Facing the Music: Shaping Music Education from a Global Perspective

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Facing the Music investigates the practices and ideas that have grown from some five decades of cultural diversity in music education, developments in ethnomusicology, and the rise of 'world music'. Speaking from rich, hands-on experience of more than thirty years at various levels of music education (music in schools, community organizations and professional training courses), Huib Schippers makes a powerful case for the crucial role of learning music in shaping rich and diverse musical environments for the 21st century, both in practical terms and at a conceptual level: "what we hear is the product of what we believe about music."
Advocating a contemporary, positive and realistic approach to cultural diversity in music education and transmission, Schippers advocates taking into account and celebrating the natural dynamics of music. He argues that "most music travels remarkably well", and regards every musical act as an expression of the 'here and now', as do many of the musicians and scholars he quotes. In this way, he challenges stifling directives to recreate 'authentic contexts', which in fact constantly change (and have always changed) in the cultures of origin as well. This liberates music educators to seek with integrity appropriate ways of presenting music at all levels of education: in schools, community settings, and professional training.
In seven succinct chapters that each approach the issues from a different angle, Schippers gradually unfolds the complexities of learning and teaching music 'out of context' in an accessible manner, and presents a coherent model to approach these, as well as lucid suggestions for translating the resulting ideas in practice. While mapping the various factors that determine all acts of music transmission, he also comes to surprising insights into the nature and preconceptions underlying much formal music education settings across the world, including those focusing on western classical music.
Facing the Music provides a rich resource for reflection and practice for all those involved in teaching and learning music, from policy maker to classroom teacher.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Facing the Music is both practical and wildly, exuberantly, unabashedly idealistic. This book is about teaching and 'getting untaught'-a process of defamiliarization and learning that ethnomusicologists will recognize as the transformation at the heart of the ethnographic exchange. Schippers challenges us to rethink the core values of music transmission and offers a framework for sustainable musical futures. The appendix titled "Emergency guidelines in case of world music" is worth the price of admission alone!"—Deborah Wong, University of California, Riverside and President, Society for Ethnomusicology

"By innovatively exploring the dynamic nature of cultural diversity into music education, Huib Schippers makes a careful weave of theory, practice and reflections which connect issues of central significance for music education in the 21st century."—Dr. Pamela Burnard, University of Cambridge

"This book provides a world view that transcends existing texts. Schippers knows the literature, and builds on it, but unlike most works in the field he always tests theory against practical, real-life examples. This gives his argument a real 'authenticity' - if I can use one of his much-discussed terms! I know of no other book which deals so thoroughly and clearly with the topic."-John Drummond, Blair Professor of Music, University of Otago

"Schippers writes beautifully...More rewarding is the scope of his work and his thoughtfulness in finding a pathway to some unity in the complex views of world music and of current music education methodologies." —MCA Music Forum

"A rich, innovative work that thoroughly examines the many issues and challenges inherent in developing and carrying out a musical education that values, respects, and reflects the deepening diversity and globalization of Western society...A thorough, engaging, and articulate examination of the issues that is theoretical yet practical and easily accessible. This book is a very impressive work that proffers what a 21st-century music education—global in content and perspective—could be. I highly recommend it for music educators who are seeking to expand their perspectives on how we think about, do, and teach music in our culturally diverse societies." —Kathy M. Robinson, Music Educators Journal

"A highly engaging and accessible account that blends theory with practice, concepts from music education and ethnomusicology with actual experience...The book represents a much-needed milestone that will be of relevance to music educators, ethnomusicologists and students of ethnomusicology alike." —Ethnomusicology Forum

"I believe that Facing the Music is a remarkable achievement, systematically and realistically bringing to bear a wide variety of world experience upon the problems of an appropriate music education in the face of immeasurable modern complexities of cultural/musical identity. Schippers leaves no cliché unexamined and unmolested, "afflicting the comfortable," and in the process tours an admirable variety of the available literature. Facing the Music should be required reading for all music educators." —World of Music

"Through this book, Schippers offers two major contributions to the field of music education. First, he provides an excellent example for examining and addressing ambiguity, confusion, contradiction, and discomfort that may be present in diverse cultural environments...The second contribution of Schippers's book is the Twelve-Continuum Transmission Framework, as it provides a tool for music educators to critically reflect on their own and others' teaching and learning experiences in light of current cultural, social, and political realities so that they can develop meaningful learning experiences for their students." —Journal of Historical Research in Music Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195379761
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Huib Schippers is Director of Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre at Griffith University, Brisbane; Deputy Chair of the Music Council of Australia; and author of several Dutch books on music education including Harde Noten - muziekeducatie in wereldperspectief (Cultuurnetwerk, 2004), One Monkey, no Show - culturele diversiteit in de Nederlandse muziekeducatie. (Netherlands Institute for Arts Education, 2000), and Dundumba's in de Bachstraat - Wereldmuziek in de Muziekschool (VKV, 1993)

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Table of Contents

Foreword Patricia Shehan Campbell vii

Prologue: Facing the Music xv

1 Journeys in Music: An Auto-Ethnography 3

2 Positioning "World Music" in Education: A Conceptual History 15

The Term World Music 17

Cultural Diversity and Musiculturalism 28

Cultural Diversity in Music Education 32

Ethnomusicology 36

Conclusion 39

3 The Myth of Authentic Traditions in Context: A Deconstruction 41

Tradition 42

Authenticity 47

Context 53

4 Global Perspectives on Learning and Teaching Music: An Analysis 61

Explicit and Implicit Foci 65

Approaches to Learning and Teaching 75

Conclusion 87

5 Communities, Curricula, and. Conservatories: A Critique 89

Informal Music Learning and Teaching 92

Formal Music Education 101

Conclusion 116

6 Toward a Global Understanding of Learning and Teaching Music: A Framework 119

Applications of the Framework 125

Conclusion 136

7 Music Cultures in Motion: A Case Study 137

World Music Education in die Netherlands 138

Example 1 Djembe for Western Amateurs 142

Example 2 Balinese Gamelan in Teacher Training 151

Example 3 Indian Music As a Degree Course in a Conservatory 158

Conclusion 165

Epilogue: Shaping Music Education from a Global Perspective 167

Appendix A Emergency Guidelines in Case of World Music 171

Appendix B Sample Questions for Interviewing World Musicians on Learning and Teaching 173

Appendix C Example of a Series of Classes on World Music with a Thematic Approach 175

Appendix D Five Domains of Musical Sustainability in Contemporary Contexts 180

Appendix E The World Music Adventures of Primary Teacher Ms. Benson Patricia Shehan Campbell 182

Glossary 185


Bibliography 199

Index 215

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