Shaping imagined communities through music : Lessons from the School Song practice in Nepal
Treacy, Danielle; Westerlund, Heidi (2019)
Treacy, D. S., & Westerlund, H. (2019). Shaping imagined communities through music: Lessons from the School Song practice in Nepal. International Journal of Music Education, 37(4), 512–523. https://doi.org/10.1177/0255761419850251
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This study attends to the global need to rethink how music education could provide opportunities for shaping imagined communities in times of intensifying societal complexity and diversity by exploring the practice of singing ‘school-specific songs’ in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. The methodology combines educational ethnography with Appreciative Inquiry, whereby individual interviews with school administrators, musician-teachers, a school founder and a composer were analysed and reflexively interpreted. Countering previous critical research on school-specific songs, this study shows that although the school-specific song practice originates outside Nepal, the songs are tailor-made to canonise each school’s unique vision and mission, and for teaching values and character, and were thus considered to be local. Through considering the new ideas and practices that emerge through a reflexive interpretation of the school-specific song practice, we discuss five perspectives that arose from the Appreciative Inquiry process: the universal right to aspire; developing reflexivity; the pedagogical paradox of rituals; a continuum from individual to collective goals; and a constantly changing ‘we’ in diversifying, complex societies. The study suggests that rituals in schooling, of which school-specific songs are a part, should be applied reflexively and subject to ongoing critical reflection and constant revision.