Birmingham 2010


1st International Conference on Spirituality and Music Education (SAME)
18th – 20th June 2010
Crescent Theatre Birmingham UK
We are pleased to report that this was a very successful event. Here is a picture of some smiling faces. Unfortunately not everyone was around for the main photo. I hope to be putting up some more photos shortly.
conference photo
Here are the abstracts and biog details of all the papers from the conference. These will stay on this site. Some full papers may also be displayed here at a later date.

Abstracts and Biographies for Keynote Speakers
Keynote Conversation: David Carr and Iris Yob
Picturing Spirituality
The main problem about (philosophically) defining notions of the ‘spiritual’ and ‘spirituality’, is the rather protean usage to which these terms are commonly prone. In this paper, we do not try to define ‘spirituality’ but rather examine contrasting images of the spirit found in two widely disparate accounts. In the Phaedrus, Plato likens the human soul or psyche to a chariot pulled by two horses (a model developed in the Republic). Whereas Plato compares the charioteer to reason (rationality, intellect), the two horses are meant to represent two other more ‘affective’ aspects of human nature: the black horse is intended to represent appetite (desire, passion) and the white horse is meant to represent ‘spirit’ (initiative, indignation). The white horse of spirit is of especial interest to music education, since Plato clearly thinks (in the Republic) that music has a particular role to play in the reinforcement of spirit. That said, although Plato’s idea is suggestive, the notion of spirit has also a rather anomalous role in his general moral psychology. Maria Harris, a contemporary religious education writer in the United States, offers a very different image in her 1989 publication, Dance of the Spirit: The Seven Steps of Women’s Spirituality. Spirituality is a dancing spirit which through a series of steps uncovers “an inner world of mystery, power, and promise.” As in Plato’s white horse image, Harris’s spirit of the dance also suggests a spirituality that is enactive, creative, and affective but she arrives at these qualities from a different direction and gives them a different role. Connection is made between spiritually and music and music education through the notion of the spiritual embodiment of the rhythms of the dance.
David Carr is Professor of Philosophy of Education in the University of Edinburgh. He is author of Educating the Virtues (1991), Professionalism and Ethics in Teaching (2000) and Making Sense of Education (2003), as well as of many philosophical and educational papers. He is also editor of Education, Knowledge and Truth (1998), co-editor (with Jan Steutel) of Virtue Ethics and Moral Education (1999), and (with John Haldane) of Spirituality, Philosophy and Education (2003). He has also recently co-edited (with Richard Bailey, Robin Barrow and Christine McCarthy) the Sage Handbook of Philosophy of Education (2010
Iris M Yob: Iris M. Yob began her career as a primary then high school teacher before moving into teacher education. She came from Australia to undertake her doctoral studies in the philosophy of education at Harvard. With her EdD in hand, she took appointments at the State University of New York at Geneseo, then at Indiana University as academic coordinator of a living-learning center. She is now the executive director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at Walden University, a large online university that is part of the Laureate International University network. Her research interests are in spirituality, the symbol systems of meaning-making including music, and professional higher education.
Keynote Literature Review: Anthony Palmer
The literature in the area of spirituality is rich, as is the literature for music education. When combining the two areas, we see a paucity of books treating the combined subject as this is a relatively new field of inquiry. The many publications speaking to at least one aspect can then be excellent sources of ideas and concepts, from which unique insights into the whole of the subject can be formed. The session, Keynote Literature Review, is an attempt to lay the ground for initial forays into pertinent and important literature. The two books selected for pre-conference reading are Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening, A Composer’s Sound Practice, and Joseph Chilton Pearce’s The Biology of Transcendence. Each of these will be presented with the clinician’s views on the two books as a basis for further discussion. An annotated bibliography for a selected list of books will be handed out at the session.
Anthony J. Palmer is a Visiting Scholar at Boston University. He has a BA (with ‘honor’) in vocal/choral studies and MA in composition from California State University, Los Angeles; he earned a Ph.D. (with ‘distinction’), from the University of California, Los Angeles, as a student of Abraham A. Schwadron. He received the Alumni Award for Outstanding Music Graduate of 1976. He studied Gagaku with Suenobu Togi at UCLA subsequent to doctoral studies. Later, he received a Creative Artist Fellowship from the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission enabling him to study Gagaku in Japan from 1984-85 with Kanehiko Togi of the Imperial Court. Professor Palmer taught at the University of Tennessee, and University of California, Los Angeles, then served at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa prior to retirement in 1998. Upon moving to Boston, he was engaged in 2000 by Boston University to reestablish the Music Education Department, and has just retired a second time in May 2009. In 2005, he became director of the 40th anniversary celebration of Tanglewood 1967, which was held in June of 2007 as a weeklong symposium, Tanglewood II. In addition, he has extensive public school teaching experience including five years at Los Angeles Valley College. His areas of expertise are in music education: world musics in music education, practical and philosophical courses, aesthetics and philosophy of music and music education, choral conducting, and student teaching supervision and seminars.
Keynote Research: Diana Harris and Duncan Mackrill
Sound Escapes: images of spirituality from music teachers and students
This paper begins by asking questions of a philosophical nature, such as where spirituality might be situated, before going on to suggest that it might be seen as a stochastic process. That is to say, where a sequence of events combines the random with what is known already in such a way as to only allow certain outcomes that are of use to either an individual or a community. This term is usually associated with genetics and biology, therefore touching on the ideas presented by Anthony Palmer. We then introduce our research with musicians and teachers and with students from various courses including initial teaching training courses. We identify five aspects, or dichotomies, in the way people seem to consider spirituality. The most obvious is whether it is linked with a personal faith or religion. Secondly is whether people see spirituality as an inner or personal process, or whether it is linked to their role in the community, which might be considered external. Thirdly we consider whether words are necessary as part of the music, or whether instrumental music can be just as spiritual, or, in some cases, more so. Following on from this is the question of what place knowledge plays in the process, and this can often be juxtaposed with an emotional aspect. The final dichotomy for musicians is whether they experience spirituality more if they are performing or listening. As we examine these five aspects we will suggest what they might mean in terms of encouraging spirituality in the music classroom.
Diana Harris now works for the Open University, UK, after having taught music and performing arts for 20 years. She is a doctoral supervisor and a lecturer on the Masters in Education Course as well as tutoring on the Secondary Initial Teacher Education (Music) course. She has written widely on the subject of music education for Muslims (eg Music Education & Muslims pub Trentham Books 2006) and for the past three years has been researching in the area of spirituality in the music classroom. Research in both these areas has led her to spend time doing fieldwork in Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and Nepal. She is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Music Educators and also regularly writes reviews for Music Education Research. She is a founder member of the Spirituality and Music Education website.
Duncan Mackrill is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Sussex where he is the PGCE Secondary Music Curriculum Tutor and leads the PGCE course. Currently, he is also acting Director of Initial Teacher Education. Prior to moving into Higher Education he gained many years teaching experience as a secondary head of music. His main areas of interest and expertise are the integration and development of ICT in music education, eportfolios and Virtual Learning Environments. However, for the last couple of years he has become increasingly involved in researching spirituality in music education and in particular, with teachers in the music classroom.
In September 2005 he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.
Abstracts and Biographies for Presenters of Papers
Rachel Barnes
Touch Trust: Using music as part of a touch therapy programme for people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities
Music plays an important role in the success of our programmes: not only is it central to the creation of a multi-sensory, therapeutic environment, but it also stimulates our feelings and emotions, and inspires many different movements and moods. Furthermore it is through sound, alongside movement, that guests on Touch Trust programmes express themselves, connecting deeply with their own voices and bodies and communicating with others and the world around them. Through being praised and valued for their sounds and movements, for the music and dances they create, our guests gain a profound sense of achievement, increased self-esteem and improved wellbeing which show that the effectiveness of the programme comes from a holistic attitude in which mind, body and spirit are given the opportunity to develop as one.
Touch Trust is concerned not only with the development of the people who come to sessions but is also committed to research, development, education and training in the area of touch-based movement for the benefit of all. Within sessions emphasis is placed on equal partnerships between guests and their support workers or carers, and between guests and session leaders. This emphasis facilitates an atmosphere of shared exploration and discovery which results in a continual challenge to our tendency to ‘sleep walk’ through life and the mutual ‘education’ of all who are touched by the programme.
Rachel Barnes is a session leader at ‘Touch Trust’, a resident organisation at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. At Touch Trust a multi-sensory approach is used to create programmes for people with profound and multiple disabilities. Prior to joining Touch Trust she built up a background of working with adults with special needs after receiving an MA in Critical and Cultural Theory from Cardiff University. Her areas of interest are primarily based around communication, self expression and forging meaningful connections between people. She is interested in the power of music, especially when combined with other forms of creative expression, to stimulate physical, mental and spiritual healing.
Denver Bennett
Can we ever discover the essence of spiritual experiences in music and develop it for the benefit of society globally?
My initial interest is in gaining a definitive understanding of ‘spirituality’ itself as a psychological, social/anthropological, theological and semiological aspect of humanity. Spirituality and spiritual practices in themselves are highly subjective and the aim is to identify all aspects thereof that are common to everyone as experienced in music. Confronted with some fundamental questions about the basics of music and spirituality, this research hopes to discover the ‘epicentre’ of a spiritual experience in music and how it relates to the individual for the greater benefit of secular society. The teleological significance argues for a greater awareness that the ultimate goal of any musical experience must be for the moral progress of humanity.
Spirituality is chiefly concerned with the unexplained, irrational, supernatural, mystic, deistic phenomenon within every human being and his/her encounters with the universe. Spiritual enlightenment is achieved through a dimension of human experiences within the realms of spiritual encounters. Enlightenment argues that every aspect within the (human) universe functions within a rational system which human reason has access to. How can one then develop a sound understanding and give a definitive account of that human transcendent reality beyond logic itself? Can one actually consciously manipulate a spiritual experience when it happens or are all spiritual experiences involuntary reactions to the external musical powers exerted on us?
Music is organised sound. This research will explore the wealth of literature available to study the sonic world and its impact on humans. The cognitive character of human audition concerns mental processes implied in auditory perception. What about the physical impact that affects our emotions/psyche before mental processing could take place? Could this be where a spiritual encounter is triggered?
Denver Bennett gained a Diploma in Education with Music Specialization (1986) and completed a Bachelor of Music Degree (1994) at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He moved to England in 2004 and pursued part-time studies at the IOE (2007) successfully completing three modules in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy of Music and Music Education. He hopes to complete a Masters degree in Music Education with a further module in Choral Conducting, Communication and Leadership plus a full dissertation in Spirituality in Music. He is currently Subject Leader for Music at Lambeth Academy in London.
Deborah Blair
The mystery of connectedness: Spirituality and the musical experience
In this paper, I will explore the notion of connectedness as a dimension of human spirituality and its presence in collaborative musical experience. I propose that the basic human need for connectedness is grounded in a spiritual belief concerning the nature of humanity’s deep need to search for and be connected to a higher being. For example, Biblical scholars argue that it is God who creates and fosters a connected relationship to human beings as his creation and seeks to restore that relationship when it is broken. This deep human need for connectedness extends to other human beings and to creation itself, including the ways one makes meaning within one’s world.
Palmer (1998) suggests that, in education, connectedness to a subject serves to ‘name’ us as learners and people, providing identity in the ways that we make and express meaning. Equally important is the synergy of learners when they connect to each other through collaborative experience within this subject area that has become personally meaningful. This experience is deepened when one considers the nature of the arts, particularly music, to ‘make special’ (Reimer, 2003) the events of our lives and to allow learners to express themselves in multiple ways that are at once tacit and intuitive, yet explicit and articulate; and in the process of experience, shared.
As music educators, our role becomes one in which we can step aside (Blair, 2009a, 2009b; Noddings, 1984/2003) in order to intentionally foster learning communities (Wenger, 1998; van Manen, 1991) in which connectedness to music, to others, and to the collaborative musical experience is felt and known. Rethinking the educational environment to enable student-centered musical experiences, collaborative work that encourages students’ ‘musical say’ (Davis, 2008), and fosters trust and intersubjectivity (Rogoff, 1990) in arenas of positive ‘creative tension’ (Palmer, 1998) in the music classroom may allow students the freedom to discover the spirituality within themselves and others in the musical experience.
Deborah Blair is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Education of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Oakland University. Blair’s research interests include the application of constructivist learning theory and its implications for music learning and teaching in educational contexts including preservice and inservice music teacher education, general and choral music settings, and music learning for students with special needs. Her work appears in journals such as the International Journal of the Arts and Education, British Journal of Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, Visions of Research in Music Education, and the Music Educators Journal.
June Boyce Tillman
Creating spiritual community through music involving children
This paper will outline the author’s phenomenographic map (Marton and Booth 1998, Boyce-Tillman 2006) of the spiritual experience in music and it will illustrate this through description of a project involving a collaboration between the university and local school children in Romsey Abbey entitled Weaving Wisdom’s way – A celebration of St Ethelfleda. It will analyse this experience using the author’s map concentrating on
the Values in its relationship to the local community both past and present;
the Construction based on a theology of God as weaving process (Christ, 2003), and examining the interface between orate or literate musical traditions;
the Materials including the building and the banner making associated with the project;
the Expression drawing on the comments of people involved in the project and collected by means of post performance interviews.
It will draw on the other musical works by the author where the boundaries between liturgy and concert are blurred such as the Space for Peace event in Winchester Cathedral which included schools as well as community choirs and representatives of the musical traditions of various faith groups and which was constructed partly by means of a chance/choice process. It will establish a notion of spirituality as relationality within and through the musical experience based on Buber’s (1970) notion of the I/Thou experience, drawing on theorists such as Dewey (1929, 1934), Maslow (1967), Turner (1969, 1974a & b; 1982), Csikszentmihalyi (1993), Jackson (1998), Hay and Nye (1998) and practitioners such as Custodero (2002, 2005). The paper will be illustrated by a DVD.
June Boyce-Tillman PhD is currently Professor of Applied Music at The University of Winchester. She read music at St Hugh’s College. She has taught in primary and secondary schools in London where she pioneered composing activities in the classroom. She has published widely in the area of education concentrating on materials for early childhood education including Exploring Sound (1976) and Mrs Macaroni (1985). She has been active in teacher education and inservice training activities for teachers and other child care workers. Her doctoral research into children’s musical development has been translated into 6 languages. She is a composer and active in community music making, specialising in music and spirituality. She is a hymn writer (A Rainbow to Heaven, 2007). As a performer, her one-woman shows have been performed in three continents. She has run a project giving music to children diagnosed as having chronic anxiety in association with Winchester Child Guidance Unit. She has composed large scale works that allow spaces where children can improvise such as The Healing of the Earth for the Queen’s Jubilee and Step into the Picture (2007) exploring the Life of Jesus. Among her books are Constructing Musical Healing (2000), The Creative Spirit – Hildegard of Bingen (2000), A Rainbow to Heaven (2006) and Unconventional Wisdom (2007). She has been actively engaged in interfaith dialogue for 25 years and in the use of music for peace making, editing books for children in this area (Light the Candles). She has recently been exploring large scale interfaith events in Winchester Cathedral involving a variety of faiths (Space for Peace, 2009). She is an ordained Anglican priest and received an MBE in 2008 for her service to Music and Education.
Dave Clark
Getting to know me: How music in the classroom can be used as a gateway to spiritual growth
It’s now some 14 years since a publication from the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority recognised that educators must be confident in handling inner lives as well as outer lives if young people were to flourish and be fully equipped for the modern world. Are we any nearer to achieving these aspirations today? With a general acceptance that what we put into our bodies affects how we ultimately perform, can the same be said of our spiritual health? How do we know when we’re spiritually ill? Do we believe that we can be? What are the symptoms and how might these be counteracted? From a position that we are more than body and mind and that we all possess an inner spirit that is capable of development and refinement, I will argue that this spirit requires and demands to be explored and that those involved in education should not only be explorers in their own right but capable expedition leaders. Drawing on the thoughts of writers such as Mark Halstead, JG Priestley and Professor Ken Robinson in conjunction with my own professional research and experiences, I will seek to show that our inner spirit is a vital component of who we are; that it is a precious element with the power to determine what we might become; that it requires and deserves to be investigated and developed; and that music and the arts have a very significant role to play in leading us to these potentially pivotal discoveries about ourselves. We need nothing less than to retrain our responses to the world around us and music is a key component as a ‘gateway experience’ to unlocking the inner lives of our young people for a better future. It’s time to re-assess our approach and to re-evaluate how we develop the necessary skills to articulate our inner selves. Music has the power to renew, revitalise and re-energise our spirits in a perfectly unique way.
Dave Clark MA is an Advanced Skills Teacher who has been teaching Music and Drama for the last 26 years. He has extensive experience as a curriculum leader as well as in the classroom and lecture hall where he has taught from KS1 to post 16, post graduate level and staff INSET. Continuing to develop his skills as a class teacher, Dave now divides his time between the classroom and training new entrants to the profession with the Open University and Trinity University College, Horsforth. His energy and enthusiasm for his subject and his passionate belief in the need for exciting and engaging teaching is well known amongst those who have met and worked with him. He firmly believes that learning should be fun and that the pursuit of excellent teaching should be no less enjoyable.
Arvydas Girdzijauskas
Different signs of spirituality following different types of music education
In Lithuanian educational research spirituality is usually defined as an adequate person’s relation with the world based on the highest values expressing the personality. Appealing to this delineation it is possible to consider the recognition of high values as some manifestation of an individual’s spirituality. Some researchers believe that spirituality is dependant on creative aesthetic activity. This survey seeks to find relations between different types of music education offered by different types of schools and a student’s spirituality, expressed by recognition of high human values. Pursuing this goal 390 higher grade students of different types of secondary schools (comprehensive schools, specialized secondary schools with intensive musical training; art gymnasiums and choral singing music schools) were questioned. The research revealed that the students consider respect as a particularly important value. Love for a human being is considered to be very important, and responsibility, honesty and loyalty are recognizedas important. However, more than a half of the subjects cannot explain the significance of the values considered by them as important.
In order to find what influence different music education can have on recognition of values, this feature was compared in different schools. We found that values of love for people, tolerance and sensitiveness for beauty are recognized as more significant between the students of choral singing music schools. Whilst comparing stability of behavior among students of different schools it was found that differences exist while communicating with cultural surroundings. According to the level of recognition of high values and corresponding behavior we can suppose that spirituality of students of choral singing music schools is of higher level than of students from the other schools. We can presume that higher level of spirituality was influenced by differences in music education programs and organization of activity. The autonomy while choosing musical activity is a specific feature of work organization in choral singing music schools. Musical performance in these schools usually is very active and of quite high level. We suppose that particularities of musical activity could have an impact on a student’s spirituality.
Arvydas Girdzijauskas studied at the Lithuanian State Conservatory as choir conductor, graduating in 1979. From 1979 until 1992 he worked as Artistic Director and Main Conductor for the Children’s Choir of Lithuanian TV and Radio. Between 1989 and 1991 he was President of the Lithuanian Choirs Union. Since 1992 he has been Principal of Klaipeda Vyduno secondary school, which combines secondary education with enhanced music and art programs. Here Arvydas Gidzijauskas is a conductor of the Vyduno school children’s choir and music teacher of the mentioned school. Between 2004 and 2008 he was a doctoral student of Klaipeda University, defending his doctoral dissertation ‘Development of Moral Culture of Higher Grade Students Through Musical Activity’ in 2008. Arvydas Girdzijauskas is an active participant of methodical and scientific conferences in Lithuania and aboard. He has published numerous scientific and methodical articles. As choir conductor he takes part in numerous festivals and competitions in Lithuania and abroad, winning many awards. Research interests include the development of personality of students through musical activity.
Frank Heuser & Ron Wakefield
Spiritually informed teaching in large ensembles: Transforming a stagnant tradition
The deeply transformative and potentially transcendent experiences that could be at the core of music learning are strangely absent from American school music education. Instructional practices in these large ensemble programs are rather standardized. The primary goal of most school bands, orchestras and choirs is the presentation of technically flawless collective performances. Teachers motivate students through the incentive of group competition rather than with instructional practices that might allow individuals to investigate different ways of knowing and relating to the world. Spiritually informed teaching practices might enable music educators to transcend the competitive-perfectionist instructional paradigm dominating large ensemble music education. Such a curriculum would encourage mindfulness by embracing creativity, flexibility, community building and self-reflection. It would also nurture the very basic need we all seem to have of finding ways to work in the service of humanity.
This paper describes a school music program in which the students are challenged to move beyond the confines of the rehearsal room and offer instruction to other young people of their own age who are experiencing economic, health and/or emotional challenges. Members of this middle school band regularly provide music lessons to children in homeless shelters and in hospitals. In turn, these children frequently join the middle school band in performances and other musical activities. This program, which has partnerships in several regions of the United States, was developed by a music teacher who has deeply-held spiritual beliefs based on Franciscan practice. Although the principles of social justice permeating all aspects of this teacher’s work are derived from a spiritual heritage, the values taught are almost identical to those of secular educational philosophers such as Maxine Green. The paper will conclude with an examination of the parallels between these spiritual and educational philosophies and a discussion of the transformations experienced by students in the program.
Frank Heuser is Associate Professor at UCLA where he directs the music education and supervises student teachers. His research focuses on developing ways to improve music pedagogy. He has used electromyography to investigate tone commencement problems in brass players; developed strategies to incorporate informal learning in pre-service teacher education; and is applying the principles of information architecture to improve teaching materials used in music instruction. He regularly conducts at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Music Camp. In addition to teaching and research, he has served on a variety of arts education committees for the State of California and on evaluation panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ron Wakefield is a public school music teacher in the Los Angeles area. He teaches band at North Park Middle School and runs a program of ‘kids helping kids’ in which his students teach music to disadvantaged kids in homeless shelters and children’s hospitals. In April 2010, he will bring disadvantaged children from several areas of the United States to play music in Carnegie Hall. Ron’s teaching is deeply rooted in Christian values.
Lee Higgins
Community music and the welcome
Hello, and your name is…, please join in, you are most welcome.
It is this embrace, this beckoning, this commitment, this welcome towards those who wish to participate in active music making that will guide this presentation. Using a notion of the ‘workshop’ as a site for creativity, I discuss the ‘welcome’ in terms of a call towards participation, a preparatory and ethical thought that invites potential music participants to the creative workshop space. From here I focus on the practice of the welcome within the workshop as event through the concept ‘safety without safety’. This idea outlines a mode of action, a framework for thinking and initiating music making experiences that encourages participants engaged in community music projects to take risks, whether emotional, psychological, technical, or physical. As a concept, safety without safety attempts to encapsulate and describe the adventure of those who participate in creative music making events. These ‘theoretical’ ideas are then illustrated through a ‘practical’ example of a creative workshop entitled ‘badge of identity’. It is here that we can see the formation of a group, a hospitable community, that together nurtures, supports and sustains its own sense of transformation and spirituality.
My proposed presentation will consider three interconnecting ideas surrounding community music practice and the notion of spirituality: (1) the workshop as a distinctive approach through which people are given opportunities to engage with active music making; (2) the welcome as a preparatory thought and consequential gesture inviting potential music participants to the workshop space; and (3) safety without safety, an idea that describes the practice of the welcome within the workshop event. Finally I conclude by suggesting that the workshop as event, the welcome, and safety without safety, beckon community music participants to engage in music invention that has at its core the exploration of new territories emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.
Lee Higgins is the immediate past chair of the International Society of Music Education’s (ISME) commission for Community Music Activity and senior editor of the International Journal of Community Music. He is associate professor of music education at the Boston University School of Music, USA. As a community musician he has worked across the education sector as well as within health settings, prison and probation service, youth and community, and orchestra outreach. His professional practice embraces a gamut of music genres, most notably samba drumming, improvisation, pop/rock, and music technology, also combining the non-traditional performance space such as the use of site-specific and environmental possibilities in performance. Lee received his PhD from the Irish Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. He has published articles in journals such as Music Education Research, International Journal of Music Education, and Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education and is currently contracted to write chapters for The Oxford Handbook of Music Education and Free to be musical: Group improvisation in schools, a collaboration project with Patricia Shehan Campbell.
Estelle Jorgensen
Seashore, energy, and the spirit of music education
This paper draws on a chapter of the author’s forthcoming book, Pictures of Music Education (Indiana University Press, 2011). It focuses on the metaphor of the seashore and its related metaphorical model, energy, as ways of envisioning music education. As the model is described and its strengths and weaknesses critiqued, the ways in which it illumines and animates aspects of music education are demonstrated.
Estelle R. Jorgensen is Professor of Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she teaches courses in the foundations of music education. She is author of In Search of Music Education (University of Illinois Press, 1997), Transforming Music Education (Indiana University Press, 2003) and The Art of Teaching Music (Indiana University Press, 2008), and is editor of The Philosophy of Music Education Review.
Mary Kennedy
The musical world of St Stephens: Where music, education and spirituality interconnect
The purpose of the study was to investigate the ‘musical world’ of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, Washington, to determine the causes for its existence and the factors influencing its maintenance and future survival. In particular the study focused on the musical learning and teaching that occurred in the church’s musical groups and its connection to the spiritual lives of the participants. An ethnographic approach allowed the researcher, a musical participant in one of the groups, to probe both emic and etic viewpoints. Observation, participant observation, and informal and semi-structured interviews were conducted over a period of eight months with the organist/choir director and participants in the musical groups in order to fully understand this particular musical world. Material culture in the form of church bulletins, documents, and programs augmented the field notes and interview transcripts. Six musical groups existed in the church at the time of the study: adult choir, boys and girls choir, hand bell choir, St. Stephen’s strings, brass choir, and recorder consort. These six groups perform routinely, some more often than others. The connection between the musical learning and teaching and spirituality was evident in all groups, but more so in those led by the organist/choir director. A spirit-filled person as well as an excellent musician, his faith was evident in all he did. In probing the connection between musical teaching and learning and spirituality, it was evident that many people came to the church and participated in the musical groups in order to learn and grow musically. Interestingly, this musical participation often led to an increased awareness of the spiritual dimension resulting in a stronger sense of faith on the part of participants.
Mary Copland Kennedy is an Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education in addition to conducting the Philomela Women’s Choir. Among her publications are articles in Journal of Research in Music Education, British Journal of Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Music Education Research, Research Studies in Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, International Journal of Community Music, and Choral Journal. In addition, she has presented papers and sessions at regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Kennedy is on the editorial boards of International Journal of Music Education (Practice) and Update: The Applications of Research in Music Education.
Meganne Masko
Spirituality and music therapy in end-of-life care: Trends, treatment modalities, and outcomes in a community-based hospice program
The use of music therapy to address spiritual needs for hospice and palliative care patients is one of the fastest growing areas of music therapy research and practice in the United States. Music is an active form of spiritual expression related to most known religious and spiritual practices. However, little current research exists related to music therapy referrals, interventions and outcomes related to spirituality and hospice care. The purposes of this paper are: (1) describe referral trends for spiritual needs in music therapy practice in a community-based hospice in Iowa; (2) describe the type of music therapy interventions used to address spiritual needs, (3) report the percentage of patients reporting spiritual support/comfort from music therapy interventions; and (4) cross-reference the above results with chaplain records identifying types of spiritual expression and comfort reported by patients and their caregivers upon admission to the hospice program. The final portion of the paper discusses implications for clinical practice, music therapist training, and community music involvement in the treatment of end-of-life spiritual needs.
Meganne Masko is a PhD candidate in Music Education and Music Therapy at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Ms. Masko is a board-certified music therapist specializing in spirituality in hospice and palliative care in Dubuque, Iowa. In addition to her work in hospice and palliative care, Ms. Masko was a music educator in Nashotah and Hartland, Wisconsin from 2000-2004.
Koji Matsunobe
Pedagogy of spirit sharing: Playing together as a way of Japanese flute music learning
English dictionaries explain that the term spirituality is derived from the Latin word spirare: ‘to blow’ or ‘to breathe life’. In fact, the heightened awareness of breathing is central to many forms of spiritual training developed in diverse religious traditions of the world. Eastern practices of body-mind-spirit integration, such as tai-chi and aikido, also underscore breath as a focal point of consciousness and qi (ki, gi) as a manifestation of life force.
In this paper, I highlight how the practice of shakuhachi bamboo flute involves a highly disciplined attention to the act of breathing. The shakuhachi is often associated with Zen, and its classical repertoire (called honkyoku) is believed to be spiritual music. However, performing honkyoku does not automatically lead to spirituality. Thus, the focus of this paper is to reveal how shakuhachi practitioners communicate their spirits, especially in the teaching and learning context. By comparing two groups of shakuhachi practitioners – one is more musical, the other more spiritual in orientation – who showed distinctively different teaching styles, I delineate the pedagogy of spirit sharing that is centered around playing together and coordinated breathing patterns. Blowing in accordance with the teacher is crucial to the learning of the timing of ma, a musical space, that manifests one’s spiritual maturity.
Previous studies (Halliwell, 1994; Malm, 1959/2000; Trimillos, 1989) have pointed out that ‘playing together’ is one of the characteristics of Japanese music teaching and learning in the traditional realm. But none has provided an explanation as to why playing together is of vital importance. I argue that playing together is a form of engagement with spirits. The findings corroborate Keister’s (2005) observation that the sources of spirituality in Japan are human connections in the master-student relationship as well as the aesthetic integration of music with ordinary aspects of everyday life.

Koji Matsunobe
The role of spirituality for adult students’ learning of Japanese music
Music education research tends to focus on the musical development of children. However, the findings of such studies often carry little meaning to adult learners. Some argue that other perspectives are necessary to explore adult learners’ experiences of music. Such dimensions include, for example, identity, well-being, aging, and spirituality. For many adult learners, especially late starters of music, the purpose of music learning is to engage in self-cultivation, become ‘fully human’, and explore the meaning of life through musical participation (Hays, Bright, & Minichiello, 2002; Pitts, 2005). In this paper, I present a case of Western adult students of Japanese music, specifically shakuhachi (a Japanese bamboo flute) music, to examine the role of spirituality in their music learning. For many shakuhachi practitioners, including my informants, the shakuhachi is a tool for their own self-cultivation. What makes their approach to music spiritually satisfying and meaningful to them?
One distinctive character of engaging in music through the shakuhachi is that it facilitated the attainment of an ‘optimal relationship’ (Van Ness, 1996) between the practitioners’ musical pursuit and self-cultivation through ‘simple’ media, such as a simple bamboo flute or a simple tone. By intentionally limiting the scope of outward expression, they tried to maximize the possibility of experiencing the inner richness of music. The findings suggest that spirituality can be experienced regardless of the level of outward expression. If the purpose of a music practice is to attain an optimal relationship between the inward-outward dimensions of musical realization, outward expression can be minimized in favor of the depth of experience. Second, not only experienced players but also beginning students can experience what the spirituality of music means through certain forms of music practice, including the shakuhachi practice, which follows the principle of ‘less is more’.
Koji Matsunobu holds PhDs in music and arts education (conferred by Tokyo Gakugei University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Former Fulbright Graduate Scholar, he explored possibilities of incorporating non-Western ideas into Western contexts of education. His research interests include multicultural approaches to arts integration, indigenous knowledge production, spirituality in arts education, the pedagogy of world music, and creativity. Recent work focuses on the interface among spirituality, ecology, and aesthetics in the context of music practice. His publications include chapters for the Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning and the International Handbook of Research in Arts Education
Marie McCarthy
Wonder as a defining element of spirituality: Implications for music education
The realm of the spiritual is central to the human condition. Yet spirituality is difficult to define in the context of educational encounters. As scholars approach its study and application to teaching and learning, we can anticipate that new connections will be made between disciplines; well established ideas about the spiritual will serve to illuminate the meanings of spirituality in education today; and gradually the language of spirituality will enter the discourses of teaching and learning and possibly transform the ways teachers talk about the goals of education and their own work in the classroom.
One concept that I believe is particularly fruitful in approaching the emotional bases of spirituality in education is wonder. The emotion of wonder ‘elicits belief in the existence of a more-than-physical reality’ (Fuller, Wonder: From Emotion to Spirituality, 2006). Because experiences of wonder tend to do this, they hold great promise for helping us understand the dynamics of personal spirituality. In a recent paper, I explored the nature of wonder in the context of music making in early childhood (2008). The purpose of this paper is to examine the philosophical and theological foundations of wonder; to synthesize ideas about wonder that arise in contemporary literature; to demonstrate how wonder is a principal source of spirituality; and finally to apply philosophical and theoretical findings to music teaching and learning.
The paper is based on questions such as: What does it mean to wonder? How is the emotion of wonder stimulated? What are the outcomes of experience shaped by wonder? What might a focus on eliciting wonder mean for music teaching and learning? What does the study of wonder reveal about the common dimensions of aesthetic and spiritual experiences?
Marie McCarthy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Music Education at the University of Michigan. Prior to this position, she was on the faculty of the University of Maryland from 1990 to 2006. She teaches courses on general music, music cultures in the classroom, and research methods in music education. Her research interests include the social, cultural and historical foundations of music education, the processes of music transmission across cultures, and spiritual dimensions of music education. Her publications include two books, Passing It On: The Transmission of Music in Irish Culture, and Toward a Global Community: A History of the International Society for Music Education, 1953-2003.
Margaret Mell
Body, mind, spirit: Three aspects of spirituality always evolving within the music-person dance
Each music-person encounter – in solitude or community – engages a dance of always-evolving diverse, infinitely complex music and personal elements grounded in individual-collective, subjective-objective universals.
From visceral responses to music encounters, we intuit the presence and importance of a wide range of ineffable intangibles included in the term, spirituality. By whatever names we know it, we become aware that spirituality is dynamically present – and important – within music teaching-learning domains.
As musicians, we inter-weave confluent subjective and objective elements in our art and craft. As individuals, we experience emotion and attribute meaning, we interpret, we assign value, etc. using labels, categories, syntax learned in formative cultures. As objective thinkers, teachers, planners, we look realistically at future music professions, environments, institutions; view current standards and assessments; seek efficient/effective teaching-learning methodologies.
The question I pursue in this paper arises from my practical, multi-cultural music teaching-learning experiences. Informed by academic studies in spirituality, it is woven together via music education philosophical research/writing.
What conceivable philosophical framework could be flexible and inclusive enough to nest appropriately body/mind/spirit dynamic elements within global music teaching-learning’s music-person land(sound)scapes – and facilitate objective planning?
In the hope of advancing this Conference discussion, I introduce an elegantly simple heuristic, a coherent, practical framework, which, I posit, has potential to systematically organize always-evolving music-person elements – body, mind, spirit.
The basis: Integral Theory has been developed and refined for three-plus decades by multi-domain thinkers and scholars. Its Integral Map is a tool that helps us see where we have been, where we are, what is (and is not) there. It tantalizes us into traveling further, separates tangled truth claims, welcomes diverse perspectives, encourages authenticity, acknowledges growth and development, reveals possibilities, stretches imaginations, opens spaces for creativity. Paying special attention to spirituality/consciousness’s multi-hued/textured movements, this presentation honors simplicity—and complexity—in the ever-evolving, music-person dance.
Margaret Mell PhD was grounded in education and multi-decade experiences as music performer (flutes and choral) and teacher (instrumental & vocal in public and private schools, church, graduate seminary, diverse communities) in USA and Europe. She is excited to offer this Conference a systematic theoretical and practical reflection arising from results of her music education philosophical inquiry at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA, USA). As one educated also in spirituality studies (Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, USA), she enthusiastically joins international colleagues’ currently burgeoning interest in spirituality dimensions of academic inquiry. It is a natural element within the canon of music teaching-learning practice, theory, research.
Liz Mellor
Singing, health and well-being? Situating spirituality and presence in singing as a group process
This paper reports findings from a recent research fellowship funded by one of The Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE’s) Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) projects ‘Collaboration for Creativity’ (C4C) : Singing, Health and Well-Being within the Faculty of Arts at York St. John University, England, UK.
The focus of the paper derives from two areas of the research project.
The first analysis reports students’ perceptions of singing in relation to well-being. Here the participants were students involved in a range of singing groups in university higher education. Data analysis included a construct analysis of their responses across five categories. One emergent category relates to the ’spiritual’. A focus group interrogates this in terms of the lived experience of singing, personal narratives and spirituality in relation to music education (Etherington, 2004).
The second part of the paper reports on the notion of the ‘presence’ of the trainer from the work of Denham (2006) in the field of Gestalt Pyschotherapy training. In this work presence and spirituality reach back to the roots of gestalt through influences in Zen, Taoism and existential philosophy which inform a sense of awareness, presence and acceptance underpinning the gestalt ‘paradoxical theory of change’ . The research adapts Denham’s five aspects of presence to singing as a group process and proposes pedagogic implications for practice in music education.
Liz Mellor PhD is a Reader in Music and Applied Arts in the Faculty of Arts, York St. John University, England, UK. Liz has extensive experience of teaching music in schools and co-ordinating the music curriculum from 3-18 years. She has trained teachers as part of undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in Higher Education including those in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Her research interests encompass aesthetic development, creativity, collaboration, and health and well-being in music education. Currently, Liz supports music activities in the local NHS Hospital and is integrating her music education research with her training in gestalt psychotherapy.

Dirkie Nell
Spirituality in music education: Experiencing the Musikhane Community Project
According to Hay (2001) the task of educators is to reconstruct an environment that recognises and enhances the importance of spirituality. All children are inherently spiritual, with the need to belong and connect with other people (Bosacki, 2002; Champagne, 2001; Hart, 2006; Morris, 2001; Scarlett, 2006; Templeton & Eccles, 2006). This can be facilitated through a positive pattern of engagement with themselves, other learners, teachers, their families and the community.
There is wide agreement that some of the following characteristics describe the term spirituality:
Meaning and purpose;
Moral and ethical values and beliefs;
Connectedness.
The Musikhane Community Project is a music education programme for children from previously disadvantaged communities presented by the School of Music at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University, South Africa. From an interpretivist framework, qualitative action research was undertaken to determine the meaning and purpose, the moral and ethical values and beliefs, and connectedness of participants of this project. Results are reviewed of questionnaires that were administered to student teachers, learners and parents.
Students participating as teachers experience a philanthropic desire to selflessly teach their learners. In the process, both student teachers and learners develop musical creativity and express their feelings. Information gathered in the research project indicated that the project provides a positive contribution to the quality of life of the learners, their families and the community.This paper outlines the Musikhane Community Project, with specific reference to the spiritual outcomes due to the impact of the project on previously disadvantaged learners who are confronted with formal music education activities on a regular basis, as well as the experience of music students teaching music in a multicultural environment.
Dirkie Nell studied at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, where she obtained a BMus degree, a Diploma in Music Education, a Church Organist Diploma and a Diploma in Drama Education. She completed a BMus Hons and MMus (Cum Laude) at North-West University. Since 1975 she has lectured Aural Training and Music Education and received various teaching awards. She is an active musician and plays flute, church organ, piano, African marimba and accordion, among others. She regularly takes part in national and international conferences. In 2008 she presented a paper at the ISME Conference in Bologna, Italy. During September 2009 she was a guest lecturer at the College of Music at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Hetta Potgieter
“Never too late” – encouraging spirituality through music activities
There is serious concern about the future of children in South Africa: crime, abuse, the effects of HIV/ Aids, and poverty are a reality to the majority of South African children. Added to this is the crisis of the current school education: only 60,6% of the 2009 learners have passed the grade 12 examinations. The minister of basic education has announced a back-to-basics approach for 2010, and space for music education is limited. Lecturers at tertiary institutions are challenged to teach music to student teachers, focusing on concepts such the spiritual well-being of learners as well. Music educators are aware of the power of music and are enthusiastic to follow an approach of developing the whole-child. But little research has been done in South Africa on children’s spirituality in general and almost nothing on spirituality in music education. The grouping of music education with other subject is a given. Although this makes the situation more complex, it provides opportunities that cannot be ignored in a changing multicultural and multi-religious society. Every child has the right to develop as a healthy and happy human being.
In this paper I shall discuss two music education projects in which music lecturers from the School of Music, North-West University, South Africa, were involved. I shall also highlight the music activities and experiences of spiritual dimensions.
1) A KwaZulu-Natal project for foundation phase learners. The focus of the project was to teach basic English vocabulary for communication to mother-tongue isiZulu children.
2) An African musical arts story-telling project for intermediate phase learners in the North West Province, South Africa. The focus of the project is the preservation of African stories.
Hetta Potgieter is an Associate Professor in Music Education at North-West University, Potchefstroom-campus, South Africa. Since 1971 she has taught at a variety of schools and a college of education in Pretoria. She has published several articles in accredited journals, as well as books, classroom packages for pre-primary and high school class music teachers. She has delivered papers/workshops at various national and international conferences. She heads the niche area research entity Musical arts in South Africa: resources and applications of the School of Music of the North-West University.
Ed Sarath
Improvisation and meditation: Cornerstones for spirituality in music learning
In 1997, the American Council of Learned Societies launched the Contemplative Practice Fellowship program, the purpose of which is to promote the use of meditation and related practices and studies in college and university classrooms in order to enhance self-awareness, clarity, insight, freedom from anxiety, compassion, and other aspects associated with spiritual growth. In the decade-plus since the program’s inception, contemplative-based coursework has been implemented at over 100 institutions, usually existing in the form of isolated, elective coursework as opposed to course clusters or programs. As one of the 16 fellows in the first year of the ACLS initiative, I have taken the further step of designing what appears the first curriculum at a mainstream institution that includes a substantive contemplative component. This is the BFA in Jazz and Contemplative Studies at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.
In this talk I discuss the principles in which the curriculum is based, the obstacles encountered, as well as the practical strategies involved to overcome these obstacles. Central to the curriculum’s praxial, pedagogical, and theoretical core is the intimate link between improvisation and meditation. Improvisation, rooted in a moment-to-moment kind of creative functioning, serves as what I call a ‘top-down’ pathway to heightened or peak experience in that it proceeds from active, mental-physical-emotional-expressive engagement. Meditation, proceeding from silence, serves as a ‘bottom-up’ methodology. The improvisation-meditation interplay provides a rich epistemological framework for creative and spiritual development.
I also address important questions that are likely to be encountered by others involved in this work: What is meditation and why is it of value? What is spirituality? How are meditation/spiritual practices to be integrated into academic coursework? Do students receive course credit for these practices? What about church-state boundaries?
Ed Sarath is Professor of Music in the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. He has performed at jazz festivals worldwide and his most recent CD release is New Beginnings, featuring the London Jazz Orchestra performing his large-ensemble compositions. His book Music Theory Through Improvisation: A New Approach to Musicianship Training is published by Routledge. Michigan’s BFA in Jazz and Contemplative Studies curriculum, which he designed in 2000, is the first curriculum at a mainstream educational institution to include a significant meditation component. He is founder and president of the International Society for Improvised Music.
Carol Shansky
‘It’s how I pray’. A case study of Kol Emet, the adult choir of Temple Emeth
This study examined participation in a synagogue music ensemble and the spiritual connections made by the members of the group. The two ensembles under investigation play regularly at Temple Emeth, in Teaneck, NJ (USA). The adult choir, Kol Emeth, and the instrumental ensemble, The Temple Emeth Band, perform regularly at synagogue worship services. As an aspect of community music making, singing in a temple volunteer choir or playing in the temple’s ‘worship band’ is clearly a form of music education both overt in terms of learning new musical works and rehearsing a program and subtle as one develops musically through the participatory activities. The spiritual connections are less obvious and were explored as a part of this case study. In addition, the role of the ensembles as an element of the synagogue’s services was explored from the perspective of the participants. Interviews with choir and band members were conducted along with document review and rehearsal observation.
Where participation in adult choirs has received some attention in the research community, the phenomenon of a synagogue choir has gone generally unnoticed. The use of musical instruments in synagogue, forbidden since the destruction of the Second Temple in c. 70 C.E., has experienced a small but growing renaissance. As a new musical phenomenon, its meaning, both music educational and spiritual, has not yet been explored. Thus, this study offers the opportunity to begin to fill a gap in the available research on this topic.
This case study is, as of this writing, ongoing and will be concluded in March, 2009. The proposal for this conference is to deliver the results of the completed project. Preliminary results indicate that participation in a synagogue musical ensemble offers unique and personal spiritual opportunities for many of the members in addition to a feeling of spiritual leadership and enhancement.
Carol Shansky received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University. She is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at Molloy College (NY-USA) and a facilitator in Boston University’s online Master of Music Education program. Her research interests are community music and informal learning as well as historical research. In addition to her work as an educator, Dr. Shansky is a flutist and has performed in various venues including Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), the Palais de l’Athenée (Geneva, Switzerland), the Little Theatre at Tanglewood (MA-USA) and WNYC-FM (New York City).
Giorgios Tsiris

Exploring spirituality in Nordoff Robbins music therapy: From roots to routes
Creative Music Therapy is a well-established music-centred approach to music therapy which was developed by the pioneering work of Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins during 1960s-70s (Nordoff & Robbins, 2007). The genesis and early development of Creative Music Therapy took place in the context of Anthroposophy – a ‘spiritual discipline’ based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. This context and particularly Steiner’s views on the creative nature of love, on the relation between body, soul and spirit, as well as on movement and the will, inspired a philosophical-spiritual vision that sustained the creative stance through which Nordoff and Robbins developed their work (Robbins, 2005, 2006). Despite this original relationship between Creative Music Therapy and Anthroposophy, only very few further explorations regarding the role of spirituality in Nordoff Robbins as a contemporary approach to music therapy have taken place.
This presentation aims to provide an overview and explore anew the interrelationships between spirituality and Nordoff Robbins, from its original roots to its contemporary routes. This exploration will be threefold, as follows:
Tracing the spiritual roots of Nordoff Robbins and its seminal connection with Anthroposophy and Steiner’s teachings;
Exploring the routes through which Nordoff Robbins’ spiritual roots have been developed and integrated into contemporary music therapy practices and theories;
Presenting some current research findings regarding the interrelationships between spirituality and contemporary Nordoff Robbins music therapy practice (Tsiris, in press) and identifying new potential routes through which the spiritual aspects of music therapy practices can be explored further.
All the above will hopefully raise our awareness of the role of spirituality in Nordoff Robbins music therapy, but also in the wider context of music therapy. Additionally, constructive dialogue regarding spirituality in different music practices, both in therapy and education, will be encouraged.
Giorgos Tsiris is a music therapist, qualified at Nordoff Robbins, London. He currently works as music therapist at St. Christopher’s Hospice and research assistant at the Research Department of Nordoff Robbins, London. Giorgos is also a graduate of the Department of Special Education, University of Thessaly (Greece) and he has worked as a special educator in primary schools in Greece. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the online peer-reviewed journal Approaches: Music Therapy & Special Music Education,http://approaches.primarymusic.gr (supported by GAPMET), as well as a joint coordinator (together with Dr. Julie Sutton) of the Research Network of APMT.