On being musical: Education towards inclusion

Eve Ruddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article questions educational practices that undermine ‘being’ musical. Where Western misconceptions about the nature of human musicality distance many individuals from meaningful engagement with an intrinsic part of their humanity, I challenge the status quo to argue for an inclusive educational practice which gives everyone an opportunity to ‘be’ musical. Despite evidence from neuroscience now supporting the understanding that humans are a musical species, the widespread neo-liberal oriented focus on vocational training fails to recognise music as an essential aspect of healthy human being. Where current polarised music education provision supports a discriminatory system that leads to widespread underdeveloped musicality, I draw on Gadamer and Dewey to explore how musicking integrates cultural development and to question the value of a practice that leaves many of us musically disabled. Including examples of teaching practices that engage and transform, I argue the case for an enriched, broader curriculum that no longer sees music as a ‘frill’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number5
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2016

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