La natura delle tradizioni

IMG_8797.JPGLa leggenda del Rollibock risale all’anno domini 1300, parla di una figura leggendaria che protegge i ghiacciai e le popolazioni che vivono nei villaggi ai piedi delle alpi. Dalle alte vette delle montagne, questa creatura veglia sugli equilibri naturali, e a loro volta gli uomini creano rituali per poter controllare le emozioni di questa figura mitologica ed accogliere la sua protezione.

Con il progresso e la sete insaziabile di voler modificare le leggi naturali, l’uomo tende a distruggere i rituali ancestrali con il solo fine di accrescere il potere economico e dominare sulla natura ed influenzare le emozioni canalizzandole in credenze positive di virtuale benessere.

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La creazione di dighe artificiali ed il progressivo uso idroelettrico portano ad un’alterazione ambientale che causa l’ira del Rollibock che scatena valanghe e tempeste di neve portando dietro di se, devastazione e morte. Gli equlibri si sono sgretolati e le due leadership (quella degli equilibri naturali ed artificiali), si contendono i pensieri, i timori, e le paure delle popolazioni delle valli circostanti.

La caccia ai demoni ed alle streghe incomincia a ridimensionare ed influenzare le emozioni IMG_8795.JPGsviluppando figure parallele di contenimento per poter convogliare i pensieri positivi di momentanea durata. Come accade ancora oggi nelle leadership moderne, la persona gerarchicamente al di sopra di tutti, per poter neutralizzare o ridimensionare il potere ed influenzare le scelte, tende a trovare una persona all’interno o all’esterno della propria corporazione che faccia da vittima sacrificale  per poter eccellere nel suo scopo finale.

Il risultato che ne esce fuori è devastante, perche alterando la natura delle cose, si tende ad eliminare le credenze ancestrali e le tradizioni, che fanno dei rituali un legame intenso tra la natura, lo spirito e l’uomo. In questo modo nascono e si sviluppano nuove paure ed ideologie da temere che influenzano i nostri pensieri ed emozioni alterando le nostre tradizioni e culture creando nuove vittime e nuovi demoni.

 

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The crisis of music education

musicThe process of individualization that has characterized modern society since the beginning has meant more freedom, but recently the process of globalization has taken away old securities, making change and flexibility the other face of freedom (Sennett, 2001). Through organic solidarity, Durkheim describes two positive qualities in the division of labour in society (1893): the first is that each individual is related to a society or organization without any intermediary and depends fully on it; the second is that society or organizations have a totality of beliefs and sentiments common to all members of the group. To describe the crisis of music education in the present day we need to think about how the division of the labour is organized. According to Durkheim schools are a sub-system of the whole system and teachers, through education, transform the individual into a social being, reinforcing the fundamental relationships required by life in the community (Filloux, 1993).

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I am going to cite only a few examples of the music educational crisis around the world; firstly, Pitre (2014), confirmed that the crisis of education in The United States is associated with the focus on standardized test performances which means that there is increased pressure on teachers in the areas of maths and English and less emphasis placed on testing the arts, instead of investing in effective learning and teaching methods.

Pergola (2014), summarizes that many schools believe that cutting or eliminating music programmes will ease budget restraints with little or no detrimental effect on students. Whenever programme or funding cuts are made to music programmes, school boards always claim that the arts are not being unfairly targeted, but the truth is that cutbacks in the arts have never been proportionately fair when compared to cutbacks in other programmes or subjects.

In Norway for the last 15 years, Arts have had no place in Norwegian schooling.  General teachers have been the ones to facilitate a far from desirable arts course that has been more about meeting criteria than discovering the world of music, theatre and visual art. (Jay, 2012). In the UK there is a strong sense of crisis in schools and conservatoires. According to Wexler (2000) cited by Benjamin (2009, p.12), these institutions have worked within a pyramid scheme, which prepares young musicians at great expense for a profession in music which perhaps only 10% will realise, and which ultimately only serves to perpetuate those institutions themselves, as the graduates become the professors.

identityThe problem we can see in this situation is that firstly the governments are not well prepared to invest money and develop an adequate and innovative art programme, thus they are not able to share social norms as important values as Durkheim affirms in the division of labour, and these governments or organizations are not developing new means of reinforcing social norms and a shared sense of affiliation (Shortell, 2002). The difference for Parsons, is that these institutions are generalized patterns of norms of prescribed categories, which permit and prohibit behavior in social relationships. Institutions have a power to differentiate roles and individuals are expected to be successful (Thompson, 2012).

How can individuals and, in this case, teachers be successful, motivate, inspire students and create a new generations of learners, if they are trained using old criteria and the leadership don’t use their talents? Parsons affirms that modern societies consist in the adaptation of the personality structure of individuals to the functional imperatives of its institutions. How will it be possible for individuals to be engaged in the life learning process if governments don’t help them to grow and work well together? Durkheim sees individualism as a key feature of the process of modernization; however, to see that in the next future, governments, institutions, and organizations need to invest in training, support teachers and develop new technologies and methodologies to allow everyone to access high quality music instruction. As the Seoul agenda in the UNESCO’s second world conference on Art education affirms, creativity is an important and an essential part of education and has to be encouraged in schools (Sharp, Le Métais, 2000).

The study and experience of the arts is universal and is considered to be an indispensable component of a well-rounded education (Sharp, Le Métais, 2000). However some societies and governments, due to religious or economic issues, do not agree with this statement, despite the fact that politicians probably have music in their daily life. Through music education, students are linked and collaborate together, recognizing the importance of their tradition and culture. They learn important values of life, how to express their skills, critical thinking, problem solving and talents that they will apply to their life- long learning. Musical artists exist all over the world to entertain people. However, the finest purpose of music is to promote appropriate social conditions, support positive changes in society, and encourage economic development, world peace, and human development

Challenges to innovation

overcoming_obstacles.jpgFagerberg (2004) sustains that openness to new ideas and solutions are considered essential for innovative projects, especially in the early phases. The principle reason for this has to do with a fundamental characteristic of innovation: that every new innovation consists of a new combination of existing ideas, capabilities, skills, and resources. If, in a system, one component is lacking, or fails to progress or develop, this may block or slow down the growth of the entire system. In order to fulfil the potential of the new innovation, such investments often need to be accompanied by radical changes in the organization of the institution and, more generally, attitudes (Fagerberg, 2004). The organization should aim to solve problems, as although change innovation may strengthen existing models, it brings a certain amount of anxiety and can be very threatening (Moesvei 2013). Schools are conservative in nature (Hess, Mehta, Schwartz, 2012) and when people do not understand the nature or implications of educational changes, whether it is a voluntarily or involuntarily change, they experience ambivalence about its meaning, form, or consequences (Fullan, 2001).

inspiration-2.jpgDavies (2004) declared that the challenge is in enabling everyone in the school to make their own contribution towards creating the shared, desired future. Bolman and Deal, (2003) emphasise that, organizations are like arenas, contests, where interests compete for power and scarce resources. Conflict is rampant because of enduring differences in needs, perspectives, and lifestyles among competing individuals and groups. Bargaining, negotiation, coercion, and compromise are a normal part of everyday life. Coalitions form around specific interests and change as issues come and go. Problems arise when power is concentrated in a non-effective leadership position, making it impossible for the organization to disperse energy and consequently nothing gets done. Such ambiguity in this leadership position is dangerous and carries with it problems as well as possibilities (Thomson, Hall, Jonas, 2013). 

deep-listening.jpgThus communication is key when innovation is taking place. Sharing aims and effective collaboration between the stake holders ensure that progress can be made. However, it can be seen that innovation carries with it inherent challenges; I believe an awareness of these is essential when examining innovation in a specific situation. 

Identity

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Identity is a term, that has been used in many different contexts and for many different purposes. From the Latin root idem, meaning “the same,” the term nevertheless implies both similarity and difference. The identity of individuals and groups involves both elements of personal choice, the responses and attitudes of others. Individuals are not free to adopt any identity they like, and factors like their social class, their ethnic group and their sex are likely to influence how others see them. The identity that an individual wants to assert and which they may wish others to see them having may not be the one that others accept or recognize.

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If we really want to see change in a world in which identity drives opportunity, we must examine our own identities. This does not mean I should ignore my reality I live in, but that I need more options for how to move within that reality. I have to reach across difference to deeply understand the perspective of the many students, families, and staff members I seek to serve, and of the many community members who could become partners in this work. I cannot afford to be blind to my own socialized perspective of the world, or to miss out on the insights I could gain by listening deeply to those who appear to be opponents. No part of the world has figured out how to create a community in which all members are safe, supported, and valued all of the time. I cannot move toward that vision alone, I must partner with diverse parties to create solutions together toward the world we all live in.

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