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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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13 Different Signs of Spirituality Following Different Types of Music Education (Arvydas Girdzijauskas)


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13 Different Signs of Spirituality Following Different Types of Music Education1


This research seeks to disclose relations between manifestations of spirituality and musical activity of higher (9–12) grade pupils. Differences between the levels of spirituality of students from different types of schools are estimated. Some features of spirituality found in students from choral singing schools appear to be more mature than they do in students from other schools. Recommendations of optimisation of musical activity are suggested, based on the outcomes of the research.

Wide pedagogical experience demonstrates that children involved in active musical practice and children who are not engaged in musical activity are different (Piliciauskas 1998; Bastian 2000; Shaw 2000; Winner and Hetland 2000; Navickiene 2001; Rinkevicius and Rinkeviciene 2006). Some authors analyse the academic benefit of music education (Shaw 2000; Winner and Hetland 2000); others concentrate on emotional reactions (Piliciauskas 1998; Navickiene 2001) or social relations (Bastian 2000; Rinkevicius and Rinkeviciene 2006). However, the outcomes of musical activity, which lie in the field of interpersonal relations, attitudes towards peers and surroundings, positive relations with cultural norms and other areas, that are far from practical reality, are not widely analysed in scientific literature. The above-mentioned traits, such as attitudes and relations, are sometimes seen as part of the field of spirituality. Connections between ← 259 | 260 → spirituality and musical activity are recognised by numerous researchers; Noddings (1999) extends interest in a spiritually rich curriculum, by...

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