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Sydney Seed

Charlie Frise
MUED 273

Collaborative Response 2: Allsup Looking Longing, for Moral Openings

1. We agree with Allsup that a good educator would follow the five points he has
introduced. We interpreted the points to mean that an educator is a lifelong learner who
needs to know and understand the traditions, but also needs to be flexible enough to
continue to develop those ideas. Self-reflection and awareness of the negative aspects of
practices we may have been taught is a key component in teaching.

Some of the norms we think need to be revisited include:

i. The tradition of being the all-knowing Master Director who stands on a podium
and thinks for the ensemble needs to be revisited. If we want to be more
personable with the students we should remove some physical barriers such as
music stands, conductor podiums, and possibly chairs. Why must a director
remain in front of the ensemble and conduct all the time? Would it be better for
the students development and the teacher-student relationship if the teacher
picked up an instrument and played with the ensemble?

ii. The tradition of starting a rehearsal or performance with an ensemble tuning note
needs to be revisited. Students should be taught to constantly listen for pitch
errors. The teacher should deter students from the idea that tuning is a designated
moment during rehearsal by encouraging students to listen and adjust pitch
throughout the rehearsal/performance.

2. We believe Allsup is describing something almost indescribable. He seeks to redefine


terms like conductor, master/apprentice, and schooling to be more ambiguous, less
finite, and more fluid. We agree with the concept of having a more fluid understanding of
the words and relationships between teacher and student, but in practice we think these
roles should not be removed completely because there still needs to be a level of respect
and distance between the teacher and students for safety and control.

3. After reviewing JMUs 8 Key Questions, we think Allsup is questioning authority, what
our responsibilities are, how to balance legitimate interests in an empathic way
throughout Remixing the Classroom.

Authority-What do legitimate authorities (e.g. experts, law, my religion/god) expect of


me?
We believe the book is explaining the problems with current
practices/expectations. While Allsup believes we should move away from these
traditions, the legitimate authorities expect us to abide by them. It is
risky/dangerous for the educator to try these new ideals and move away from
these social norms currently in place. Music educators are risking their careers if
they move away from conventional practices and functional literacies. (114)

Responsibilities- What duties and/or obligations apply?

We believe Allsup would say that it is the teachers duty to mutually serve the
students and their creative ideas by implementing some of the practices he has
discussed throughout Remixing the Classroom. Specifically Allsup lists five
points he propose[s] that educators should recognize on page 107.

Fairness- How can I act equitably and balance legitimate interests?


Empathy- What would I do if I cared deeply about those involved?

Allsup has put a lot of thought into whose interests need to be considered: teacher,
student, supervisor, musical forebears and while this is demonstrated all
throughout Remixing the Classroom, we think he illustrates his considerations
well by presenting the Question: What do any of the following have to do with
critical thinking, empathy, and developing an aesthetic sensibility toward life and
art?: Benchmarks for excellence (111). All of the listed points are standards
put in place by administration with student success in mind in regards to our
current practices and our forebears, but Allsup is concerned that these standards
will only generate useful machines, rather than complete citizens who can think
for themselves, criticize tradition, and understand the significance of another
persons sufferings and achievements (111). Allsup is trying to balance
everyones interests, but he also clearly cares about the people involved, and the
product the current system is producing.