We Need More Honesty in Music Advocacy

I recently wrote an article titled The Reality of Music and Creativity, and in that article, I made the case that development of creativity has no place in the music advocacy discussion, at least the way music classes are conducted in today’s public K-12 education. In this article, I am going to address inaccuracies within music advocacy more generally.

The goodness of music advocacy is a sacred cow; the very act of challenging it has a way of making the challenger feel dirty. This is unfortunate enough for the average person, but for a music professional such as myself to engage in the apparent self-defeating task of challenging it, well, I might as well confess to a hate crime while I’m at it. Continue reading

The Reality of Music and Creativity

According to Władysław Tatarkiewicz (1977, p. 53), the concept of creativity didn’t belong to the arts until the beginning of the 19th century, and beginning in the 20th century, the sciences borrowed the concept of creativity from the arts. If the sciences borrow creativity from the arts deservedly, then I would propose that with exception to composing and true improvisation, music borrows the concept of creativity undeservedly by cleverly disguising itself as one of the “creative arts.” With exception to study of composition and improvisation, musical study (which, in today’s public K-12 education system, consists mostly of music performance void of interpretation or improvisation) has no special power to nurture creativity beyond that of other disciplines.

Music composition is a lot more part of the creative arts than music performance is, so the notion of “creative arts” is vague at best and deceptive at worst. But you still get examples Continue reading