Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feeling Philosophical & alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Mozart!

Over the years I have dabbled in reading some philosophical documents, such as Nietzsche, the Tao Te Ching, or the writings of Siddhartha Guatama, either on my own or for course work. This past summer was brimming with the educational philosophy of Plato, Artistotle, Rosseau, Dewey, and Freire- to name a few. Although I am not much of philosopher (my philosophy club Muffin can out-rhetoric me in a matter of seconds), I could process the broad educational philosophical perspectives presented.

I have not written in the past few days because my nose has been buried in textbooks, particularly the text A Philosophy of Music Education by Bennett Reimer. The specifics presented in this text has my mind reeling with so many questions and thoughts that, quite honestly, my brain feels like pudding after a few pages. The purpose of the reading is to get the mind inquiring, processing, and exploring in preparation for writing my own philosophy of music education. Mission accomplished? I am not sure pudding is on the syllabus.

I must admit I am a bit leery of this philosophy statement. I have written many, many, many papers during my academic career, including one I hope to turn into a dissertation at some point. However, this one is not academic...it is personal. I must write a statement that indicates who I am, what I value, what I think about teaching, and how I will teach in a clear, organized and unified composition of approximately 1000 words. 1000 words!? That is only about 2 pages at single spacing! It feels like both an insufficient and an overwhelmingly large space to objectively state my feelings and thoughts about myself and my future profession. Also, this statement will reside in my professional development portfolio- a document for all future employers to see. No pressure. I have 2 weeks to mull over the subject, write, re-write, and re-write again. I know that once my brain regains a slightly more solid state I will be ready philosophize.

So, I must ask, what is your artistic philosophy? Who are you as an artist? What do you value? What does your art mean to you?

Also.... Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Wolfie! Today is Mozart's 253rd Birthday, so crank up the tunes! I suggest listening to Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen from Die Zauberflote. Nothing says happy birthday like the mad rantings of the Queen of the Night. The performance is great, and the Queen's costume is fantastical!

Merry Writings!


  1. I have often thought that some philosophical texts, especially those dealing in education or academia, are meant to turn our brains to mush. I would find myself getting cross-eyed, and hazy. It's not a feeling I like.

    A mission statement is fun! It's not a pact with the devil, so play with it. Being a musician, you certainly know how to play :)

  2. People have written short novels just answering one of those questions! Goodness, that's hard to do. How do you be succinct with an answer that can take a lifetime to figure out? I'm sure you can do it and I bet the process will be fascinating. Perhaps some homemade chicken soup will help bring you some answers. :)

  3. Wowza--that video is rad! Where do I get a hat like that??

    I totally feel your pain, deary. I've been asked to do something similar in my Intro to Art Ed class which seems weird. It's an INTRO--I haven't taught anything or read anything yet--How am I supposed to know anything about my teaching philosophy!?

    Best of Luck! I know you'll rock it. :)