'Music tends not to be valued highly as a school subject.' Doh.


I am reading a lot of research at the moment about motivation in music. The particular one this afternoon is Freer & Evans 2017. As I read, I notice I am getting more and more frustrated as I think about my other current philosophical interest - 'common artistry'.

I am becoming frustrated, well angry actually, as the Freer paper main question is 'why do school students not study music?' or 'why don't they value music?'. 

‘However, what the research seems to be missing is an understanding of how students form their sense of value for music, and why this sense of value might be so low.’
— Freer & Evans 2017

In my humble opinion, the answer to this question is in this video from Dr Susan West. She posits that the problem with music engagement as a society - currently down to roughly only 6% of the Australian population - can be attributed to the inclusion of music in the school curriculum. When it becomes included in the curriculum it inhibits the child's natural desire to make music or art.

Her model 'suggests that this music education paradigm is itself flawed, and actually
contributes to a lack of appropriate opportunity for participatory music making that could contribute...to a lifelong pattern of engagement and...the development of equally appropriate (for each individual) skills that support that engagement.'

I really wish these people would talk to each other. Well, as far as I am concerned, I wish everyone would listen to Dr West!

Deborah HartComment