Music appreciation – who appreciates? A lesson from history. (And lots of questions!)


One of the side-effects of working so hard on National Curriculum assessment guidelines recently has been the re-emphasis in my thinking on musical learning. I spent a happy day recently getting cross in public at the ISM conference in Birmingham, where there was a general feeling of concern regarding music education, and governmental policy and funding (or lack thereof). At the same time David Ashworth alerted me to a run-in he has been having with Kodaly people. All of these taken together have made me revisit some thoughts which have been rolling around in my head for many years now. In no particular order these are:

  • What is music education?
  • What is it for?
  • Who benefits?
  • Why does the curriculum look like it does?
  • What is progression within this curriculum?
  • What are the competing ideologies behind any curriculum?

Now, none of these are new thoughts, clearly, but they seem to…

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