chapter  3
23 Pages

Music Education as Connection

ByJuliet Hess

In their consideration of music, explored in Chapter 2, activist-musicians identified the connective nature of music as a quality they deeply valued. They pointed to ways that music assists in building community, connecting to what I call unfamiliar Others, linking personal experiences to larger narratives, and connecting to histories and past struggles. Activist-musicians similarly identified the connective potential of music education, elucidating the value of building connections between youth in the classroom community, between musics and their histories, and between youth and unfamiliar Others by including a broad range of musics in the classroom. Each section of this chapter describes practices intrinsic to enacting music education as connective—becoming an able facilitator, developing rich contextual knowledge, and building knowledge of multiple traditions. In alignment with critical pedagogy, understanding music education as inherently connective emphasizes the nature of music as a human practice and a lived experience and encourages coming to voice. Connecting music to its sociocultural and sociohistorical context further calls upon participants in education to actively make meaning of their encounters—a reactualization of problem-posing education in opposition to what Freire criticized as “banking” or passive education.