Whilst in the middle of writing a new book, my daughter's boyfriend and I discussed the evolution of the recording industry and the impact said industry has had on music education over the last century (or has NOT had) and he tells me, "that book you're writing is the same thing. You could just be writing a blog and putting it out there." He's right, in a way - but the benefit of publishing my thoughts in a hard or soft-bound 150 or so pages is that it gets delivered to my target audience: pre-service teachers. Royalties are inconsequential as I am finding through the publication of my first two books. However, upon further thought, it seems that a blog is the perfect avenue to reach a wider audience and hopefully spur some much-needed discussion.
So here is my first blog post and today's thought is this: Why, in music education, are we so focused on the what and how of teaching when the why of music education is glossed over minimally in a requisite philosophy/sociology catch-all class? Actually I know why, but it's still disturbing. We send teachers out into the workforce to do what their predecessors and those before them have done for almost a hundred years with very little thought as to why we're doing what we do.
And why do we do what we do? I believe that we do what we do because the music we make is part of who we are, and discovering that part of one's humanity is essential to the well-being of each and every student. Psychologist Erik Erikson proposed that one's life is centered around the development of identity. Contemporary psychologist Howard Gardner posits that we all have several intelligences and music is one of them. If both of these theories hold true, then it seems that the development of one's music identity is central to one's overall development as a human being. This is why I teach music.
Once we figure out the why, then we need to move on to the what. Are the ways we deliver music education relevant to our students? Stay tuned, and PLEASE discuss.