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Spirituality and Music Education

Perspectives from Three Continents

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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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11 Arts Championships: Nurturing Spiritual Musical Experiences or Cultivating Heartless Performance? (Eurika Jansen van Vuuren)

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EURIKA JANSEN VAN VUUREN

11 Arts Championships: Nurturing Spiritual Musical Experiences or Cultivating Heartless Performance?

Introduction

Enthusiastic educators and parents who discover talented children suggest participation in arts championships to encourage children to develop their artistic talents or to build the name of the school as being culturally involved. Some of these children render exceptional performances and proceed to a provincial or national level of the competition. Once on the championship stage some individuals who are known for their spiritually connected performances turn into automated robots just delivering a well-rehearsed technically correct performance without any spirituality. Very little is found in literature about young vocalists and the attainment of spiritual connectedness on the competition stage. The main purpose of this study was to explore possible reasons why children sometimes lose their spiritual connectedness during competition performances and to suggest possible ways of counteracting the effect. This mixed method study was done from a phenomenological perspective. Literature was studied and a vocal championship competitor was videoed during rehearsals and the actual championship performance. In addition, competitors were interviewed and asked to answer open-ended questionnaires. Interviews were also done with competition judges, music teachers and parents. Conclusions reached are that spiritually connected performances can be attained through the correct groundwork. This research should assist teachers and parents to think differently and be more successful when preparing children for vocal competitions. ← 221 | 222 →

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