A Philosophy of Music Education is considered the classic text on the relation of aesthetics to the practical teaching and performing of music.
Bennett Reimer's A Philosophy of Music Education asserts that the nature and value of music education are determined primarily by the nature and value of music. Originally published in 1970 (with the third edition originally published in 2003), this text relates findings in the field of aesthetics to their implications for the practice of music education, thus emphasizing practical applications that students and future educators can employ in their teaching and learning. It addresses an increasingly diverse world in which music is viewed not as a singular practice but as a multitude of related practices. Reimer believes that music has characteristics that make it recognizably and distinctively a practice or an "art"; that these characteristics can be identified to a reasonable and useful degree (but no doubt never definitively); that music is of value to humans and their communities in a variety of ways related to these characteristics; and that the primary mission of music education is to make musical values widely and deeply available. Each chapter includes case studies ("Riffs") and questions for discussion/exploration ("Etudes") that enhance student learning. This reprint edition includes a new introduction by Peter R. Webster that sets Reimer's work in the context of the development of music education pedagogy and illuminates why this remains an important text for today's students. An excellent introductory text for undergraduate or more advanced music education students, A Philosophy of Music Education remains the best single introduction to this important and growing field.
Bennett Reimer (1932–2013) was John W. Beattie Emeritus Professor of Music at Northwestern University. Peter R. Webster is a scholar-in-residence at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music, and Professor Emeritus of Music Education at Northwestern University.
From the reviews of the original third edition
"The author is one of the few people who actually has something unique and important to say about the present state of music education in the world." — John Kratus, Michigan State University
"Reimer is perhaps the most progressive thinker in music education." — Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, University of Michigan