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Music as facilitating integration
Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Music Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7945-9794
2020 (English)In: The topology of music education as a field of researches, policies and practices, 2020Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this presentation I will present a newly started research which tries to find traces of integration within a project called Libravoice. The ambition with the project is to promote change in society by helping schools in socially segregated areas to develop a high-quality music education and to by using music to open up spaces for social interaction. The research focuses on what discourses dominates the students’ interactions before and after social encounters with the other through musical activities.

Music is among musicians frequently described as a language that facilitates communication cross traditional language borders. Some musical projects, such as El Sistema, are presented as resources to promote social mobility in socially segregated areas. Yet other projects, such as Fargespill in Norway, regard music as a resource to promote democratic values such as a greater understanding of the other. Music, especially playing music together, is in other words assumed to facilitate the achievement of different social goals in society. It is also a well-known historical fact that music also can be used as a resource to promote all kinds of changes in society, not only the ones that we within current hegemonic discourses are regarded as desirable.

Although, it is not quite clear what musical qualities that needs to be present in order for these changes to occur and also if and how this actually promotes an understanding of the other that actually promotes social inclusion rather than just reproducing difference. Projects such as the already mentioned El Sistema and Fargespill have been questioned in different studies. As an example, promoting change originating from difference could end up emphasizing the very difference itself. Integration could also be understood as a one-way movement rather than a meeting between differences which are others to each-other. El Sistema has for example been accused of trying to emphasize the ambition to promote social mobility as a resource to attract capital and assure its survival.

As briefly presented, the Libravoice is a project financed a foundation distributing resources to projects which promote to integration through music. The project focuses on schools in socially segregated areas starting with a school in a suburb of Stockholm. The project then consists basically of two different parts. The first part is oriented towards increase the quality of the music education in the particular school and to increase the status of music as a subject among the teachers in the school. The second part is to create routines for recurrent musical events involving students from other schools to perform in public institutions yet unknown for the students, such as the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

The research I will present could be described as a minor ethnographical study following a choir-concert with students from two different schools. The first school is the socially segregated area which I will call the Lowtown school. The other school recruits’ students from another suburb with primarily a white, well established, middle-class, which I will call Smallville elementary. The material consists of fieldnotes from the practices and concerts and transcripts from focus group conversations with the students from before and after the concerts. This material will then be analyzed to unfold what discourses seems to be articulated among the students before, during and after the meeting with the other in the

Abstract submission for paper presentation at NNMPF 2020 Format: Senior research paper with commentator Mikael Persson

different schools. Theoretically the research is primarily based on a social constructionist position searching for what discourses are articulated and how these discourses relate to questions of integration in different ways.

The material is collected but still not either transcribed or analyzed. Although I can indicate some preliminary results. In both schools the conversations among the students in both schools were oriented towards the musical performance in different ways. Afterwards the students from the Lowtown school continues to talk about the musical performance whereas the students from Smallville elementary rather talks about the meeting with the other. In the presentation I will further elaborate on this difference and others as they appear within the analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
music education, music pedagogy, conversation analysis, positionining theory, integration
National Category
Music Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kmh:diva-3437OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kmh-3437DiVA, id: diva2:1427974
Conference
25th conference of Nordic Network for Research in Music Education at 3-5 March 2020
Available from: 2020-05-04 Created: 2020-05-04 Last updated: 2020-05-04

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