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Spirituality and Music Education

Perspectives from Three Continents


Edited By June Boyce-Tillman

This book is the product of a long journey by a company of academics and practitioners sharing a common interest, titled the Spirituality and Music Education Group (SAME). It started at the International Society for Music Education Conference in Bologna in 2008, with its first gathering in Birmingham in 2010. This book is a product of the various meetings of this group. Since the group formed, the notion of spirituality has been struggling to find a way through the dominant ideology of secularisation in the West to a place in a post-secularising world.

This book concentrates on examining this issue from the position of music educators on three continents. This process can be defined as both separate from as well as part of the dominant Christian and humanist traditions, whatever is appropriate in a particular culture. The book represents a fascinating array of lenses through which to examine the many and complex strands within the concept of spirituality.

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2 A Conceptual Model of Spirituality in Music Education (Liesl van der Merwe / John Habron)


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2 A Conceptual Model of Spirituality in Music Education1


This chapter aims to describe the phenomenon of spirituality in music education by means of a model derived from the academic literature on the topic. Given the centrality of lived experience within this literature, we adopted a hermeneutic phenomenological theoretical framework to describe the phenomenon. The NCT (noticing, collecting and thinking) model was used for the qualitative document analysis. Atlas.ti 7, computer-aided qualitative data analysis software, was used to support and organise the inductive qualitative data analysis process. After data saturation, we used Van Manen’s lifeworld existentials (corporeality, relationality, spatiality and temporality) to help organise the many quotes, codes and categories that emerged from analysing the literature. The model that results assigns codes to quotes and codes to categories, which in turn appear within one of these four lifeworlds. This chapter not only offers a working conceptual model of spirituality in music education but may also help to foster an awareness of spiritual experience in pedagogical contexts and thus contribute to what Van Manen calls ‘pedagogic thoughtfulness and tact’.

The idea for this research came during a world conference of music education during which the authors met for the first time. The conversation ← 19 | 20 → turned to how teachers’ and learners’ experiences in music education might be understood in the context of spirituality. After returning to our home countries, we embarked on...

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