Questioning convergences between neoliberal policies, politics and informal music pedagogy in Australia

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    The Routledge Handbook to Sociology of Music Education is a comprehensive, authoritative and state-of-the-art review of current research in the field. The opening introduction orients the reader to the field, highlights recent developments, and draws together concepts and research methods to be covered. The chapters that follow are written by respected, experienced experts on key issues in their area of specialization. From separate beginnings in the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom in the mid twentieth century, the field of the sociology of music education has and continues to experience rapid and global development. It could be argued that this Handbook marks its coming of age. The Handbook is dedicated to the exclusive and explicit application of sociological constructs and theories to issues such as globalization, immigration, post-colonialism, inter-generational musicking, socialization, inclusion, exclusion, hegemony, symbolic violence, and popular culture. Contexts range from formal compulsory schooling to non-formal communal environments to informal music making and listening. The handbook is aimed at graduate students, researchers and professionals, but will also be a useful text for undergraduate students in music, education, and cultural studies

    This chapter discusses the interplay between neoliberalism and music education through an analysis of the convergence of informal music pedagogy, policy and politics in Australia. The aim is to trace effects of neoliberalism on school music education to challenge assumptions about who music education serves and how. We do this by examining the development of the Musical Futures programme, using its unprecedented growth in Australia as a case example of the neoliberalisation of music in school. Our review is concerned with global trends towards neoliberal policies and practices that complicate Musical Futures’ claims of inclusiveness, as reported so far in the programme’s evaluations. By examining the organisation’s growth of the programme through a sociological lens, we argue that the underlying discourses concerning student autonomy (learning) and curriculum relevancy (teaching) are based in neoliberal rationalities and are in tension with social justice imperatives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook to Sociology of Music Education
    EditorsRuth Wright, Geir Johansen, Panagiotis A. Kanellopoulos, Patrick Schmidt
    Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429504631
    ISBN (Print)9781138586369, 9780367704162
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Music education
    • Informal music pedagogy
    • Neoliberalism
    • neoliberalism on school music education
    • sociological perspective on music education
    • feminist sociological perspective on education
    • Pedagogy and practce
    • Curriculum
    • Policy analysis
    • Document analysis

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