The attentive reader of last week’s blog will be thinking, ‘so music education is good for something after all. If music education is for fulfilment music education can’t be ”good for nothing” or merely ”good for itself”.’ Yes, true, it has become good for something. As Wayne Bowman points out, making the distinction between intrinsic good and extrinsic good is mis-conceived.  Claiming music education to be an intrinsic good doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. However, arguing for music education as fulfilment is some distance from making a shopping list of benefits that fuel exaggerated claims for a music education and that are likely to mis-direct and distort practice.
In arguing for music education as fulfilment as set out in last week’s blog, I think we are better placed to justify the place of music in the school. We avoid what are likely to be distractions from multiple and lesser claims where a myriad of siren voices reduce music to serving too many things. Making a distinction between justification and advocacy may be helpful.
Those engaged in advocacy for music education have no interest in the possible limitations in what is claimed, neither look for ways of falsifying such claims.  Advocacy is politically motivated and concerned with gaining resources in an economically competetive world. While advocacy is necessary, it can all too easily draw too many into creating a comforting mystical aura around music and music education inducing waves of enthusiastic rhetoric about the value of music and an onward search for what becomes the holy grail.
Music education as fulfilment belongs to the school of thought that views education as contributing to human flourishing. The Greeks called this eudaominia, an ultimate good. If a music education is thought of in terms of human flourishing then as Wayne Bowman maintains, music and music education need to be thought of as a set of musical practices ‘…practices whose value depends upon whether and how they distinctively enable their practitioners to thrive, none of which follows automatically or necessarily from musical engagement. The values afforded by music-making depend on the kind of music at hand, the ways we engage in it, and the uses to which that experience is subsequently put’. 
Thus music-making and music education have ethical significance, and now we can see a great expanse of clear water, a whole ocean, between this kind of justification and the chatter of those who claim music to be good for this and that, including employability and economic productivity.
In the Purpose of Study statement introducing the National Curriculum for Music there is reference to increasing pupil’s self-confidence. No other subject in the curriculum has such a reference. Other subjects might well consider such a statement facile, even fatuous. Time for music education to have greater self-confidence.
 ‘The ethical significance of music-making’, Wayne Bowman, Music Mark Magazine, Issue 3 – Winter 2013/14.
 This also applies to advocates of music teaching methods. Increasingly researchers oblige by carrying out what are inevitably positive evaluations of programmes.
 p. 4 ‘The ethical significance of music-making’, Wayne Bowman, Music Mark Magazine, Issue 3 – Winter 2013/14.