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