Music Education Philosophy

David J. Elliott

in The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 1

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730810
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Music Education Philosophy


This article introduces the field called “the philosophy of music education,” or music education philosophy (MEP). The philosophy of music education is a relatively young field, with many music educators unaware of its existence, not to mention its nature and values. Indeed, specialized courses in MEP are still infrequent in undergraduate and graduate music education curricula in North America and most other nations. Nevertheless, there is a fairly sizeable and rapidly expanding international literature intended to (1) analyze, synthesize, debate, or “problematize” and “worry” all theoretical and practical aspects of music education and, thereby, to (2) inform teachers, university music education students, and scholars about fundamental concepts, conceptions, controversies, principles, and practices in school and community music education.

Keywords: music education; philosophy; music educators

Article.  11192 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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