Exeter 2011


Research in Music Education (RIME) Exeter 2011

Metaphor and Mindfulness in Music Education: Approaches to Researching Spirituality in Music Education

Iris Yob, Estelle Jorgensen, Frank Heuser, June Boyce-Tillman,
Liz Mellor, Koji Matsunobi, Ed Sarath
Convenor – Liz Mellor

Inspired by SAME, a proposal for a Symposium on Spirituality in Music Education was successfully submitted and presented at the 7th International Research in Music Education Conference, April 12-16th, 2011.

The symposium presented recent research in the field from a range of perspectives through the frame of Metaphor and Mindfulness. Symposium papers raised some important questions for research and research methodology. The aims were not only to highlight recent research in the field but also for participants to engage in a nourishing dialogue of key aspects impacting current thinking in contemporary music education across cultures and contexts. For me, highlights were the inspiring images presented by Iris in her paper and Koji’s wonderful Shakuhachi flute playing.

SYMPOSIUM PAPERS
Symposium Theme 1: Setting the Philosophical Ground
Iris Yob If we knew what spirituality was, we would teach for it
Interim Executive Director, Center for Faculty Excellence/Centre for Teaching and Learning, Walden University, USA.
Email: Iris.yob@waldenu.edu
Estelle R. Jorgensen The Pilgrim, Quest and Music Education
Professor of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, USA. Email: jorgense@indiana.edu

Symposium Theme 2: Action and Awareness in Music Education
Frank Heuser The Centrality of Figurative Language, Action and Awareness in a Spiritual Music Curriculum
Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Email: fheuser@ucla.edu

June Boyce-Tillman Re-Envisioning Music Education
The Rev. Professor of Applied Music, University of Winchester, UK. June.Boyce-tillman@winchester.ac.uk

Symposium Theme 3: Research Informed Pedagogy
Liz Mellor ‘Learning to be’- Towards a Pedagogy for Mindfulness in Music Education
Reader in Music and Applied Arts, York St. John University, UK. Email: l.mellor@yorksj.ac.uk

Koji Matsunobi Ritual as a Basis for Mindful Practice in Music Education
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Queensland, Australia. Email: kmnobu@gmail.com

Ed Sarath Improvisation, Meditation and Paradigmatic Change: Mapping the Shift from Conventional to Integral Music Education
Professor of Music, University of Michigan, USA. sarahara@umich.edu

More details about the Symposium Papers

Iris Yob If we knew what spirituality was, we would teach for it
Interim Executive Director, Center for Faculty Excellence/Centre for Teaching and Learning, Walden University, USA.
Email: Iris.yob@waldenu.edu

Two recent experiences that I would call “spiritual”, although spiritual in extremis, are explored against the background of ideas provided by writers such as Schleiermacher, Otto, Tillich, and Maslow to unpack what spirituality is, with particular attention to the emotions and the insights involved in spirituality. The description helps to clarify the distinctions and also the relationships between spirituality and both religion and morality, constructs that are frequently confused with spirituality. The description also suggests two moves teachers can make toward offering a spiritual education.

Estelle R. Jorgensen The Pilgrim, Quest and Music Education
Professor of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, USA. Email: jorgense@indiana.edu

The metaphor of the pilgrim with its associated model of quest depicts, among other things, spiritual aspects of music education. By spiritual, I mean those aspects that focus particularly on felt or subjective aspects of inner life. These aspects are not necessarily or always entirely revealed in observable actions but are none-the-less known emotionally, intellectually, and physically. This knowing is often enacted and expressed through the arts, myths, and rituals rather than spoken of propositionally. Here, I briefly sketch and critique this metaphoric model of music education, focusing on its spiritual character.

Jorgensen, E. R. ( 2011) Pictures of Music Education.IndianaUniversity:IndianaUniversity Press

Frank Heuser The Centrality of Figurative Language, Action and Awareness in a Spiritual Music Curriculum
Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Email: fheuser@ucla.edu

The potentially transcendent spiritual experiences that could be at the core of music learning are strangely absent from most music instruction with most curricula focusing on technique. This paper suggests that the process of music learning might nurture spiritual growth through the use of figurative language, by engaging students in actions that extend learning activities into the community, and by helping students develop awareness of how music making might connect people who would otherwise remain isolated from each other. In such a curriculum music learning would become a life-shaper and encourage mindfulness by embracing creativity, flexibility, community building and self-reflection.

References
Irwin, R. L. (2007). ‘Plumbing the depths of being fully alive’, in L. Bresler (Ed.), International Handbook of Research in Arts Education (pp. 1401-1404). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.
Palmer, P. (1998). The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner landscape of a Teacher’s Life.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Snyder, Bob. (2001). Music and Memory. MIT Press.
van Schalkwyk, G. J. (2002). Music as a Metaphor for Thesis Writing. The Qualitative Report, 7: 2 (http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR7-2/schalkwyk.html)

June Boyce-Tillman Re-Envisioning Music Education
The Rev. Professor of Applied Music, University of Winchester, UK. June.Boyce-tillman@winchester.ac.uk

Set in the context of theories of social constructionism I see the rising interest in spirituality as a quest for ways of knowing that have been neglected or subjugated in Western culture. Drawing on theories of embodied cognition, research into consciousness, the growth in the use of mindfulness techniques in the area of psychological therapies and the work of Viktor Turner, I examine and critique the possibilities in the musical experience of a ‘religionless’ spirituality. For this I use a phenomenographic model drawn from various accounts of the musicking experience. This encourages a presence of musicking in education that values the totality of the experience rather than certain aspects of it only. It will illustrate this through current projects with groups of children in various contexts.

References
Boyce-Tillman June (2007), Unconventional Wisdom,London: Equinox
Turner, Victor (1969, 1974), The Ritual process: Structure and Anti-structure, Baltimore: Penguin Books
Damasio Antonio R., 1994), Descartes’ Error: Emotion, reason and the Human Brain, New York: Avon Book p248
Claxton, Guy, Mind Expanding: Scientific and Spiritual Foundations for the schools we need. Public Lecture University of Bristol UK 21st October 2002
Kabat-Zin Jon., 2005, Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness. Piatkus.

Liz Mellor ‘Learning to be’- Towards a Pedagogy for Mindfulness in Music Education
Reader in Music and Applied Arts, York St. John University, UK. Email: l.mellor@yorksj.ac.uk

The paper considers teaching and learning through a ‘lens’ of spirituality which is rooted in the gestalt psychotherapy practice of being present with what is in the ‘here-and-now’. The research presents a framework for mindfulness in music education across Five Aspects of Presence – developed from Denham (2006) and applied to group process in peer-directed singing and instrumental ensembles. Examples from the research illustrate university students’ developing awareness of a more inclusive and less hierarchical way of working, and suggests a way towards a more relationally conscious pedagogy which nurtures ‘self awareness’ and ‘awareness of ‘the other’.

References
Barnett, R. (2009) Knowing and Becoming in higher education curriculum. Studies in Higher Education, 34, 4: 429-440.
Denham, J. (2006) ‘The Trainer’s Presence in Effective Gestalt Training’, British Gestalt Journal, 15,1: 16-22.
Mellor, L. (2010) University music students talking about their experiences of learning to lead peer-directed singing
groups. In J.Finney and C. Harrison ( Eds.) Whose Music Education Is It? The role of the student voice.
National Association of Music Educators: Solihul.

Koji Matsunobi Ritual as a Basis for Mindful Practice in Music Education
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Queensland, Australia. Email: kmnobu@gmail.com

Spirituality is gained not merely through experiencing music, but also cultivated through participating in rituals, taking lessons, and developing a profound student-teacher relationship. This paper introduces processes and rituals of music lesson that lead to a mindful practice of music education. The case in point is the pedagogy of a Japanese bamboo flute that involves highly focused attention to breathing. Music lessons inJapanare ritually structured as such that “the ultimate goal may be spiritual rather than musical” (Malm, 1986, p. 24).

Ed Sarath Improvisation, Meditation and Paradigmatic Change: Mapping the Shift from Conventional to Integral Music Education
Professor of Music, University of Michigan, USA. sarahara@umich.edu

This talk explores improvisation and meditation as complementary and central processes for an expanded vision of music education in which creative and spiritual development are key goals. Inspired by an emergent worldview called “Integral Theory”, I will situate efforts in recent decades to incorporate improvisation and composition, and even more recently meditation and spiritual practice, along an ever-expanding epistemological continuum. I will further discuss the design of a BFA in Jazz and Contemplative Studies curriculum at theUniversityofMichigan, one of the very first to include a substantive meditation component along with an improvisation-based foundation and corresponding breadth of musicianship studies.