Music, Meaning and Transformation:meaningful music making for life

Dillon, Steven C (2007) Music, Meaning and Transformation:meaningful music making for life. In Murillo, Javier & Molina, Emilio (Eds.) 26th International Society for Music Education Conference,, 14-18 July 2004, Tenerife, Spain..


This paper presents a broad overview of doctoral research into meaningful engagement with music making in a school context drawing upon a five-year participant-observation case study. It primarily involves an examination of the meaning of music to young people in an Australian school context and the processes that facilitate that involvement. It seeks to contribute to the understanding of how meaning and the processes that may give access to meaning in music education might be constructed and interpreted by teachers and curricula. The study privileges the voices of the student as makers of music in answering the question of meaning and access to meaningful music education but does so within a systemic environment which examines all aspects of context. The intention of the paper is to elaborate the meaning of music to young people and to explore the issues of how meaningful engagement might become transformative experience. The paper argues that meaning is located in social, personal and cultural experiences and suggests the need for access to all of these in music education. Through a narrative vignette drawn from the examination of context, it highlights the potential and possibilities of music experience for building and giving access to a range of music meanings. (The presentation will utilise recordings of children’s music embedded in the story to communicate these ideas.). An examination of the implications of what these ideas mean for a school, policy development and the characteristics and role of the teacher is drawn from the vignette. The study seeks to ‘put the meat on the bones of theory’ and prior to the conclusion lists the theoretical tenets that inform the study and in turn reciprocally enable a thicker description of each aspect of theory which contributes to the robustness of this theory. In conclusion, the paper seeks to describe how teachers might teach in and construct environments where students can make meaningful music and experience a transformation of consciousness that constitutes music learning.

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ID Code: 6674
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Musicology and Ethnomusicology (190409)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 ISME
Deposited On: 27 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 10 May 2012 22:48

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