Aesthetic / Praxial » Music Education

We are at a critical crossroad in the pedagogy and rationale of a diverse and praxial perspective for teaching and learning in the field of music education. It is difficult in this day and age to firmly root ourselves in one, singular philosophy of what music education is. I think that as both practitioners and philosophers we will learn to form a conceptual framework that views phenomenon through a variety of perspectives and theories. Having said that, we may very well need to have an understanding of the aesthetic concept of music education in order for other viewpoints and philosophies to emerge. For the most part, we have taught or been taught in the aesthetic perception, which results in an aesthetic reaction to cause an aesthetic experience (Reimer, 1970, p. 107).

In the August 2019 issue of the Journal of Research in Music Education researchers Kenneth Elpus and Carlos Abril compiled a demographic profile of high school music ensemble students. 24% of the class of 2013 were enrolled in at least one year of a course in band, choir or orchestra. Less than a quarter of an entire school population took a music class; nearly three quarters of that population did not. In that report, the ethnicities of those participating in music is problematic to say the least.

This study is an indication, not the sole indicator, that we simply cannot rationalize the notion of culturally biased, late 19th century/early 20th century aesthetic premise of arts education, that in the 21st century simply does not pique a sense of curiosity of the culturally diverse 21st-century learner. Although as a result of the Tanglewood Symposium we read the adoption of an aesthetic basis for music education resulted in a singular and cohesive philosophy for the profession, it could be argued that its focus was narrow and would ultimately not accommodate shifting social and cultural realities (Mccarthy M, Goble J, 2002, p. 25).

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