alternatives to school-based

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.

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) Accessed 9 May 2012.


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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