Music education is part of the compulsory education curriculum in Spanish schools and has been imparted by specialist teachers of this subject for over twenty-five years. Nonetheless, its presence and importance has been threatened on various occasions, especially in the last few years (see Madrid del Toro, 2014). In fact, the same as in many other parts of the world, school music education in Spain is in decline (Aróstegui, 2016). In contrast, there are more and more projects that give priority to or are grounded in music as an essential subject for a quality education (e.g. Fernández-Carrión, 2011) and also as a cultural reference in different youth cultures (Aróstegui, 2016). Faced with this paradox, we find that there is little research providing enough evidence to assess the impact or contribution of work done with music within the Spanish school framework.

Therefore, the first challenge is to attempt to tackle, through retrospective research on the impact of compulsory music education, this dissociation between educational policies and realities.

In parallel, the second challenge is to verify whether music education can help in meeting the current (and future) demand for skills and abilities that society at large already considers a necessary part of the curriculum during the stages of basic education. In short, as music educators who believe in the importance of our discipline, we would ask ourselves the following question: How can music education cope with the challenge of playing an important role in modern society?

In this chapter we outline the underlying complexity of this issue and explain the challenge of responding in the form of a project developed through collaboration with a broad representation of researchers from the main Spanish universities.

Casals, Albert y González-Martín, Cristina
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Date Published
2018-04-16 12:46
Series Volume
European Perspectives on Music Education v.8
Oebelsberger, Monika, Sammer, Gerhard, y Bernhofer, Andreas
Book Title
Joint (Ad)venture Music. Networking as a Challenge for Music Teachers
Year of Publication