In my blog of January 29th I drew attention to the ways in which Art and Music are constituted as GCSE subjects. In the case of Art, and unlike Music, students are thought of as burgeoning artists lightly burdened by contextual and theoretical knowledge. Knowing how to master processes of making is highly valued.
In Art the processes of making are considered educationally valuable and therefore assessed (valuable=valued=assessed).
This is not the case in Music.
In last week’s blog I moved on to consider the potential for Areas of Study to bring together subject content in a meaningful way. The statement below is encouraging.
‘An area of study might be, for example, a genre, style, musical device, idiom, musical process, period of time, cultural tradition or contextual influence.’ 
And these are only examples.
I proposed that here is an opportunity to include not just a range of music, but to create ‘difference’ by designing Areas of Study that open up different ways of thinking about the ways in which music is practiced.
In particular I pointed out that euro-centric norms can be avoided and in their place a wider view of music and musical practices adopted, what in wider educational circles is called a ‘worldview’ (nothing to do with world music). The distinction between a euro-centric and a worldview perspective is important.
Through a worldview lens all roads no longer lead from and to the mandatory Area of Study – Western European Art Music (WEAM) 1650-1910. Other Areas of Study are not seen through the lens of the mandatory study, although as noted in last week’s blog the list of subject content at present makes this problematic.
My example of four possible Areas of study attempted to create what I called a ‘dialogue of difference’. Each Area of Study would take students to a strange place. If not strange it would need to be made strange. Two examples I suggested were ‘Tonal Stereotypes WEAM 1650-1910’ and ‘The Global Hip Hop Diaspora’. The later might range across Islamic Hip Hop in Luton (or some strain of Hip Hop where you are), urban dissent in Cairo and Sao Palo fusions.
But enough of this, for I suspect that I may be engaged in a dialogue of the deaf and going beyond the scope of official thought and the capacity of those regulating the subject to think differently.
Nevertheless, it’s always good to imagine what might be, even what will never be, how music education at this level might be different, how it might connect with developments in musical scholarship which are rather more sensitive to a changing world than the iteration of GCSE Music syllabuses seem to be.
Is there nothing music education could learn from art education?