Over the last half-century, Paulo Freire’s ideas have influenced progressive educators from a wide range of fields and disciplines, internationally. Although there has been some consideration of his work in relation to the field of music education, few scholars within the relatively new area of popular music education have dealt with or explicitly drawn on his work to influence their analysis of our growing field.

This presentation will use concepts, drawn from Freire’s writing to critique some of the normative practices, standard approaches, and unquestioned values that are prevalent in music education in HE. Use of Freire’s concepts as a framework for this critique helps to link this discussion to a wider critical analysis of the place of higher education in society, problems with the neo-liberalisation of HE institutions, and the awkward position that music (and particularly popular music) finds itself in as an area of study within this system.

Scroll Up