‘… we must shift from seeing education as primarily concerned with knowledge to seeing it as primarily concerned with social practices’.
In this series of blogs I have set out to clear some ground so that it may be possible to understand better the current clarion calls for a knowledge rich curriculum as it might relate to music.
Below is a distillation of the case made so far.
Music is first and foremost a substantive social practice, a rational human discourse, and certainly not a body of knowledge with a uniquely determined conceptual scheme.
Rather, it is a participatory, relational, cultural activity and, provided with an ethical framework, it is educational.
Its resists dependency upon a narrowly conceived conception of culture through which knowledge is narrowly conceived.
There is no justification for making a common curriculum in the cause of social cohesion resting upon a selection from a narrow conception of culture.
The claim that there is a gulf between school musical knowledge and everyday musical knowledge is mistaken in the case of most subjects and certainly in the case of music.
Music is engaged with not so that students can indwell a unique conceptual scheme but because it is a significant social cultural practice and which flourishes where rootedness in specific contexts of our experience play a fundamental source of knowing, knowledge and meaning making.