School music programs should be fostering both lifewide and lifelong musicing by enabling students to be involved in performing and enjoying a wide range of musical offerings within their communities throughout their lives. They should focus on connecting students with the musical lives of their communities, teaching them to perform, compose and arrange a variety of musical styles available throughout their community, as well as chamber music they can perform at home and with friends. This would move school music from the margins to the mainstream of the musical lives of their communities. The researcher investigated the musical offerings in Philadelphia from 21 September – 5 October 2003, documenting both live and broadcast music performances, to determine the “musical life” of the community during that period. The results indicate that the majority of performances in both live and broadcast media during this study period were musics unique to the Americas that developed from the clash and convergence of cultures unique to the Western Hemisphere. This is not the music typically offered in K12 school music programs, possibly indicating a disconnection between school music programs and the community’s music scene. This could be a cause for lack of support for and participation in school music programs. This study raises implications and provides suggestions for both K12 curricular offerings and music teacher preparation programs. Given the fluid demographic shifts of pluralistic societies, ethnographic research and curriculum design have become necessary skills for music teachers. This study also indicates music teachers in the USA need to be well versed in digital technology, transcribing, arranging, and a wide variety of musics reflective of the Americas including traditional “art” musics of the Western Hemisphere, Bluegrass, folk, jazz, Brazilian, Caribbean, Cuban, Latin American, rock, pop and World Musics.
Jones, Patrick M.
"Returning Music Education to the Mainstream: Reconnecting with the Community,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 7, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol7/iss1/9