When music was first introduced into American schools as a subject area (1838), it happened here in
A few decades after the emergence of public school music programs (and America's first school band - also in Boston, 1850), Boston University began offering the first music degree program in the
The field of music teaching has continued to change dramatically across several generations, due not only to the emergence of new pedagogical approaches, technologies and demographic shifts, but also because music educators have increasingly asked important questions regarding the ultimate objectives of music education: Why should music be taught, what kinds of music, what skills and understandings should students develop through music education, what are the most effective ways of fostering music learning, etc.
Research and scholarship enable such questions to be adequately answered, and a variety of scholarly approaches is necessary in order for research to make a meaningful contribution to the improvement of music education. But it is also necessary for policy makers to acknowledge the relevance of research, and to consult experts as they develop educational policies and practices. When the content of music education is decided by politicians rather than music teachers and scholars, and when the education of prospective music teachers fails to instill independent critical thinking skills, music education can become misguided, ineffective, even perversely ideological.
Only in recent decades has it been possible for music educators to gain a global understanding of the current state of music teaching throughout the world. A deeper awareness of music education in other nations enables enhanced critical reflection regarding current problems and new possibilities for practices at home. Awareness of musical practices in other nations also enables music educators to better understand the larger world of musical behavior in which they play a critically important role as agents of change.
Recent technologies are also rapidly creating new possibilities for exponential change in this field in terms of the ability to create, record, and disseminate musical creations within a global online community and in real time or virtual environments. The possibilities for music education in the future are fascinating to consider.
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Here is a useful website for information regarding international music education:
Victor Fung’s International Music Education Links
Here are some useful websites for information regarding current issues in music consumption:
The Future of Music
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
Here is a useful website for information regarding cultural traditions of indigenous peoples:
On January 11th I was invited to a meeting in
Smithsonian Global Sound
Smithsonian Global Sound
David Font’s recent MA thesis discusses the work of Smithsonian Global Sound:
Here are some useful blogs for information regarding the latest technological developments of relevance to music education:
Alex Ruthmann’s Blog
Jonathan Savage’s Blog
Miikka Salavuo’s Blog