The current social problems occurring in the rural ‘middle’ of the United States are causing an incredible level of fear of the ‘other’ that is permeating current zeitgeist. There are a lot of people shouting at each other, and few people are listening to what the opposition has to say. Clearly some kind of revolutionary change is at hand. Somehow, people must be brought together to realize that we all have the same goal: to live in a safe and vibrant community.
“We’ve Got Brass” (WGB) can help to do that. The program is not just about creating a band festival; it uses the assets and human capital of the whole community to create a celebration that honours its roots and inspires its future: to create an intergenerational down-reaching band program, bringing the heartbeat back to the heartland. This mission is formulated from an array of readings from music education, music education philosophy, community music and music education psychology. “We’ve Got Brass” places the person above the product, creating a program that endeavours to create community cohesion by focusing on a shared goal. Laughter and joy are touchstones in the process along with methods in conflict management. Music learning in WGB places high value on autonomy supported education and participatory music making.
(a rhetorical question at this point.)
What I really need now is a pilot community, ready to take a leap to see if this will actually work!