Emotions in music education as an ethical issue
This paper can be understood as the result of philosophical reflection on a music educational project that has already taken place. The main aim of the project was the strengthening of the emotional competence of the students. Although the developments in psychology show crucial mechanisms with which music induces emotions, several new questions emerge that shift the discussion in the field of philosophy: how should we as teachers encounter emotions in the classroom and especially in the music classroom? What should educators try to achieve and what is allowed? How should our emotions and students’ emotions be handled? It is obvious, that these questions require answers mainly in the field of practical philosophy as well as ethics and politics. The philosophical work of Martha Nussbaum can be used as an appropriate basis with which to discuss and to answer some of these questions. The way Nussbaum considers emotions can help us to understand and also to re-design the project as the place of the free experiencing of emotions and of reflecting on and discussing emotions. Nussbaum’s thoughts, as a philosophical framing of our project, build the basis on which to combine emotions and ethics in the classroom and offer an area for an open dialogue about our questions. This dialogue can help us to think and to justify our decisions or to find new ways for a music education that embraces the emotions in the classroom and strengthens the emotional competence of students and teachers.
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