Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Music, the Self, and Education in the “Looking Glass”

Research Seminar Announcement

Music, the Self, and Education in the "Looking Glass": Making the
Case for a Social Theory of Music Education from the Ground Up

Dr Hildegard Froehlich, Professor emeritus, College of Music,
University of North Texas, Denton Texas, USA

Thursday 18th April, 2013


Room 944

Further details from Lucy Green,

All are welcome!

Internationally, nationally, and—certainly in the United States—
regionally, music education is a field of diverse occupational
practices, conventions, speciality areas, work settings, and
corresponding expectations for professional conduct and values. School
music is but one of those many conventions, informed in a variety of
ways by prevailing social, educational, musical, and cultural norms.
To provide music educators anywhere with a common bond and purpose
that spans across norms, work settings and geographic locales, a
rationale, a raison d'être, for the profession at large would serve
the purpose of articulating what in the medical profession is known as
the Hippocratic Oath. It is a commitment to "doing no harm" amidst the
myriad of medical decisions a physician has to make daily; whether as
a highly specialized surgeon, internist, researcher, or generalist. In
a diversity of practices, the oath remains the same for everyone.

My lecture-discussion proposes a similarly guiding principle for music
education derived from the theory of social interactionism. Central to
the theory is the metaphor of "looking glass self," a term coined by
the American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley more than 100 years
ago. The metaphor stands for the idea that self-image and identity are
constructed in an individual's interaction with the world as
represented by the groups of individuals with whom she comes into
contact. The interpretation of the world at large reflects the
experiences with those individual interactions.

Social interactionism explains and accounts for any divergent
aesthetic and social practices, conducts, and values among social and
reference groups, private and public special interest groups, and
communities of practice. It explains diversity but also finds
commonalities in differences, thereby providing the theoretical basis
for music educators anywhere to share and subscribe to one guiding
code: To affirm and make possible music learning as a right for all
human beings of all races and ages, at all levels and forms of
education. Consequences for political action and appropriate
pedagogies are outlined and discussed.

Hildegard Froehlich, Professor emeritus, College of Music, University
of North Texas, continues to be professionally active as author,
consultant, teacher, and speaker on issues concerning the application
of sociological constructs to the learning and teaching of music at
the collegiate level. Her latest books are Sociology for Music
Teachers. Perspectives for Practice (Pearson Prentice-Hall 2007) and
(with C. Frierson-Campbell) Inquiry in Music Education. Concepts and
Methods for the Beginning Researcher (Routledge 2013). She has been
the keynote speaker at international and national conferences in music
education and has served as president of the Research Alliance of
Institutions for Music Education, an international organization whose
members join by invitation. She continues to be active musically in
her community by singing with the Denton Bach Chorus of the Denton
Bach Society (an organization she co-founded in 1976). She also loves
to dance (be it Ballroom, Swing, or Country & Western).