A project of ISME’s History Standing Committee
Guido d’Arezzo
Guidonian Hand
ISME Website History Standing Committee IHME Homepage HISTORY STANDING COMMITTEE SYMPOSIUM PRESENTED AT THE 28th ISME WORLD CONFERENCE (BOLOGNA), 2008 SYMPOSIUM 2  Symposium Title: Music Education and National Identity: International historical and cross-cultural perspectives  Symposium Convenor: Gordon Cox (University of Reading, United Kingdom)  Symposium Abstract: This symposium brought together presenters from several countries to review the current state of research as well as the differing perspectives related to the history of music education in both formal and informal settings. The specific focus of this meeting was the relationship between music in compulsory schooling and the fostering of a national identity. Towards the end of the 18th century in Europe, and later in other parts of the world, a new ideal emerged - to educate large numbers of the body public. In the end a number of powerful nations responsible for building the modern educational system also decided to create separate empires, including an educational dimension. Whilst each system had a powerful global impact, there was also considerable resistance. Music presents a unique illustration of the relationship between education and national identity, embodying as it does a set of values and beliefs that are inextricably linked to power structures and ideologies. The individual case studies presented in this symposium will investigate the stated aims relating to national identities of the music curricula associated with the introduction of compulsory schooling, and the construction of musical classroom repertoires that came to represent these identities.As featured authors in the recent publication Origins and Foundations of Music Education: Cross-Cultural Historical Studies of Music in Compulsory Schooling (Continuum International Publishing), presenters drew on their experiences from the completed project to develop their own perspectives on music education and national identity. Presenters argued that such an international historical perspective is able to offer music educators a greater sense of empowerment by confronting the dynamic relationships between past, present and future. Symposium Program: Introducation — Gordon Cox (University of Reading, United Kingdom) For too long, as music educators, we have been constrained by the national boundaries in which we work. Yet increasingly in music classrooms we observe musical practices and musical tastes that draw from a rich variety of cultures across the world. We need to confront this reality, and learn from those operating in different cultural settings. One way of doing this is to discover the historical roots of our present practice and compare and contrast it with those of music educators working within different cultures around the world. Such a study promises to enrich our understanding of the ways in which music can operate as a powerful educational force, and also to question our taken-for-granted pedagogy and our assumptions about the place of music in compulsory schooling. Our purpose in this proposed symposium is to bring together researchers who are investigating the historical origins and foundations of music in compulsory schooling. The introduction of music as a recognised subject of study in schools as part of compulsory education is of unique significance for music educationists and researchers, and for such organisations as the International Society for Music Education. However educators shared knowledge of this phenomenon is fragmentary and there is consequently a need for such a symposium in order to share different national perspectives of the foundational aspect of school music. Some core issues to be addressed by the participants will include: the inclusion of music as part of the compulsory school curriculum in the context of the historical and political landscape of the time (with particular considerations of the influences of nationalism, colonialism and imperialism); the stated aims, objectives and content of the music curriculum as a compulsory subject; details of teaching methods; the provision and training of teachers of music; where possible, the experiences of pupils experiencing this musical education; reflections on music education in the present in the light of the past. Presentation 1 — Argentina (Ana Lucia Frega, with Alicia Decouve and Claudia Dal Pino)Abstract: During the nineteenth century, Spanish colonies in the Americas - from Mexico in the North, to those in Central and South America - underwent political revolution which led to their independence. In Argentina the revolutionary process began in 1810 and culminated with the promulgation of successive National Constitutions in 1853 and 1860. Despite Argentina having been conceived as a federation of provinces, a centralized system of government administration emerged and the 1844 National Law of Education was conceived as a means of ensuring that migrants from Europe 'merged' into a common culture based on the use of Spanish as the official language. Vocal music, having occupied a central position in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church since the early years of colonial rule, was one of the inherited traditions which saw Singing (canto) become an integral part of the national school curriculum as a means of promoting Spanish as the national language and of fostering national patriotism. Music also became part of generalist teacher training through the Escuela Normal - the National Teacher Training Schools – which were based on the French system of higher education. This paper describes the introduction of music to schools in Argentina from the immediate post-colonial period through to the country's centenary in 1910. Presentation 2 — Australia (Robin Stevens and Jane Southcott) Abstract: Music—in the form of class singing—was introduced to school curricula in the two fledgling colonies of New South Wales and Victoria from the early 1850s. The influx of fortune seekers with the gold rushes of the 1850s, led to concern by governments about the moral danger to which children were exposed and music was seen as a "humanizing and civilizing" influence to counteract social evils. The imperative for the socially-reforming influences of music in schools was augmented by other factors. A growing tide of nationalism towards the turn of the century, culminating in the federation of the six colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, was supported by singing of nationalistic and other "songs of Australia" in schools, and there was a widespread recognition of class singing as a means of inculcating religious precepts, of promoting healthful recreation, of maintaining loyalty to the British Empire, fostering team spirit etc. The presentation will outline the introduction of music to schools and teacher training as well as discussing the provision for music teaching, curriculum content, teaching methods and the contributions of outstanding music educationists prior to the onset of the 1890s depression that caused a re-evaluation of the place of music in the curriculum. Nevertheless, it is argued in light of the 2005 National Review of School Music, that music still occupies an important place in compulsory education in Australia Presentation 3 — Canada (Nancy Vogan) Abstract: Music instruction began to appear in some form or other in many Canadian schools with the emergence of a formal system of education in the mid-19th century. Its importance as a subject in the Canadian curriculum was slight, however, until the 1930s, and the main advances were made in the period following World War II. The fact that the British North America Act made education a provincial responsibility has had a profound influence on the progress of music education in Canada. Provincial and municipal authorities have solved their educational problems in diverse ways. This delegating of responsibility to the provinces has resulted in a lack of uniformity of standards, especially in the field of music education. Each province has evolved its own program of instruction which often bears little resemblance to that of its neighbours. Across Canada wide differences continue to exist particularly in budgeting, curricula, scheduling, and the training and certification of teachers, as well as the kinds of activities and the quality of musical experience available to children. Presentation 4 — Germany (Wilfried Gruhn) Abstract: Music instruction in German schools originated in singing instruction which became a compulsory subject. However, in the course of history the educational goals and principles have changed. For a long time, music was strictly bound to religious purposes with the intent to embellish church services. As a consequence of the achievements of the Enlightenment schooling became a matter of educating students in terms of self determination and rational reasoning. However, singing still remained as a domain of emotional elevation and was subject to systematic vocal training (sight reading and interval recognition). The debate centred on the application of the "right" method to achieve this goal. During the 19th century singing was used to establish a national spirit and patriotic self-esteem. In the 20th century, new educational ideas and philosophies appeared. After the Prussian school music reform in the 1920s, the subject "singing" turned into "music" which, then, gradually altered towards becoming an artistic subject. Many competing conceptions of compulsory music instruction in terms of a general aesthetic education have been elaborated since then. In the first part of this paper a comprehensive survey of the historical development of music in compulsory schooling together with the associated educational policies will be presented followed by a second part where implications and innovations from learning theory and neurosciences will be discussed with respect to their impact on a new understanding of schooling and instruction. This will finally lead to reflections on the general function of music in schools and in our society and the importance of enabling people to participate in musical cultures.  Presentation 5 — Ghana (James Flolu and Mary Dzansi-McPalm) Abstract: Formal education in Ghana is based on foundations established under Western colonial rule and on Christian missionary activities. The teaching of music in Ghanaian schools has a similar foundation. The available literature indicates that the curriculum content of early Western-style schooling in Ghana, emphasized Reading, Arithmetic and Bible Studies. However, according to oral history, music lessons in the form of singing and study of musical rudiments were part of the curriculum of the first formal schools established in the 'forts and castles' era. Throughout the history of modern Ghanaian school education, music has been a prescribed subject, and indeed of all the arts has received the greatest attention, both inside and outside the classroom. Today however, although music remains a part of the curriculum in pre-ter-tiary education, it is struggling to maintain recognition and government support in the face of funding cuts and political and ideological preferences. In addition, music is now competing with other school subjects as a result of recent 'education renewal' that places more emphasis on science, technology and ICT. This raises the question of whether music can survive in the face of these new developments.  Presentation 6 — Ireland (Marie McCarthy) Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze and evaluate the historical conditions that led to the inclusion of music in the National School System (NSS), a primary level of schooling that was established in Ireland in 1831. The Irish case study presents a unique and complex colonial context, thus making it necessary to contextualize the introduction of music into public education using political, religious, and socio-cultural lenses. First, I provide a survey of the forms of music transmission and institutions of music education that were present in various sub-cultures in the early nineteenth century. Second, I examine the foundations for music in the NSS as they emerged in the decade of the 1830s, particularly the factors that influenced the philosophy that rationalised the inclusion of music in the curriculum, and the impact of British and continental music pedagogy on the practice of music education. Third, I locate the introduction of music into schooling in an international context of music education at the time, and attempt to unpack and critique the similarities of the Irish context to those of Britain and the United States. At the same time, I identify the unique circumstances that shaped the origins and foundations of music in compulsory schooling in Ireland. I work with the thesis that there was a common rationale for music in education across Western nations, one that was based on social class, Western art music, and an international response to the challenges of teaching music in mass education.  Presentation 7 — South Africa (Eric Akrofi and Robin Stevens) Abstract:  Prior to the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, education for the European and "coloured" communities in the three self-governing British colonies and the Boer Republic of Transvaal was provided by church or government schools whereas education for the indigenous communities—where it existed—was provided by missionaries. In situations of strong missionary influence, schooling was often compulsory, but it was not until after the establishment of the Union that responsibility for indigenous education became increasingly centralized and compulsory. From the outset, music generally formed part of schooling for children of all racial backgrounds. Particularly in the case of indigenous schooling provided by missionaries, the Tonic Sol-fa method was widely used to the extent that it became the mainstay of school music education. However, between 1948 and 1994, school music education became increasingly fragmented along racial and ethnic lines. In a new education system introduced after the fall of the apartheid system in 1994, music was combined with other subjects into an "Arts and Culture Learning Area" so that music is now only one of many arts disciplines in the school curriculum. Accordingly music is presently struggling to earn a place within the new school curricula. This presentation argues that, although music has often been prominent in the school curriculum in past eras, the future of music in compulsory schooling in present day South Africa is now uncertain, and without major reform of the curriculum, many pupils will continue to leave school without having acquired basic musical knowledge and skills. 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