A Philosophy of Music Education: Advancing the Vision / Edition 3

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Overview

This book advances the philosophy of its previous editions into new territory, recasting it in light of emerging ideas and interests in philosophy in general and in philosophy of music in particular. The foundational concept of this book—that the values of music are gained through direct experiences with its meaningful sounds—remains intact, but is explained and applied in broader, more inclusive scope, with a synergistic philosophical stance as the basis. In addition it clarifies and updates for readers the explanations of musical feeling, musical creativity, and musical meaning that are at its core. For music educators, music lovers, or anyone who wants a synergistic philosophy of music education inclusive of a variety of positions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The author is one of the few people who actually has something unique and important to say about the present state of music education in the world." — Dr. John Kratus, Michigan State University

"This is a broad, sweeping text. While the core issues and perspectives of the previous editions have been maintained, here they are framed and explored in light of contemporary perspectives, theories, research findings, and curricular developments. This book examines the unique value of music and music learning, explains why school music education has been such a successful enterprise in the past, and proposes future directions for continued growth." — Dr. Steven Morrison, University o f Washington

"Reimer is perhaps the most progressive thinker in music education because he is so knowledgeable and compassionate about current trends in philosophy, education, and psychology." — Dr. Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, University of Iowa

"This 'revisioning' of his philosophy stakes some new ground as it adroitly and cogently addresses the tough questions faced by twenty-first century music educators. This volume is required reading for everyone concerned with the theory and practice of American music education." — Dr. James F. Daugherty, University of Kansas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130993380
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 307
  • Sales rank: 846,476
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Read an Excerpt

In both the first (1970) and the second (1989) editions of this book, I began by stating the fundamental premise on which my philosophy was based: that the nature and value of music education are determined primarily by the nature and value of music. To the degree that music educators are able to construct a convincing explanation of what music is like—its diverse yet distinctive features and the many contributions it makes to human welfare-the profession will understand the domain to which it is devoted and be able to implement programs that effectively share its special values.

That premise continues to undergird the philosophy I offer in this edition. I continue to believe that music has characteristics that make it recognizably and distinctively a subject, or a field, or a practice, or an "art"; that these characteristics can be identified to a reasonable and useful degree (but no doubt never definitively); that music is of value to humans and their communities in a variety of ways related to these characteristics; and that the primary mission of music education is to make musical values widely and deeply available.

Why, then, another edition?

In the time span of almost two decades between the first and second editions, a good deal of work was accomplished in the cognitive sciences, work that I felt added muscle to the philosophy I had articulated and that needed to be incorporated so that the implications of the philosophy could be drawn more clearly. I was also aware of stirrings in the field of aesthetics, or, if one prefers, philosophy of the arts (see the discussion of these terms in Chapter 1), along with important related work in education, socialtheory, psychology, and various other fields, that had begun to expand and shift previous interests and positions. But at the time I was writing the second edition I was not yet ready to incorporate such emerging ideas because they had not become sufficiently articulated and reasoned (at least to me) as to cause me to adapt to or adopt them.

In the intervening dozen or so years many of those ideas have become clearer, more defensible, and more urgently in need of recognition and application to music education philosophy and practice. These changes in aesthetic thinking include alterations of existing ideas, expansions into previously little explored territory, rebalances in emphases among various dimensions of the aesthetic enterprise, disputes among positions previously not seen to be in tension, and on and on with all the natural, inevitable, and healthy developments within the ongoing domain of aesthetic theorizing and within all the many domains that influence it.

In this book I have related the modifications in thinking to their implications for the practice of music education. That is because, as a devoted music educator who happens to specialize in matters theoretical, I always relate theoretical ideas to practices of music education. That is, after all, what makes me a music educator, albeit of a somewhat peculiar stripe. It is as natural to me as breathing to view and understand emerging ideas in terms of their use in improving the field of music education (and, in my more ambitious if clearly less practical moments, the larger field of the arts in education as well). So I have more than a speculative interest in ideas relating to music and education. I have a pressing sense of vocation to use my expanding theoretical understanding to help clarify what music education is all about so that it can be more valid and effective in its actions. As my understanding grows, so grows my sense of what an effective music education might consist of.

The present revision is significantly more thoroughgoing and extensive than the previous one, reflecting the remarkable activity in aesthetics and related fields during the past decade or so. Readers acquainted with the previous versions will find that I have added a good deal of newly emergent material, have rebalanced several positions, have explained several key ideas in somewhat different or substantially different ways, and have accommodated myself to interests and ideas previously either nonexistent, not noticed, or not considered convincing to me. In a real sense my philosophy has changed, but in just as real a sense it has retained fundamental convictions I continue to find persuasive. Above all, I have maintained and recommitted myself to the belief that the experience of music itself—how musical sounds influence human lives—is the cornerstone of a viable philosophy of music education and of an effective and valid program of music learning. My philosophy is founded now, as it always has been, on my belief in the power of musical experience, in its many manifestations, to deepen, broaden, and enhance human life. THE INCLUDE-EXCLUDE PROBLEM

I must confess the same sense of frustration in offering this revision as with the first. On almost every page of this book ideas are raised that practically beg for several more books to be written exploring their implications. The philosopher knows, better than most others, the layers that exist below anything he or she asserts. If one tried to deal with all those layers as one went along, one's writing would become so heavy that readers could only go into a trance trying to read it, and, also, one's book would soon become a multivolume epic. So one is forced to plunge ahead, ruthlessly leaving out all sorts of relevant material, trying desperately to keep things reasonably uncluttered yet sufficiently inclusive. Sometimes I feel this book has achieved some success at paring things down to manageable dimensions. Some readers, I am sure, will not agree. At other times I wish I had gone more deeply into some matters. Some readers, I am just as sure, would have wished that also. To those who will feel that there is too much here I offer apologies. To those who will feel just as strongly that there is not enough I apologize as well. In a real sense both are correct. So beware, those of you who attempt to write philosophy for anyone else to read!

I am indebted to a great many people who have influenced my thinking over the years—my teachers, my university colleagues, my students, music educators in many specializations around the United States and all over the world, and scholars and practitioners in a variety of disciplines, all of whom have supplied precious grist for my mill. I am particularly grateful to the following professionals, who offered useful insights in their reviews of selected sections, early chapters, or the completed first draft of the book. Their critiques allowed me to fashion a more cogent and convincing philosophy—a task, I am afraid, never to be fully completed: James Daugherty, University of Kansas; Harriet Hair, University of Georgia; Forest Hansen, Lake Forest College (emeritus); Jerome J. Hausman, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Nancy K. Klein, Old Dominion University; John Kratus, Michigan State University; Steven J. Morrison, University of Washington; Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, University of Iowa; James Standifer, University of Michigan; and Iris Yob, Indiana University.

Bennett Reimer

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Table of Contents

1. From Philosophical Concurrence to Diversity: Problems and Opportunities.

2. Several Alternative Views and a Synergistic Proposal: An Experience-Based Philosophy of Music Education.

3. The Feeling Dimension of Musical Experience.

4. The Creating Dimension of Musical Experience.

5. The Meaning Dimension of Musical Experience.

6. The Contextual Dimension of Musical Experience.

7. From Theory to Practice: Musical Roles as Intelligences.

8. Advancing the Vision: Toward a Comprehensive General Music Program.

9. Advancing the Vision: Toward a Comprehensive Specialized Music Program.

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Preface

In both the first (1970) and the second (1989) editions of this book, I began by stating the fundamental premise on which my philosophy was based: that the nature and value of music education are determined primarily by the nature and value of music. To the degree that music educators are able to construct a convincing explanation of what music is like—its diverse yet distinctive features and the many contributions it makes to human welfare-the profession will understand the domain to which it is devoted and be able to implement programs that effectively share its special values.

That premise continues to undergird the philosophy I offer in this edition. I continue to believe that music has characteristics that make it recognizably and distinctively a subject, or a field, or a practice, or an "art"; that these characteristics can be identified to a reasonable and useful degree (but no doubt never definitively); that music is of value to humans and their communities in a variety of ways related to these characteristics; and that the primary mission of music education is to make musical values widely and deeply available.

Why, then, another edition?

In the time span of almost two decades between the first and second editions, a good deal of work was accomplished in the cognitive sciences, work that I felt added muscle to the philosophy I had articulated and that needed to be incorporated so that the implications of the philosophy could be drawn more clearly. I was also aware of stirrings in the field of aesthetics, or, if one prefers, philosophy of the arts (see the discussion of these terms in Chapter 1), along with important related work in education, social theory, psychology, and various other fields, that had begun to expand and shift previous interests and positions. But at the time I was writing the second edition I was not yet ready to incorporate such emerging ideas because they had not become sufficiently articulated and reasoned (at least to me) as to cause me to adapt to or adopt them.

In the intervening dozen or so years many of those ideas have become clearer, more defensible, and more urgently in need of recognition and application to music education philosophy and practice. These changes in aesthetic thinking include alterations of existing ideas, expansions into previously little explored territory, rebalances in emphases among various dimensions of the aesthetic enterprise, disputes among positions previously not seen to be in tension, and on and on with all the natural, inevitable, and healthy developments within the ongoing domain of aesthetic theorizing and within all the many domains that influence it.

In this book I have related the modifications in thinking to their implications for the practice of music education. That is because, as a devoted music educator who happens to specialize in matters theoretical, I always relate theoretical ideas to practices of music education. That is, after all, what makes me a music educator, albeit of a somewhat peculiar stripe. It is as natural to me as breathing to view and understand emerging ideas in terms of their use in improving the field of music education (and, in my more ambitious if clearly less practical moments, the larger field of the arts in education as well). So I have more than a speculative interest in ideas relating to music and education. I have a pressing sense of vocation to use my expanding theoretical understanding to help clarify what music education is all about so that it can be more valid and effective in its actions. As my understanding grows, so grows my sense of what an effective music education might consist of.

The present revision is significantly more thoroughgoing and extensive than the previous one, reflecting the remarkable activity in aesthetics and related fields during the past decade or so. Readers acquainted with the previous versions will find that I have added a good deal of newly emergent material, have rebalanced several positions, have explained several key ideas in somewhat different or substantially different ways, and have accommodated myself to interests and ideas previously either nonexistent, not noticed, or not considered convincing to me. In a real sense my philosophy has changed, but in just as real a sense it has retained fundamental convictions I continue to find persuasive. Above all, I have maintained and recommitted myself to the belief that the experience of music itself—how musical sounds influence human lives—is the cornerstone of a viable philosophy of music education and of an effective and valid program of music learning. My philosophy is founded now, as it always has been, on my belief in the power of musical experience, in its many manifestations, to deepen, broaden, and enhance human life.

THE INCLUDE-EXCLUDE PROBLEM

I must confess the same sense of frustration in offering this revision as with the first. On almost every page of this book ideas are raised that practically beg for several more books to be written exploring their implications. The philosopher knows, better than most others, the layers that exist below anything he or she asserts. If one tried to deal with all those layers as one went along, one's writing would become so heavy that readers could only go into a trance trying to read it, and, also, one's book would soon become a multivolume epic. So one is forced to plunge ahead, ruthlessly leaving out all sorts of relevant material, trying desperately to keep things reasonably uncluttered yet sufficiently inclusive. Sometimes I feel this book has achieved some success at paring things down to manageable dimensions. Some readers, I am sure, will not agree. At other times I wish I had gone more deeply into some matters. Some readers, I am just as sure, would have wished that also. To those who will feel that there is too much here I offer apologies. To those who will feel just as strongly that there is not enough I apologize as well. In a real sense both are correct. So beware, those of you who attempt to write philosophy for anyone else to read!

I am indebted to a great many people who have influenced my thinking over the years—my teachers, my university colleagues, my students, music educators in many specializations around the United States and all over the world, and scholars and practitioners in a variety of disciplines, all of whom have supplied precious grist for my mill. I am particularly grateful to the following professionals, who offered useful insights in their reviews of selected sections, early chapters, or the completed first draft of the book. Their critiques allowed me to fashion a more cogent and convincing philosophy—a task, I am afraid, never to be fully completed: James Daugherty, University of Kansas; Harriet Hair, University of Georgia; Forest Hansen, Lake Forest College (emeritus); Jerome J. Hausman, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Nancy K. Klein, Old Dominion University; John Kratus, Michigan State University; Steven J. Morrison, University of Washington; Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, University of Iowa; James Standifer, University of Michigan; and Iris Yob, Indiana University.

Bennett Reimer

Read More Show Less

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