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Aesthetic Vs. Utilitarian Music Education

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Katie James

on 30 October 2014

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Transcript of Aesthetic Vs. Utilitarian Music Education

For Music's Sake
1. Music is worth knowing. Period.
2. Music represents higher order thinking.
3. Music is an expression of the private self.
4. Music participation demands
integrity of thought.
Aesthetics prove Necessity
1. Schools exist to prepare an individual for society. Music exists in society.
2. Since education is a microcosm of society, it should include every facet of society.
3. Students should be able to enjoy a lifelong appreciation for the arts; this can only be achieved through education.
An Expression of Humanity
1. Music education is modeled after the Greek seven liberal arts (
2. Music allows for relational thinking.
3. Art is the product of a philosophy of life and therefore essential.
4. Music energizes its audience and informs experience.
5. Music improves the human spiritual condition.

Individual Impact
1. Music improves health and promotes good citizenship.
2. Studying music promotes self-disciplined habits.
3. Studying music helps people to identify patterns of sounds (like language).
4. The presence of music all around is evidence enough of its necessity.
In Defense of Utility
1. Music is inherently non-verbal; therefore, we are teaching students a non-verbal language and set of symbols.
2. Utilitarian justification is easy for the layman to understand; aesthetics requires a deeper understanding of the thing itself.
3. "Values are what men decide they are" (Leonhard, p. 58). Therefore, we must make the value of music useful and relevant to the society at hand.
Cultural Impact
1. Music represents a "collective mind:" i.e. culture.
2. Music provides an opportunity and necessity to share it, since it is a form of communication.
3. Music is already present everywhere: therefore it should be intentionally placed and performed everywhere--in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc.
Philosophies of Music Education
“The problem of developing a philosophy of music education necessarily involves structuring a theory on the meaning of music, the valuation of music and the role of music in human living” (Leonhard, p. 58).
Aesthetic versus Utilitarian Music Education
3 main points of focus:

1. Music as an expression of humanity.
2. Music for music's sake?
3. The effects of an aesthetic education.
(Touted particularly 1960-1980)
3 main points of focus:

1. Defense of utilitarian philosophy.
2. Affects of music upon individuals.
3. Affects of music upon society.
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