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ERIC Number: EJ1089698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1545-4517
Hatching Plans: Pedagogy and Discourse within an El Sistema-Inspired Music Program
Dobson, Nicolas
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v15 n1 p89-119 Jan 2016
In this article, I draw on my experience as an instrumental tutor with a music program inspired by and explicitly linked to El Sistema, to explore new perspectives on Sistema-based pedagogy and management. Detailed ethnographic description of an orchestral session provides a first-hand account of the program's pedagogy, which I then contextualize within an analysis of the written directives and conversations that shaped and constrained practice. I argue that this program, a deliberate attempt to replicate the El Sistema model, recapitulates authoritarian, teacher-centered modes that marginalize the potential for children's creativity and agency, while obscuring these dynamics within an ideologically incoherent and ambivalent discourse that employs tropes of progressive education. I also demonstrate how tensions concerning the autocratic nature of the management structure and the program's instrumentalism and high ambition play themselves out in the written record, analyzing the discursive strategies which authorize the program's methods and the points at which they are vulnerable.
MayDay Group. Brandon University School of Music, 270 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9, Canada. Tel: 204-571-8990; Fax: 204-727-7318; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A