Schafer, sound education in Rio de Janeiro

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Thanks to the generous invitation of Adriana Rodrigues (an unbelievable force for anti-colonial music education in Brasil, Latin America and beyond) I just finished a week with a group of teachers in Brasil at the Conservatorio Brasileiro de Musica.  I was very lucky to have another great Brasilian music educator, Marisa Fonterrada, join me for two of these days, in part to celebrate the release of her new translation of Schafer’s Hearsing.  I also had the amazing teacher, activist and human being, Beth Dau, translate for and teach along with me.

I was asked there to lead classes on Schafer’s philosophies of sound education.   These teachers also charitably allowed me (a Canadian) to facilitate some of Augusto Boal’s (from Rio) work along with some very intense and grounded conversations about Paulo Freire.  I have been trying to critically reflect on Schafer’s ideas and their connections to Boal, Freire, and other anti-colonial pedagogies: although listening pedagogies (Schafer, Oliveros) might help bridge a gap between a privileged distance of sight and abstraction and the more embodied senses and ways of knowing we do not all hear similarly (Dylan Robinson) and the differences might be essential to address.  This has been an academic exercise.   These teachers’ ideas, contributions, and reflections from this week grounded these ideas, and many others, in ways that I am not sure I can never hope to do.  For this I am so very grateful.  I am struggling to know how to process their thinking and their willingness to share difficulties, joys, and resistance from their lives.

Thank you my friends!

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electronics in public ed

deschooling society – ivan illich

“…the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.”

“The pupil is thereby ‘schooled’ to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new.”

“Most learning happens casually, and even most intentional learning is not the result of programmed instruction.”

“The very existence of obligatory schools divides any society into two realms: some time spans and processes and treatments are ‘academic’ or ‘pedagogic,’ and others are not.  The power of school thus to divide social reality has no boundaries: education becomes unworldly and the world becomes noneducational.”

“The school system today performs the threefold function common to powerful churches throughout history.  It is simultaneously the repository of society’s myth, the institutionalization of that myth’s contradictions, and the locus of the ritual which reproduces and veils the disparities between myth and reality.”