The Impossible Profession

Chris Higgins

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394733
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

  The Impossible Profession

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This article proposes the following thesis: If teaching is an impossible profession, music education is a really impossible profession. In music class, the discussion argues, four tensions inherent in the modern school appear: Tensions between liberal and vocational aims in education; “high” and “low” culture; the teacher's inner musician and her inner pedagogue; and practices and institutions. The article traces the sources and consequences of these dilemmas, exploring how each shapes the world of the music educator, making an impossible profession even more difficult.

Keywords: music teaching; music education; high culture; low culture; music class

Article.  9378 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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