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  • Concepts for an Enactive Music Pedagogy: Essays on Phenomenology, Embodied Cognition, and

    Music Education

    by

    Dylan van der Schyff MA, University of Sheffield, 2013

    MA, Simon Fraser University, 2010

    Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the

    Requirements for the Degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy

    in the

    Arts Education Program

    Faculty of Education

    Dylan van der Schyff 2017

    SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

    Summer 2017

  • Approval

    Name: Dylan van der Schyff

    Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

    Title: Concepts for an enactive music pedagogy: essays on phenomenology, embodied cognition, and music education

    Examining Committee: Chair: Dr. Natalia Gajdamaschko Teaching Professor, Faculty of Education

    Dr. Susan ONeill Senior Supervisor Professor Faculty of Education

    Dr. Heesoon Bai Supervisor Professor Faculty of Education

    Dr. Ann Chinnery Internal Examiner Associate Professor Faculty of Education

    Dr. David Borgo External Examiner Professor University of California at San Diego Department of Music

    Date Defended/Approved: May 10, 2017

  • iii

    Abstract

    This thesis consists of an introduction and seven essays that develop possibilities for philosophy of music and music education through the lenses of phenomenology and the enactive approach to mind. The phenomenological-enactive perspective presents a compelling alternative to dominant information-processing or so-called cognitivist models by embracing an embodied and relational understanding of perception and cognition. It therefore offers new opportunities for exploring the nature and meaning of music and education that have both ethical and practical implications. While the essays may be read as stand-alone pieces, they also share a number of concepts and concerns. Because of this, they are organized into four parts according to the general themes they develop. Part I provides a general introduction to the basic ontological questions that motivate the essays. Here I discuss my path as a scholar, introduce the phenomenological and enactive perspectives, and briefly consider how they align with pedagogical theory. Building on these concerns, the following essay adopts a critically ontological orientation. It draws out a number of reductive assumptions over the nature of music, education and what human being and knowing entails. In response, it posits a general framework for a music pedagogy based in enactive bio-ethical principles. Part II explores the nature of musical experience in more detail. Here knowledge in embodied cognitive science is developed towards an enactive approach to musical emotions, and to reconsider the problematic notion of (musical) qualia. Part III discusses practical applications of phenomenology for music and arts educationfirst in the context of private music instruction (drumming pedagogy), and then through the development of multimedia arts-inquiry projects. Part IV draws on enactivism to explore the deep continuity between music, improvisation, and the fundamental movements of life. The first paper suggests possibilities for curriculum development and self-assessment in improvisation pedagogy. The concluding essay brings together many of the insights discussed in the previous papersrecasting them in light of Eastern philosophy to reassert the relational, holistic, and life based understanding of mind, music and education that lies at the heart of an enactive music pedagogy.

    Keywords: philosophy of music education; embodied music cognition; phenomenology; enactivism; critical ontology.

  • iv

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank a number of people who contributed to the production of this thesis.

    First of all, I would like to thank my wonderful supervisor, Susan ONeill, for her excellent

    support and encouragement. I would also like to thank my co-authors, Andrea Schiavio,

    David Elliott, Julian Cespedes Guevara and Mark Reybrouck, who contributed to the three

    collaborative papers in this collection. Andrea Schiavio and David Elliott have been

    especially supportiveDr. Schiavio makes substantial contributions to the essays in Part

    II of the thesis. I am so grateful to both of them for their help and enthusiasm. I would also

    like to thank Heesoon Bai and Celeste Snowber for their fine graduate seminars, which

    afforded opportunities to develop two of the essays included here. I am also grateful to my

    PhD cohort who provided friendship, feedback and encouragement throughout my studies.

    Additionally, I would like to thank the many fine scholars who took time from their busy

    schedules to read and comment on drafts of the essays: Vincent Bates, Rachel ODwyer,

    Linda OKeeffe, Fred Cummins, Rene Timmers, Tom Cochrane, Giovanna Colombetti,

    Norm Friesen, Vasudevi Reddy, Morton Carlsen, Ian Barker, Marc Duby, Marissa

    Silverman, Luca Barlassina, Simon Hffding, Jay Dowling and the many anonymous

    reviewers whose critical feedback greatly improved the quality of the papers. Lastly, I

    would like to express my gratitude to my family and friends for their ongoing love and

    support.

    This work was funded by a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship and a C.D. Nelson

    Memorial Scholarship. I thank both of these organizations for their generous support.

  • v

    Table of Contents

    Approval ............................................................................................................................. ii Abstract .............................................................................................................................. iii Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ iv Table of Contents .................................................................................................................v List of Figures .................................................................................................................. viii Foreword ............................................................................................................................ ix

    Part I: The Ontological Perspective

    1. Introduction..2 Laying down a path in music and education.... 3

    Enter 'enactivism'.......... 10 Enactivism, phenomenology, and critical arts pedagogy ...13

    The Essays..... 15 A few final remarks... 21

    2. Critical Ontology for an Enactive Music Pedagogy Introduction... 27 Questioning standard assumptions.... 30 Ontological education.... 32 Phronsis, autopoiesis, and autonomy....... 35 Enactivism and constructivism...... 38 Toward a care-based pedagogical ecology.. 40 Enactive relational autonomy.... 42 The enactive music educator.. 44 Conclusion............................. 47

    Part II: The Embodied Experience of Music

    3. Enacting Musical Emotions: Sense-making, Dynamic Systems, and the Embodied Mind

    Introduction... 53 Theoretical and historical background... 55

    The external locus problem: philosophical and psychological claims.... 56 The internal locus problem: routes and mechanisms....... 57

    Critical assessment of existing theories..... 60 Inner-outer dichotomies.. 60 Embodied interactivity and developmental concerns...... 64

    Toward an enactive alternative.. 65 Fundamental enactive principles.... 65 Making sense of complexity: dynamic systems theory..... 69

  • vi

    Conclusion..... 73

    4. Beyond Musical Qualia: Reflecting on the Concept of Experience

    Introduction... 78 Three perspectives on qualia.. 79 Pips and nuances: Dennett and Raffman.... 83

    Dennetts propositional proposal..... 84 Raffman and the problem of musical nuances...... 87

    From objectivity to anxiety.... 90 Toward an embodied approach to musical consciousness..... 93 Beyond qualia........ 97 Conclusion....... 101

    Part III: Phenomenology for Music and Arts Education

    5. From Necker Cubes to Polyrhythms: Fostering a Phenomenological Attitude in Music Education

    Introduction. 105 Practicing phenomenology with "multi-stable" images... 108 Intentionality and the modes of experience.. 111 Embodiment and the primordial meaning of aesthetic experience... 116 Multi-stable musical experiences: African polyrhythm... 120 Conclusion... 125

    6. Phenomenology, Technology, and Arts Education: Exploring the Pedagogical

    Possibilities of Two Multimedia Arts Inquiry Projects

    Introduction..... 129 Phenomenology and arts education..... 130 The auditory and visual dimensions..... 132 Arts education and the phenomenological attitude...... 136 Two multimedia arts inquiry projects.. 140

    Ghosts before breakfast..... 141 Berlin HBF.... 145

    Conclusion... 147 Part IV: Music, Education, and the Act of Living

    7. Improvisation, Enaction, and Self-Assessment Introduction. 151 Improvisation and music education..... 153

    Teaching and the question of improvisation..... 156 Improvisation and the question of teaching....... 159

  • vii

    Cognition and improvisation................................................................... 162 Cognition as embodied, embedded, enactive, extended, and improvised.. 163

    Improvisation and assessment..... 166 4ES and an I or improvisation as self-assessment..... 167

    Conclusion... 172 8. Music as a Manifestation of Life: Exploring Enactivism and the Eastern Perspective

    for Music Education

    Introduction..... 177 The biological origins of mind and meaning........ 179 From reification to music-in-(en)action... 183 Reconciling the double articulation... 186 Embodiment, musical sense-making

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