ISME Greece 2012 (www.isme.org)
We have now all returned from the ISME conference refreshed and excited by the people and ideas we have met. Our thanks go to Giorgos for working on behalf of our special interest group. Our SIG included 13 presentations in total. Three of the original presentations were cancelled due to personal circumstances of the presenters. However, all of the presentation slots were used creatively by our SIG: two members of our SIG were happy to step in to present their work and the third slot was used as a discussion panel (coordinated by Giorgos, Arvydas and me) where we had the opportunity to reflect collectively on the future development of our SIG. Overall we received very positive feedback from our SIG members and from other people who attended our SIG presentations. Every presentation was followed by questions and creative debates. We are now hoping that these debates can continue on the forum so please go there to join in.
(We are hoping to put some photos in this space in the near future.)
Below is a list of the presentation given and the full text of June Boyce-Tillman’s keynote paper. This was a wonderful presentation and the words on the page do not do full justice to it. As members of SAME we were proud to have one of our group giving this paper which received a standing ovation – and not just from us! We had hoped to give the whole abstracts of all the presentations here but this has not been possible because we do not have them in a suitable format. If authors would like to send their abstracts to me they can be included here.
Symposium: Cradling and Empowering the Human Spirit: Narratives on the Transformative Power of Music in a Time of Crisis
Chair: Sheila C Woodward University of Southern California
– Jonathan Patterson Musicians Institute Hollywood ‘They were never able to make the people quiet.’ Nueve Canción singer Rafael Manríquez’s experience of music during Chile’s crisis
– Richard A Pervez University of Southern California A high school music director’s use of music in response to a student’s suicide
– Garineh Avakian Music in genocide: a spiritual rock for a scattered nation of survivors
– Christine M D’Alexander University of Southern California Music in healing the pain, isolation and anguish of a homosexual youth
– Lisa A Crawford University of Southern California Music in the survival of a Hodgkin’s lymphoma patient
– Holly Cook University of Southern California The Treasure Waltz: a story of Holocaust survival
– Frank Heuser: University of California Los Angeles Secular spirituality in the music classroom
Theoretical/Pedagogical Background of the Paper
The human spirit is often strangely absent from music classrooms and teaching studios. Yes, flesh and blood along with the cognitive-self may be present but all too often the emotional and spiritual essence of the learner is left at the door. Instruction focuses on achieving carefully defined learning outcomes and preparing students for competitions. As a result, the transformative experiences that might be gained through music making remain unexplored. Like most educators, music teachers are understandably hesitant to deal with spiritual issues when working in secular environments. Spirituality however, is not tied to religious practice and should be understood as a natural form of human awareness that transcends cultural boundaries and is not attached to any specific faith. By embracing ‘secular spirituality’ music teachers might enable children to safely explore their often unacknowledged spiritual essence.
Aim of the Project
This paper explores secular spirituality as a mode of being in the world that does not rely on religious beliefs, doctrines or texts. It is the spiritual essence of the human character which enables individuals to move beyond their own immediate concerns, feel compassion for others, and experience private and collective moments of awe, wonder, and transcendence. By understanding that spirituality extends beyond formalized religious practice, music educators can take advantage of special moments in teaching to discuss issues of meaning and transcendence without fear of violating boundaries separating church and state.
The paper is an essay that juxtaposes understandings developed from the writings of David Gillespie and Charles Taylor as well as literature on children’s spirituality with the author’s personal experiences and observations as a music teacher educator and researcher to make an argument for the music classroom as a space for spiritual exploration.
Conclusions and Implications for Music Education
The author concludes that music educators should recognize spirituality as intrinsic to the seemingly ordinary daily acts of music learning and that teachers be prepared to take advantage of unanticipated moments to turn instructional environments into spaces for spiritual learning. Spirituality should be accepted as a natural and essential part of a child’s being that must be honored by providing opportunities for discovery and meaning making within the commonplace events of classroom life. In this context, the teacher’s way of being in the world will have a powerful impact on the spiritual development of students. Ideally, dispositions teachers bring to their work will nurture a child’s natural capacity for creating meanings and allow spirituality to unfold during the course of instruction.
– Meganne K Masko: University of North Dakota Spirituality, religion and morals in the music education classroom: understanding differences in terminology and its implications for teaching
– Hetta Potgieter: North West University Potchefstroom Campus Republic of South Africa Experiencing spiritual dimensions through translatability of songs
1. Theoretical background of the paper
The word translation means to carry an object from one place to another, to transport it across borders from one language to another, one country to another and one culture to another. I position myself as an interpretivist who wants to understand spiritual dimensions through singing within the theory of translatability as a verb and metaphor.
2. Aim of the project
• To discuss singing as immediacy of experience;
• To describe singing as a vehicle for shaping spiritual dimensions.
For the purpose of this project singing was investigated as a group music activity in school and communities. The lyrics, melody and context of songs were studied.
This is a qualitative research and I describe two case studies: the journey of a hymn and the passage of children’s songs. Interviews were held with theologians, choristers, teachers, parents and children about their singing experiences. Musicologists were interviewed about the concept of “high emotional experiences” versus “spirituality”.
4. Summary of the main ideas
Case study A:
The hymn “Oh God of Bethel” was composed by Hugh Wilson (1766 – 1824) with lyricists Philip Doddridge (1702 – 1751) and John Logan (1748 – 1788). During the 18th century the missionaries brought this hymn to South Africa and through time various cultural groups “translated” it to give meaning to their real life experiences. This specific hymn is also in the hymnals of different European and Scandinavian reformed churches with other adaptations to the text and rhythm.
Case study B:
Multi-cultural research about South African children’s songs revealed how melodies and lyrics have changed with time. The songs reflected not only the children’s here-and-now experiences but also other spiritual sensitive lyrics about wonder and awe, imagination, delight and despair, ultimate goodness and meaning.
5. Conclusions and implications for music education
This research confirmed that singing is an established group music activity in formal and in-formal teaching in South Africa. Choir singing has a high profile in schools and competitions and eisteddfods are yearly planned as an important occasion. The struggle remains to convince authorities about the intrinsic and extrinsic value of singing as part of music education. Translatability could be understood as a vehicle for shared interaction between singing and spiritual dimensions.
– Susan Quindag: Bob Jones University Music in the ‘I and Thou’ world: exploring Martin Buber in music education
– Matthew Sansom: University of Surrey Metaphors of the spiritual in music education: a perennialist interpretation of musical improvisation
– Ed Sarath: University of Michigan Jazz and Contemplative Studies: A case study for spirituality in music education
– Giorgos Tsiris: Nordoff Robbins City University London ‘Before I die’: music, health, spirituality in the end of life care
– Janelle Alison: Colville: University of Queensland The soundtrack to everyday life: phenomenological experiences of religious music in the contemporary world of adolescent identity formation
– Daniele Parziani: Royal Northern College of Music Orchestral Conducting as Educational and Spiritual Practice
– Arvydas Girdzijauskas: Spiritual Dimension of Students’ Attitude towards Music Listening and Performance.
And Still I Wander… Deconstructing Western Music education through Greek Mythology
June Boyce-Tillman University of Winchester (UK) email@example.com
This presentation will use the Greek myths of Psyche and Eros and Orpheus to examine the musical constructs that have underpinned Western music education. Psyche becomes separated from Eros and in some versions of the myth is still wandering around Europe looking for Eros. It will see this as a metaphor for the loss of soul values in the European Union. It will use this as a metaphor for how the soul values (Psyche) of music were lost at the Enlightenment (Damasio, 1995); the relationship between religion and politics (Foucault & Gordon, 1980) in Western states has perpetuated the loss of this dimension and it will interrogate the term spirituality in contemporary culture as a helpful route into the reuniting of the material dimension of music (Eros) with the liminal (Turner, 1969/74)dimension (Psyche). It will look at the value systems that underpin various musical traditions (Subotnik, 1996) including the ecological consciousness found in the myth of Orpheus. The healing dimension has been rediscovered in the development of music therapy (which has constructed itself outside of music education), although the relationship with the natural world has yet to be rediscovered (Abrams, 1996; Boyce-Tillman, 2010). It will compare the Western construct of music with those of other cultures (Ellis, 1985). It will offer pedagogic strategies to restore these lost dimensions through a holistic view of musicking, using a phenomenographic model of music (Boyce-Tillman, 2009).
Greek mythology, soul, psychagogue, spirituality, value systems
The Greek Myths
This paper is based on three Greek myths – those of Psyche, Hermes and Orpheus – which I am going to use to illuminate the way we see music in the European musical curriculum. The first one is that of Psyche and Eros. Psyche was a mortal woman of extraordinary beauty, truth and goodness who Aphrodite wished to wound; she sent Eros to carry out her wishes by making Psyche fall in love with a monster in a mysterious castle. It did not go according to plan (as the interface between Greek gods and humans often did). Eros fell in love with Psyche; but gave her one condition that she would not to discover his identity by looking at his face. However, Psyche could not bear this and found out that it was Eros – the god of love – that she was to marry. In order to re-unite with him, she was set four tasks to complete. The first was to sort a room full of seeds; the second was to obtain a golden fleece from fierce rams. Then she had to fill a glass for the waters of the River Styx. Finally she had to go to Hades to retrieve a beautiful box. In some versions she opens this box and is again forced to wander (although in some she succeeds and becomes divine.) In this paper, I am seeing her still wandering through Europe as a symbol of the loss of soul/spiritual values in the formation of the European Common Market. Everywhere material values rule – in music education as in other places – and we search for a heart and a soul. Many people do find these aspects of themselves through experiencing music – often called the last remaining ubiquitous spiritual experience in Western culture. And yet the fundamental question of this paper is: do we teach it in our schools in a way that will empower them do this with integrity and judgement?
The Concept of Soul
What can ancient Greek culture teach us about this wandering soul? In ancient Greece the soul was referred to as breath, spirit and mind and associated with the butterfly – symbol of transformation (Batzoglou, 2011). For the early Greek Orphic philosophers (Claus, 1981) it was associated with the deepest feelings and imagination. In Plato it became an eternal entity made up of intellect (logos), passion (thymos) and desire or appetitive (epithumia).1 Aristotle saw it as the form of the living body, the entire organism’s active functioning. So it became the totality of experience in which conscious and unconscious elements of the mind are manifest within the body – the totality of being. Olympic religion never spoke of the soul through dogmatic formulae but as a vital force in everything (Otto, 1955) – the collective soul of the world – anima mundi. If we could rediscover in contemporary society, it would have huge implications in the area of peace, understanding and reconciliation between cultures.
The polytheism of the ancient Greeks allowed for a more diversely interactive view of the divinities’ interaction with human beings. This developed into a clearer more third person view of God within monotheistic Christianity. In this belief system dualisms developed, such as soul and body – often with connotations of good and bad. However, music was seen as a key part in spirituality/religion in the writings of figures like the 12th century Abbess Hildegard von Bingen (Van der Weyer, 1997) and the 17th century Sir Thomas Browne (Harvey, 1996).
As religion in Europe lost its power, there was a loss of interest in the animating power of life; the arts became secularised and demoted to mere entertainment2. The Cartesian split reinforced the body/mind dichotomies implicit within Christian thought. At the end of the nineteenth century Nietzsche declared God dead and the anima mundi became identified as aspects of a culture. Chief among these for Nietzsche were the Apollonian and Dionysian. Dionysus, Greek god of theatre, wine and ecstasy, Nietzsche saw as suppressed in Western culture and revealed by journeys to the underworld where dark experience resided. He saw this as related to primordial, irrational or unconscious functions, while Apollo (associated with higher civilisation, music, healing, prophecy and law) he related to reason, harmony and beauty (Huskinson, 2004). Nietzsche saw theatre as integrating these elements (Luchte, 2004). Music he associated with the Apollonian. However, I will argue :
In my model explained later these are subsumed in Construction, Expression and Values.
Although the original meaning of the word entertainment was to nourish. in this paper that by rethinking the musical experience in its totality, it too has the capacity to integrate the Apollonian and Dionysian aspects – the personal and archetypal, mind and body – the mysterious and the rational.
In Europe the psyche found a place in the developing field of psychoanalysis (Muir, 2000, pp. 237–238), which Jung defined as the totality of the unconscious in the face of a culture that was focusing concentration on the consciousness of the ego. It was everything “I feel, think, remember, want and do” (Jung, 1957/2004, p. 61). The myth of Psyche still fascinated thinkers. C.S Lewis’s Till we have faces used it to address the complexity of loving. Derrida in his reading explored psyche (a French word for a mirror) as self-reflection (Derrida & Kamuf, 1991). These texts reflect the century’s location of the soul within the human unconscious. The Greek anima mundi became related to human motivation (Vitz, 1979) and composers’ accounts of their inspiration were located in the unconscious (Harvey, 1999) rather than in some in a divine realm. The unities within the Greek pantheon of the Good, the True and the Beautiful (personified in Psyche) were fractured; aesthetics after the Enlightenment became subjective expression for its own sake, with nothing auratic about it. Subjectivity, objectivity and morality become separated, and music lost its ancient Greek telos for fusing together the Good, True and Beautiful. Western classical traditions could develop notions of being value free (no longer concerned with the Good) and objectivity (views of the Beautiful often culturally limited) held sway in music curricula. Subjectivity (the True) became marginalised in traditional musicology as the discipline attempted to accommodate rational/scientific views of truth; the auratic was dismissed as superstitious.
Now part of self-actualization the musical experience could be seen as the last remaining place for the soul in Western society (Argyle & Hills, 2000; Hay, 1982). In Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs (Maslow, 1967) he included the aesthetic – the need for beauty, order, symmetry. It was placed immediately below self-actualization with its peak experiences which included characteristics associated in the past with the soul – such as an intense experience of the present, concentration, self-forgetfulness, a lessening of defences and inhibitions, empowerment, trust, spontaneity, and a fusion of a person with the world.
The Soul in Western Education
So what of Psyche have we lost? What is still wandering around Western cultures seeking a home? The psychologist, Antonio Damasio describes Descartes’ error as separating thinking from the body, re-asserting ‘being’ as the essence of what it is to be human; thinking becomes simply a consequence of being (Damasio, 1995) not the essence of our humanity. The Cartesian “error” has governed the development of Western education (Claxton, Lucas, & Webster, 2010). Guy Claxton (2002) identifies the following characteristics that define the restoration of the psyche to our educational experience. The first is an unusually strong sense of aliveness characterised by a heightened sense of vitality, clarity and strength of perception. The second quality he calls belonging – a sense of being at home in the world – which is a restoration of anima mundi. “Attitudes of suspicion or competition are replaced with what appears to be an unforced inclination towards kindliness and care…compassion, love” (Claxton, 2002). This challenges the place of competition in the world of music-making and hints at the restoration of the True – Values – to music making. Nel Noddings (1998) calls for an “ethic of care” (p. 163). She calls for an education of “moral sensibilities” (p. 163), which is clearly an attempt to restore notions of the Good into education. She calls on education to develop human responses (Noddings) to counter a culture of competition and war (Glover, 2000). The third quality Claxton calls an affinity with mystery – “a curious, almost paradoxical sense that all is well with the world”. This is part of Turner’s liminal state in which security in opinions and beliefs is replaced by an interest in the paradoxical nature of truth (Boyce-Tillman, 2005). Openmindedness and inquisitiveness replace fundamentalism and dogma. This calls for some restoration of a sense of the auratic – call it god, gods, the Great Spirit, or whatever is deemed appropriate in a particular context. Creativity becomes as important as success
with its sense of delight and heightened sense of trust and spontaneity. Fourthly, he identifies an enhanced peace of mind – the shedding of mundane anxiety and confusion. This paper maintains that musicking can transport us this qualitatively different, fulfilling and inherently meaningful mode of engagement as opposed to the fragmented and nonintegrated nature of the everyday (Westerlund, 2002).
We can interrogate this search further through the lens of the Greek figure of Hermes –inventor of the lyre and the original psychagogue – the leader of souls from the Underworld. Psychagogia was part of ancient Greek dramatic practice developed by Aristotle in relation to Greek tragedy (Aristotle, 1992). This was seen to move the human soul to understanding and empathy. Plato in Phaedrus associated with good rhetoric defined as the art of leading the soul by means of words performed with love – love of the forms and love of those to whom the rhetorician speaks (McCoy, 2007). In theatre it was associated with change (the butterfly image) in the psyche of the spectator (Arnott, 1991) – a move towards reflection. Within Greek society the actor is seen “as a kind of mouthpiece for powers beyond control whose role is to enchant the listener” (Easterling & Hall, 2002, p. 354). Theatre was part of the treatment at the sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of healing where it was seen as expanding the mind through dreaming (Hartigan, 2009). It was deeply grounded in the notion of self-reflexivity – “the awareness of our existence which involves the ability to stand back and look at life” (Grainger, 2004, p. 6). Aristotle drew on Socrates to use it in relation to education – the educational art of leading the soul to a dialectical examination of the Good (Muir, 2000) – one of Socrates’ three components of Truth. The end of education was to enable this Good is to come from within the person not from an external authority. It included a concept of love for self, others and the wider cosmos (Muir, 2000). Education’s role was to develop ethos, which was created by the actor (ethopios) who had the skill to explore mythos – the metaphysical, irrational, and spiritual.
This concept continued in Europe in morality, education, religion and mysticism until the rationalism of Descartes and Darwin pushed it aside. In my concept of the spiritual, the psyche is restored to its meaning of integrating conscious and unconscious, rational and intuitive – the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Music draws people because of its psychagogic qualities (Cook, 1998); yet school curricula stay with the rational elements such as theory and history. Reimer (1970) defines the practical, religious, therapeutic, moral, political and commercial aspects as nonmusical. Widening approaches to the philosophy of music, drawing on Dewey (1934), have called for more holistic approaches to music education which see the meaning of a musical experience composed of many interacting parts (Westerlund, 2002). I am going to use the phenomenographic map (Marton & Booth, 1997), that I have developed from numerous accounts of the musicking experience (BoyceTillman, 1996, 2000, 2007a, 2009; Tillman, 1987) to retrieve some of the wandering parts of Psyche and investigate how teachers may become psychagogues.
The Four Domains of the Musical Experience
Music consists of organisations of concrete Materials drawn both from the human body and the environment. These include musical instruments of various kinds, the infinite variety of tone colours associated with the human voice and the sounds of the natural world as available in different locations. Choices here will also dictate musical pitches and rhythms available with their associated motifs and melodic and rhythmic patterns. However, in music curricula this domain often stays at the level of technical skills – how to produce a certain note. The relation to the whole body is often ignored. Carl Orff saw this as a significant element in the musical experience (Hamel, 1976/1978), which was taken up by David Elliott (1995). The ethnomusicologist, John Blacking, linked it with dance (Blacking, 1977). The close relation to the natural world is similarly ignored along with the acoustic space (Abrams, 1996; Boyce-Tillman, 2010). And so the linkage of this area to the material of the wider cosmos – the anima mundi – has been lost.
The domain of Expression is where the subjectivity of composer/performer and listener intersect to provide facets of the True. The truth of the experiences of the composer/performer and listener interact here to give a variety of truths from the interplay between the intrinsic and extrinsic. Whatever the intention of one party (the intrinsic meaning) may have been, others in the process of listening/composing/performing will bring extrinsic meaning to the music – meaning that has been locked onto that particular piece or style or musical tradition because of its association with certain events in their own lives or their own enculturation (Green, 1988, 1997). This has often been downplayed by classical theorists (Rahn, 1994) but this is where the hidden aspects of personality or psyche -qualities of being where feelings, memories, cultural prejudices are activated to promote empathy, imagination and identity creation (Westheimer, 2003). The use of music and memory with the elders is one example, as is a 10-year old girl who sings a setting of an African prayer every night: “I felt close to the people in Africa whose prayer we sang. Now I continue to sing it and think of them.”
In our curricula this area may feature in expressive pieces in our curricula for the youngest children but it often disappears as pupils get older (Department for Education and Employment, 2002). Yet here is an area where insights from music therapy can be used differently from its application within therapy as a means of deep inner self-exploration rather than therapeutic attendance of the participants’ psychopathological needs (Batzoglou, 2011).
It is in domain of Construction that our curricula concentrate in their pursuit of the Beautiful. Effectiveness here depends on the right management of repetition and contrast within a particular idiom. The way in which contrast is handled within a tradition – how much or how little can be tolerated – is often carefully regulated by the elders of the various traditions. However the emphasis in musicology has been on the composers and theoreticians of the Western classical tradition rather than the master drummers of Yoruba traditions with the result that orate musical cultures have been subjected to the principles of the Western classical canon (Goehr, 1992) – and the concept of the Beautiful limited and confined. It has meant the marginalisation of improvisatory elements with their delight in spontaneity, play and the carnivalesque (Bakhtin, 1993; Boyce-Tillman, in press) and their ability to unite Apollo with Dionysus.
The domain of Values reflects a search for the Good. Classical Greek literature is filled with stories embodying the potential ethical power of music (Godwin, 1987) but theorists, such as Reimer (1970), have often preferred to see individual works of art as if they were dislocated from their social context. However, the sounds of music both serve, express, challenge and create cultures (Shepherd & Wicke, 1997). Philosophers like Subotnik (1996) and Westerlund (2002) have attempted to restore these cultural dimensions, seeing the potential of music to create and construct social situations by attending to the ethical dimension (Westerlund, 2002). Indeed the structure of the classical orchestra and choir reflect the European cultures that produced them – ruled by benevolent dictators now embodied in a conductor. But where in our curricula is this domain discussed? Where do we discuss community building through music, which Anthony Storr (1993) sees as the main function for music in world cultures. A 10-year old boy started his reflections on a performance with: “It was like peace on earth. Everyone did their own thing but it all fitted together” (p. 215).
Teachers often comment on music’s ability to develop community-building skills: “It improved the children’s co-operative skills. I saw them supporting one another and encouraging other schools in their work. This is unusual for our children whose poverty often makes them quite self-centred.”
The area of Values also has intrinsic and extrinsic elements. In the intrinsic area, some traditions will edge towards more democratic practices in the creation process with everyone involved in the decisions while others will be more hierarchical. Notions of intrinsic values are a subject of debate in musicological circles (McClary, 1991, 2001) but as soon as a text or story are present, intrinsic Value systems will be more explicit. Pieces composed for a religious context will necessarily embody the Values of that tradition. Extrinsic values are present in the context of the performance such as finance and ticket pricing. Many community musicians today are very explicit about their Value systems, indeed the growth of the community choir can be seen as a challenge to the dominant Value system. Musicians working in the area of cultural fusion look towards music as route to justice and peace (Boyce-Tillman, 1996, 2001, 2007b) such as Paul Simon in his recording Graceland in the context of apartheid in South Africa (Simon, 1994). In my own piece The Call of the Ancestors (Boyce-Tillman, 1998) I used Western classical traditions leaving spaces for improvisation by groups from other cultures – at the first performance, Kenyan drums, Thai piphat and rock group. The use of a mixture of notated sections and “holes” in the score where improvisation could take place, enabled the traditions to be true to their underlying principles of Construction. There are many narratives on musicking with declared ethical intention but are these stories in our music curricula? This domain shifts attention from individual acts of cognition to the wider context in which musicking is situated (Westerlund, 2002) and critiques research in music education which concentrates exclusively on such acts.
The link is still there in government documents in the UK with the delivery of the citizenship agenda in particular (Department for Education and Employment, 2002), including religious, moral, cultural, personal, social and health issues. Reflection in this area could prepare pupils for understanding about the use of music in shopping malls, military parades and political rallies. The climate in schools in UK at present is one of tightly controlled bureaucracy limiting the scope of the curricula. It is frustrating those teachers who still see their role as one of a psychagogue. A head teacher wrote of a performance “ one of those occasions when you feel really proud to be a head teacher. Putting aside nonsense like Ofsted inspections, this was a fantastic opportunity that primary education should be all about.”
I am calling the moment (Dunmore, 1983) when all the other domains fuse – Spirituality. It represents the reintegration of the body (Materials), the emotions (Expression), the intellect (Construction), the culture (Values). These moments resemble Maslow’s peak experience or Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1993; Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1988). Philosophers like Catherine Ellis (1985) have brought ethnomusicological insights into relationship with western classical traditions to offer us reference to the Spiritual domain. She distinguishes between three levels of learning (informal, formal and spiritual/visionary), which is acknowledged in aboriginal traditions (Ellis, 1985). The musickers – be they composers, performers or listeners enter a different time/space dimension – leaving everyday reality for another world – the liminal space of Victor Turner (1969/1974a). I have subsumed the following states within my description:
flow (coming in from psychologists of creativity
ecstasy often associated with idea of ‘the holy’ coming from the religious/spiritual literature
trance coming from anthropological, New Age and psychotherapeutic literature
mysticism, coming from religious traditions, especially Christianity.
Drawn from analysis of ritual (Turner, n. d.), a “limen” – a threshold – is crossed into a different time/space dimension which is potentially transformative (Boyce-Tillman, 2009) – recalling the Greek image for psyche of the butterfly. Turner (1974) focused his attention on the second stage of rites of passage, the crossing of a threshold or limen to a sacred moment “in and out of time.” He also discussed its quality of communitas – the bond that develops between pilgrims. He concentrates on a sense of intimacy and I/Thou awareness – a feeling of being united with the universe, other beings and the natural world (Clarke, 2005). Here the beyond – the mysterious – is present as the whole person or community experiences the re-integrating of themselves; anima mundi is restored.
We come to the last of the Greek myths – Orpheus – often called the father of song – who used song with Hermes’ invention of the lyre to charm the birds, fish and wild beasts, coax the trees and rocks into dance, and divert the course of rivers. Can we do that in our classes? How would this effect ecological awareness? My argument here is that we can restore psyche to our music education by adopting a philosophy that includes the totality of the music experience within our philosophies, both practically and theoretically. Towards the end of his life, the French social theorist, Michel Foucault, saw the need for the development of a desire to reinvigorate our ethical imaginations by challenging the status quo (Thompson, 2003). The inclusion of the domains of Value and Expression gives us the potential for re-integration of human beings within the wider cosmos in the very deepest aspects of our being – both personal and communal – like the psychagogues in drama. This means revisiting the tight link between politics and education (Foucault & Gordon, 1990) that often governs our curricula and keeps us wedded to a well-trodden but limited view of both human beings, the cosmos and musicking. It means rethinking education as process not product (Suanda, 2012) – as a series of strategies rather than government imposed curricula and published programs of study, which may not fit particular circumstances or the needs of our students. Estelle Jorgensen (2008) similarly calls for a musical pedagogy related to lived life, and calls for matters of character, disposition, value, personality, and musicality to feature in pedagogical training to encourage teachers “to think and act artfully, imaginatively, hopefully, and courageously toward creating a better world” (p. 1). It does not mean abandoning all that we have taught in the way of skills but rather teaching them in a way that associates them with emotional and cultural awarenesses so that they will be empowered to make well-judged choices in their use of music in the process of living. Music education becomes a process of leading our students into a greater understanding of the power of music as a whole and through which potentially they can construct an identity that is truly their own.
If our philosophies can help Psyche re-unite with Eros, Western teachers may be closer to becoming psychagogues. Late capitalism has invented many underworlds to keep people trapped in cultures of consumerism, inequality, addiction and control. If we can grasp the totality of music’s potential for our pupils they may have some strategies of resistance that will give them autonomy, identities of integrity and hope.
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