The following review appeared in the United Kingdom’s “Music Teacher Magazine”
PICTURES OF MUSIC EDUCATION
ESTELLE R JORGENSEN
INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS
“Fresh, vital and invaluable”
Indiana University professor Estelle R Jorgensen is surely one of the most interesting commentators on music education practice at work today. Her previous book, The Art of Teaching (IUP, 2008), was a remarkable manifesto in all but name that attempted to ‘open wide the conversation on teaching that is waiting to happen’.
Her latest, which offers a different – though no less highly personal and deeply engaging– perspective on music education, employs a characteristically all-embracing approach to present an engaging and informative discussion of various conceptual and practical approaches to teaching music in the classroom. Her aim, here, is to ‘move beyond literal ways of thinking and doing’ in order to allow for ‘a more creative embodiment of musical thought’.
The beauty of Pictures of Music Education is the sheer simplicity of its underlying proposition: a dozen chapters, each of which adopts and analyses different metaphors and models as a viable means of rethinking the approach to, and meaning of, music teaching and learning. Its merits are many, with Jorgensen a genial and wise guide who writes with a quiet but compelling authority underpinned by wide-ranging philosophical sensibilities.
The intersections of pedagogy, art and philosophy are deftly woven together in chapters variously dealing with metaphors and related models. Jorgensen’s concluding analysis of the implications for further practice of her own examples and discoveries, and for developing a systematic framing of them, ties the multiple threads of the book together with enviable eloquence. As a fi rst step in ‘delineating the lines of more robust theoretical frames for comparative approaches to music education’, this may well prove to be a landmark book.
Fresh, vital and invaluable.
Reviewed by Michael Quinn