Something more than tinkering...

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4. Transforming Music

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pp. 77-117

What is meant by the word music? How is music transformed? And what are the practical implications for music education? In previous writing I suggested that music was a social phenomenon and examined some of the ways in which groups form around particular beliefs and practices. While these insights are helpful, they constitute part of a complex and ambiguous...

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5. Creating Alternatives

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pp. 118-146

What should music education be like? What should be its effects on the people it comprises, the communities in which it takes place, and the general education and wider society of which it is a part? A prescriptive plan is out of the question because it does not take into account the human passion for transcending past practice and the inherent...


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pp. 147-179


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pp. 181-187

E-ISBN-13: 9780253109583
E-ISBN-10: 0253109582
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253341723

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2003