Where am I going with this?

The topic of collaborative alternatives to music ed is both personal to me as the author and as a professionally credentialed music teacher, and it has situated itself as a professional development concern. I am a 12-year music education veteran of a California public school district. I consider music education to be individually and socially important, and as a subset of the “arts” discipline, it is a stated value in U.S. education. By the nature of music performance, it is a relational practice. Relational work has a great deal of interpersonal engagement; the restrictions and eliminations mirror the phenomenon that Joyce Fletcher (2001) calls the disappearing of such work.

Effective the 2010-2011 school year, the option of studying instrumental music was eliminated from the elementary school setting in my school district. While students do have this as an elective option in the secondary schools, the secondary school schedules and demographics are not unified in this district, and therefore, for some students, this is not an option. There is a need for alternatives to the study of music in education for younger students.

Fletcher, J. (1999). Disappearing acts: Gender, power, and relational practice at work.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

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About mundyviar

Basil Mundy Viar, III, is a newly relocated music teacher in the Palm Springs Unified School District of California, USA. For the past 18 years, he served the students and families within the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. In this role, he discovered the need for a reevaluation of the roles, purposes, and directions of scholastic music in a changing community and in a changing economy. The direction of his doctoral work was largely influenced by this experience. He researches the attitudes, levels of satisfaction, and lifelong learning effects of music training both inside and outside of the traditional school experience, with an eye on the roles that community based organizations may play in this. Prior to his assignment as a public school music teacher, Dr. Viar served as a Program Director for the Blue Devils, an internationally revered youth organization dedicated to performance excellence, also based in Concord, California, USA. During his time with the Blue Devils, the "B" Corps was reinvigorated and performed with renewed excitement, proficiency, and levels of success. Under Dr. Viar's guidance, BDB performed in the 1997 Drum Corps International World Championships in Orlando, Florida, and the 1998 World Marching Band Festival in Kanagawa Prefecture Japan. Basil Mundy Viar, III, is a graduate of the Transformative Inquiry Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies (PhD) in San Francisco, California, USA. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of California, Berkeley; Single Subject Teaching Credential from the Bay Area College of Chapman University in Orange, California; and a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Community and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University of Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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