By Paul Woodford
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Additional resources for Democracy And Music Education: Liberalism, Ethics, And The Politics Of Practice (Counterpoints: Music and Education)
Cls T1: FCH August 18, 2004 6:54 Democracy and Music Education thus channel, distort, or wipe out thought. S. 80 These, I think, are among the most compelling reasons of all why music ought to be subjected to critical scrutiny in the home, school, and public sphere. For leaving aside the difficult and probably insuperable question of whether its content has moral value, music can be used for good or for ill. It can be used or abused. It can be used to provoke self-examination and growth by challenging individuals and groups to confront their own preconceptions, limitations, and moral failings.
Cls T1: FCH August 18, 2004 6:54 Democracy and Music Education of liberalism. 13 Only through criticism and mediation of all experience can determinations of value be made. Music educators and other teachers ought to be constantly on the lookout for new works, too, including ones from other social groups and cultures, the study of which can also inform while provoking self-examination, reflection, and mutual growth—which can motivate conversation. Although connoting negativism to some, the word “criticism” more properly implies breadth and depth of experience coupled with a commitment to careful research, analysis, and judgment about things that matter.
45 Such appears not to be the case, however, with many music education majors and even experienced music teachers. 46 Perhaps worse, there seems to be impatience among them and perhaps among teachers in general with things intellectual. Many music education majors and teachers narrowly conceive themselves as performers and performance teachers—as practitioners charged with acquiring and replicating traditional performance and teaching methods—and not intellectuals in the sense of being politically aware and disposed to question and challenge the professional status quo.