Last year, I wrote down a few guiding questions that I wanted to embrace during the school year. This year, I return to them and reflect on what I learned.
I. Music as communal un/learning.
– how can the music I play serve as a tool for dismantling the oppressive racist systems in place within myself and my community?
Music as communal un/learning.
This past year I’ve been attuning myself to what I’ve learned about music and whether it is something I want to hold onto. In studying classical music I’ve learned that it is inherently bound with a value system that upholds tradition. Tradition that includes a small canon of works that are highly esteemed and thousands that are left to the wayside. Tradition that says there is one correct way to play a piece. Tradition that says there is perfect playing. And the list goes on…
All of those traditions imply values that I don’t necessarily find useful or beneficial in carrying forward.
I think that we create and partake in communal unlearning when we reevaluate the traditions that were handed to us (with whatever craft or career we practice), and leave behind that which no longer serves.
How can the music I play serve as a tool for dismantling the oppressive racist systems in place within myself and my community?
I almost deleted this question in my previous post because it makes me squirmy to state it publicly…I think, in part, because I’m afraid to be wrong. But I know that there will be many things that I will be wrong about, and I think it’s important for artists or entrepreneurs in whatever to field to be asking squirmy questions.
3 ways that I’m practicing this:
- Playing music by BIPOC composers
- Integrating this music into all performances rather than having one dedicated program for it and marketing it as such.
- Re-education, primarily through Rachel Cargle’s incredible community The Great Unlearn