Avoiding the Dangers of Postmodern Nihilist Curricula in Music Education

Robert Walker

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Avoiding the Dangers of Postmodern Nihilist Curricula in Music Education

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This article examines the need for music educators to turn to philosophy for answers to the problems posed by the growing managerial approach to education in general and to music education in particular. Regelski aptly characterizes what this means in the classroom as “methodolatry,” with its preordained structures, sequences, and skills development. Education is thus reduced to mere training, where avoiding failure eventually replaces the idea of success. The discussion considers educational worth and value in music; multiculturalism and the music curriculum; how the nihilist position arose; the growth of “big” ideas in the west; the rise of managerialism in education; modernism and postmodernism; and the role of hermeneutics in music education.

Keywords: music teachers; nihilist music; nihilism; music curriculum; hermeneutics; managerialism; postmodernism

Article.  9430 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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