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ERIC Number: EJ804695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
"The Impossible" Future
Higgins, Lee
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v6 n3 p74-96 Nov 2007
Providing genuine opportunities for musical engagement is a constant challenge for music educators. Throughout their working lives, they may find "authentic" moments of musical engagement ever harder to manifest. The potential obstacles are numerous: the size or configuration of physical space, the number of instruments available, the quality of sound reproduction equipment, available time, institutional focus, students' prior experiences, and many more. It is safe to say that such conditional restraints attend all activities of musical value. While they often frustrate music educators, restrictive conditions like these frame any act of musical doing. That is, the conditional constraints placed upon music educators make possible the work they do. Should they aspire only to achieve the possible? Or can they strive for "the impossible"? Using Community Music as a touchstone, this article attempts to identify approaches and attitudes to the teaching and learning of creative music-making that offer to transcend certain of the practical conditions constraining it. By probing the tensions between the conditional and the unconditional the author suggests a mentality capable of rising above some of the obstacles that confront music makers. He does this in two ways: Firstly, he examines the spatial and temporal domain of the workshop as "event." With its mechanism for action, namely facilitation, the workshop event provides for creative music-making through a condition he calls "safety "without" safety." Secondly, and in order to propose a wider notion of what music education might be, he examines the workshop structure as an act of hospitality within a community. This allows examination of the "welcome" music educators extend to potential participants. The combination of the micro, the teaching situation as workshop, and the macro, community as the broader attitude towards practice, allows envisaging of teaching and learning pragmatics within an imaginative sphere. The short "case" illustrations that precede each section are intended to remind what is at stake. (Contains 40 notes.)
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; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A