The Musical Experience proposes a new concept - musical experience - as the most effective framework for navigating the shifting terrain of educational policy as it is applied to music education. Other books that deal with music education reform often concentrate on non-musical topics at the expense of music listening, performance, and composition, or concentrate on only one of these at the expense of the others. This book, however, works with musical experience as a comprehensive framework for all aspects of music education. The editors and their contributors define musical experience as being characterized by the depth of affective and emotional responses that music engenders, and illustrate that its breadth is embodied in the infinite variety of meanings - both personal and communal - that music evokes. The essays map out the primary forms of musical engagement (performing, listening, improvising, composing, etc.) as activities which play a key role in classroom teaching. The chapters also address the cultural dimensions of musical experience, which call for consideration of time, place, beliefs, and values placed upon musical activities, works, and genres.
The book discusses how music teachers can most effectively rely on means of musical communication to lead students toward the development and refinement of musical skills, understandings, and expression in educational settings. As a whole, the book expands upon the dimensions of musical experience and provides, from the forefront of the field, an integrated yet panoramic view of the educational processes involved in music teaching and learning.