This is a deliberately provocative book crossing many disciplinary boundaries and locating music and art education within a context of contemporary social and political problems in a time of growing disruption and authoritarianism. Intended firstly for music teacher educators, practicing music teachers, and graduate and undergraduate music education majors, the book also speaks to arts and media studies teachers, parents, or others interested in exploring how composing, performing, improvising, conducting, listening, dancing, teaching, learning, or engaging in music or education criticism are all political acts because fundamentally concerned with social values and thus inseparable from power and politics. Among the book’s central themes are the danger of democratic deconsolidation in the West and how music education can help counter that threat through the fostering of democratic citizens who are aware of music’s ubiquity in their lives and its many roles in shaping public opinion and notions of truth, and for better or for worse! The arts can obviously be used for ill, but as George Orwell demonstrated in his own work, they can also be employed in defense of democracy as modes of political thought and action affording opportunities for the revitalization of society through its re-imagining.
Table of Contents
1. ‘Why I Write’ 2. ‘It’s the Economy, Stupid!’ 3. Whose Democracy, and ‘What Kind of Citizen?’ 4. Harperland and Conservative Disdain for Music and the Arts 5. ‘The Defeat of the Schools’ 6. ‘I Yam What I Yam’ 7. On ‘The End of History’ and the Global Decline of Music Education? 8. On ‘The Return of History’: Toward a Liberal Music Education
Paul G. Woodford is Professor of Music Education at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, the University of Western Ontario, Canada. His 2005 book Democracy and Music Education: Liberalism, Ethics, and the Politics of Practice was credited with opening up new areas of scholarly endeavor in the field. Formerly Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Society for the Philosophy of Music Education (2005 to 2007), Dr. Woodford is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Social Justice in Music Education (2015) and a member of the international advisory boards of the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, the British Journal of Music Education, and the Philosophy of Music Education Review.