This blog is intended to be a public conversation space devoted to cultural issues having to do with music among the arts, education, and the conduct of public policy. As a philosopher of music and education, my interest is in important questions that need to be addressed in contemporary life. Even though these cultural questions are sometimes complicated and intractable, I can think of no more important conversation than that concerning the nature of the cultures that are being created around the world and the directions in which those cultures should go. Music and education are two vital elements of this cultural life; they shape and reveal who “we” are and are becoming on planet Earth. Music among the arts enriches our lives and provides means whereby our imaginations are tantalized and our ideas expressed. Education offers vehicles whereby we come to know the cultures of which we are a part. These cultures transpire in the public spaces of societies around the world. As important cultural elements, music and education must be the subject of a serious conversation about matters of cultural and public policy.
Notwithstanding their importance, cultural and especially artistic aspects may be regarded as lesser importance than the pressing political and economic concerns of our time. Where fiscal crisis, massive unemployment, dislocation, and distress, political unrest, religious turmoil, and rampant terrorism are evident, it is not surprising that other cultural issues having especially to do with music and education are bypassed or overlooked. Nevertheless, my point in this blog is to suggest that music and education are precisely the sorts of issues that need to take center stage in the public consciousness. They are also matters that have centrally to do with the conduct of public policy. As our arts go, so go our nation and the world. Political and economic matters must continue to be central concerns in this public policy. Still, we also need to attend to our arts and the means whereby we come to know them.
I will be posting at the beginning of each month or when significant issues move me to write. Each post will concern an important question relating to an aspect of public policy as it concerns music and education. Whether you are a teacher, student, musician, politician, journalist, arts administrator, or person who is interested in matters of music and education, my hope is to examine some of the pressing questions concerning the music among the arts and education in our time. Your comments on this site are welcome especially as they extend and critically engage the questions that I shall take up.
I look forward to our conversation.