Reimagining music teacher education programs as multimusical constellations

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McArton, Lloyd
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University of Connecticut
Through the concept of musical practices, adapted from Wenger’s (1998) notion of practice within a community, this paper explores ways in which universities could develop and equalize multiple and diverse musical practices into constellations. Providing future music educators with opportunities to engage and participate in a variety of musical practices is essential, so as to be better prepared to facilitate a wide spectrum of musical experiences with their students. Such practices could include the existing staple genres of choral, orchestral, concert band, and jazz musics, but also more scarcely institutionalized genres of popular music styles, regionally relevant indigenous and vernacular musics, online musical platforms, and music production. The creativity and autonomy characteristic of these musics represent more than deficiencies to be shoehorned into existing Western art music programs: They are skills best developed in the context of actual music making within real musical practices. Equalizing the inclusion and interaction of diverse musical practices as constellations in music teacher education programs would go a long way in disrupting the hegemony of existing programs, preparing teachers to engage with and responsibly guide students in a variety of musical practices rather than tokenizing and underrepresenting all that sits outside the bubble of Western art music
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Diversity , Equity , Higher education , Music teacher training , Anti-eurocentrism , Authenticity , Communities of practice
McArton, L. (2020). Reimagining music teacher education programs as multimusical constellations. Visions of Research in Music Education, 35, Article 18.