Soft Boundaries and the Future
As we enter the twenty-first century, it is evident that we will need all our cognitive skills in learning to understand and engage productively with the new interactive, sensually immersive technologies that have been and will be developed. In this section, I propose specific curricular reforms in music and the arts in general that I believe will allow educators to provide students and the public with those skills. Chapter 7, "Integrating History, Theory, and Practice in the College Music Curriculum," proposes a structural realignment of the curriculum to allow for more integration of music history and theory with practical skills of composing, arranging, performing, and conducting. Chapter 8, "Towards Integrative, Interdisciplinary Education in the Arts and Aesthetics," explores ideas for curricular reforms in the arts and aesthetics in general. As discussed in Part I, hard boundaries in the arts and aesthetics have led to separation of historical philosophical and experiential approaches in the arts and aesthetics, and those approaches in turn have lost balance and meaning. Chapter 8 proposes reforms to soften those boundaries. Part III ends with chapter 9, "Virtual Reality and Aesthetic Competence in the Twenty-First Century," which examines the necessity of a more soft-boundaried approach to education in the context of the rise of virtual reality and other sensually immersive forms of art.