From Nowhere to Somewhere
Creating to Join Conversations on Music, Inclusion, and "Jargonalisationism"
Keywords:accessibility, inclusion, gamelan, music, academic language
In August 2020, two colleagues and I began an ongoing conversation on music, consent, power, language/jargon, accessibility, and inclusivity. We are not music therapists, but each of us, from our own professional and personal perspectives, is interested in the therapeutic nature of music. One colleague is a community musician in Glasgow, Scotland. She works for Good Vibrations and the Resonate Project which facilitate inclusive musical workshops and experiences. The other colleague is an amateur musician, participant advisor for one of her music groups, and a representative of people with additional support needs. I am an ethnomusicologist who specializes in Javanese and Balinese gamelan outside of Indonesia particularly as they pertain to community music making. We met through playing gamelan and through the Resonate workshops. Our conversations were a doorway for each of us into community music, musical academia, and the musical life of a woman with special needs. In our conversations, the question of accessibility as it is tied to language and power arose several times. In April 2021, we offered an edited video presentation of our conversations at the 2021 Mid- Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Ethnomusicology (MACSEM) virtual conference. In fall 2021, we hosted an event in collaboration with Good Vibrations at which we used our MACSEM video to facilitate an open conversation among academics, community musicians, music therapists, people with additional support needs, and members of the general public. One goal of this work is to provide unheard voices a place to speak. Our submission to Voices is a video reflection on our experiences beginning with our three-person, off-the-cuff conversations that originated over a year ago. Through this video, we will (literally) share our voices with your readership as we discuss our experiences of language, power, and whose voices are heard. We also reflect back on previous conversations by including our collaborative editing of the video itself. During our overall discussions, we came up with the title, “From nowhere to somewhere: Creating to Join a conversation.” This really helped focus our shared idea of what this is all about: three people from different life experiences and opportunities finding ways of speaking together and creating a format to have a voice in this arena.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Heather Strohschein, Margaret Smith, Linda Yates
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