Let’s have another discussion, one that seems to be growing ever more important day by day. The issue is for this discussion is. . . rationale.
– What is music education for?
– What is the rationale for its placement in the schools?
– What do we contribute to a child’s education that other fields don’t (or don’t to the same extent)?
– Why does music education matter anyway?
It may seem like a silly question because clearly we value it and have invested in it. However, how often do we actually sit down and try to grapple with this? Instead, the rationale is often trumpeted as “music for music’s sake” or “music makes you smarter” (i.e. music makes you do better on tests, which, by the way, most of the research doesn’t really seem to support when you consider demographic factors like SES–see the work of Ken Elpus). Let’s think the big thinks and lets share our big thinks. After we consider our rationales, if might just tell us something about our current practices or even show us ways to address the suggestions from #whatifmusiced.