Angry Noise

Recomposing Music Pedagogies in Indisciplinary Modes
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


Critical work in music education has interrogated Eurocentric values and representational systems in music curricula, as well as idealized constructions of musicianship grounded in Western aesthetic practices. In this chapter we argue, further, that inherited Eurocentric music pedagogies enact a “distribution of the sensible,” a self-evident regime of sense perception prefiguring what is hearable and doable and possible, inviting students, through the very processes of music education itself, to ultimately disqualify themselves from vibrant and vital relations to musical worlds and sound-making practices. We argue that dominant forms of music education do not simply mobilize Eurocentric values and genres but are driven, fundamentally, by “talent regimes” – disciplinary systems freighted with aesthetic presuppositions, ableist epistemologies, and pedagogical operations that interpellate students into gendered roles and classist relations to sounds, and that tacitly disqualify bodies based on “self-evident” disabilities and perceived developmental “inadequacies.” At a time when arts education is increasingly enrolled in the service of neoliberalized discourses of “creativity” and “play,” we present counter-models that not only work to liberate music education from the constrictions of bourgeois aesthetics and commodity relations, but help to situate aural/sound/music learning experiences as a fundamental and necessary mode of sensory inquiry for young people’s learning. Drawing on work in critical disability and technology studies, we conclude with an exploration of counter-models for alternative and more equitable pedagogical orientations to materials-centric inquiry, as well as opportunities for learning through soundwork composition – models that can, we argue, maximize the creative capacities of anyone and everyone.


Critical music education Critical disability studies Technology studies Talent regimes Music learning 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Responsive Ecologies LabRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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