Thomas A. Regelski is “Distinguished Professor” (Emeritus), SUNY, Fredonia NY. He has a Master’s degree in choral conducting and a PhD in Comparative Aesthetics. He has taught choral conducting, and music education methods and foundations courses and has taught at Aichi University in Nagoya, Japan, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland Helsinki University, and was a research fellow at the Philosophy of Education Research Center at Harvard University. He is the co-founder of the MayDay Group and from inception until 2007, was editor of its e-journal, ACT. In addition to over 100 published journal articles, he is author 6 books.
The Bankruptcy of Aesthetic Autonomy: Music as a Social Praxis and Agency
Music teachers often advocate the music they were exposed to during their conservatory training as being aesthetically valuable. Consequently, they rationalize the value of music education in schools as aesthetic—as somehow improving aesthetic responsiveness. I contend that this aesthetic paradigm of musical value is unwarranted and argue for a curricular philosophy of music as praxis that unlike the aesthetic premise can be authentically assessed. The value of school music is to promote student and (later) adult musicing—actively ‘doing’ music in its various forms (including attentive listening) not the “refined” aesthetic experiences promised by teachers who haven’t studied aesthetics.