Jess Mullen is a doctoral candidate in music education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he teaches two courses on popular music pedagogy and supervises student teachers.Prior to graduate school, Mr. Mullen taught high school general music and band in Chicago Public Schools. Mr. Mullen has presented research posters and papers at national and international conferences addressing a variety of equity related topics in music education. His research interests include music teacher education, equity in music education, critical race theory, and education policy.
Music Education for Some: Music Standards at the Nexus of Neoliberal Reforms and Neoconservative Values
This provocation examines the central tensions between the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) universalist mission statement, “to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all” and its publication of 2014 Music Standards. I argue that NAfME’s 2014 Music Standards and other advocacy efforts work to rebrand music education to fulfill the demands of neoliberal educational reforms and codify neoconservative values. Rather than adapt to neoliberal ideologies that ultimately frame music as expendable, I discuss the possibilities for democratic music education as resistance to neoliberal reforms.