A Philosophy of Music Education: Advancing the Vision, Third Edition

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(2003; $59), by Bennett Reimer. Prentice Hall, 1 Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458.

Those who teach the visual arts would do well to read books that deal with other subject matter, yet still provide special insights and understandings that would pertain to our own teaching. This is one such book. What is interesting to note is that the author, Bennett Reimer, has added much that would update the book in terms of contemporary problems and issues.

Many teachers of the visual arts ask the question, "Why do we need a philosophy of art education? Isn't it enough that we know how to make art?" Reimer, quite correctly, observes that philosophy requires "language-think," music requires "mind-think," and I would add, art requires "visual-think." Reimer's answer is quite clear and persuasive: "To the degree that individual music educators are helped to formulate a compelling philosophy, the profession will become more solid and secure." He later observed. "The quality of decisions depends in large measure on the quality of our understanding of the nature of our subject. The deeper this understanding, the more consistent, the more focused, the more effective our clinics become. …