This article considers the contribution that Jacques Derrida’s work Of Hospitality might make to higher music education as it unsettles the usual ascription of normative value to learning and teaching music at the university. Along these lines, what is most at issue in the encounter with Derrida’s thinking is the concomitant notion of forms of temporality—unpredictability, slowability, immeasurability, anticipation, serendipity, and surprise. Higher music education is seen as the practice of social transformation through the realization of the notion of unpredictability of the “oral” being-together with and through music educational interactions that are not sacrificed to economically driven performance indicators and measurable outcomes. Furthermore, the article draws on the learning and teaching practices of de-familiarization of educational spaces and pedagogical responsibility to the others as ways to disrupt students’ fixed expectations about what good music teaching and mastery are. Overall, this article is a call to see unpredictability as another framework through which higher music education can seek to re-invent theoretical concepts as well as codes and conventions of teaching and learning practices by inviting us to contemplate their own insufficiency, incompleteness, and discontent.


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pp. 65-83
Launched on MUSE
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