The recreation and leisure services profession in the US is one whose primary purpose is to “generate significant public support for (the recreation movement) in order to advance the development of best practices and resources that will make parks and recreation indispensable elements of American communities”, advocating for “increased national funding through grants and initiatives that support healthy lifestyles, economic vitality and environment stewardship” (NRPA website).
Considering the existence of both public leisure services departments and nonprofit and community-based organizations that provide services upholding the purpose of the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), discovering literature specific to music performance and the recreation movement has been mildly successful. Lackey (1997) studied the topic of recreation-based arts programs as an alternative to school-based and credentialed teacher-mandated arts education. She discovered that there was an impression that recreation was viewed as “freedom, pleasure, and non-education” (p. ii). Her work included the deconstruction of perceptions of the recreation field as not related to education, even though as she states, “learning – always a complex transaction – undeniably occurs in every context of life” (p. 3).
Prior to this, Kaplan (1963) acknowledged that interests in music education exist beyond the school building. “Together with the interest in the arts among community centers, in recreation quarters, in adult education, in programming for retired persons, in industry, and even in such quarters as alert urban-social renewal planning, remarkable opportunities exist” (p. 36). Lackey (1997) considered the roles of community recreation services as educating beyond schooling and challenged an engrained way of thinking toward reconsidering the contributions of recreational art as potential for educating in a nonstandard education setting. She identified a phenomenon she calls “schooling and territoriality” (p. 26). Who should teach art? Cultural agencies, such as recreation centers and similar organizations, tend to view their roles as educators, yet they caution that their role is not to do work of teachers.
Kaplan, M. (1963). Music education and national goals. Music educators journal (49, 5), pp. 33-36. Accessed January 8, 2013. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3389941
Lackey, L. (1997), ‘Pedagogies of leisure: Considering community recreation centres as contexts for art education and art experience’, Ph.D. dissertation, Canada: The University of British Columbia.
NRPA, (National Recreation and Park Association) http://www.nrpa.org. Accessed 9 May 2012.