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Revista Educación

On-line version ISSN 2215-2644Print version ISSN 0379-7082

Educación vol.46 n.2 San José, San Pedro, Montes de Oca Jul./Dec. 2022 


Music education models in the 21st century: the music mediation model for social engagement

Modelos de educación musical en el siglo XXI: el modelo de mediación musical para el compromiso social

Margarita Lorenzo de Reizabal1

11Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco Musikene, Donostia-San Sebastián, España.


The idea of social commitment as a transversal element in curricular design in educational institutions has prevailed for the last 25 years in Spain in a very uneven manner in its daily implementation in the classroom. Music education taught at music schools should aim to have a positive impact on the social well-being of the community, and should also contribute to alleviate social dysfunctions in the nearby surroundings, creating social cohesion and feelings of community belonging and identity. Nevertheless, there is some inertia to perpetuation of traditional models of music education where there is no room for innovative projects with authentic social engagement. To alleviate this issue, the educational model for mediation and intervention through music is introduced, which adds a new educational orientation to the traditional offer in music schools. This paper pursues the following objectives: 1) to offer some reflection on traditional educational models; and 2) to introduce the music mediation model that can lend support to socio-community educational projects and integrate social commitment. The main contribution of this work is the presentation of a classification of updated music educational models, including the most recent as the gamification model, and introducing in this taxonomy the music mediation model. In this new educational model, music teachers use their musical knowledge applied to educational activities to cause change and transformation in people, thus contributing to relieve the social dysfunctions of the environment and contributing to the welfare state of the community. Among the most relevant conclusions are the need to update the training of music teachers, expanding their skills in terms of socio-community education, or opting for a specialization in the new models. The need to design teaching strategies, methodologies and activities aimed at developing the social mediation model and promoting educational research in this area is confirmed. Finally, the taxonomy presented responds to the reality observed and generated from the current world scenario, but far from being a static classification, it is foreseeable that it will have to be revised in an ongoing dialogue with the context in the coming years and decades.

Keywords Music education; Art sociology; Taxonomy; Educational models; Music teacher education; Socio-educational mediation


La noción de compromiso social como un elemento transversal en el diseño curricular en las instituciones educativas ha prevalecido en los últimos 25 años en España de una manera muy desigual y dispar en su implementación diaria dentro del aula. La educación musical que se imparte en las escuelas de música, liceos y conservatorios debe tener un impacto positivo en el bienestar social de la comunidad y también debe contribuir a aliviar las disfunciones sociales del contexto en el que dichas instituciones están imbricadas, creando cohesión social y sentimientos de pertenencia e identidad comunitaria. Sin embargo, existe cierta inercia en la perpetuación de modelos tradicionales de educación musical donde no hay espacio para proyectos innovadores con compromiso social auténtico. Para paliar este problema, se presenta el modelo educativo de mediación e intervención a través de la música, que agrega una nueva orientación a la oferta tradicional en la educación musical. Este trabajo tiene los siguientes objetivos: 1) ofrecer algunas reflexiones sobre los modelos educativos tradicionales a través de una taxonomía novedosa; y 2) presentar el modelo de mediación musical que puede servir de apoyo a proyectos de educación socio-comunitaria e integrar el compromiso social dentro de la acción pedagógica. La principal contribución de este trabajo es la presentación de una clasificación de modelos actualizados de educación musical, incluidos los más recientes, como el modelo de gamificación, y la introducción en esta clasificación del modelo de mediación musical. En este nuevo modelo educativo, los profesores de música utilizan su conocimiento musical aplicado a actividades educativas para propiciar cambios y transformaciones en las personas, contribuyendo así a paliar las disfunciones sociales del medio ambiente y contribuyendo al estado de bienestar de la comunidad. Entre las conclusiones más relevantes destacan la necesidad de poner al día la formación del profesorado de música, ampliando sus competencias en materia de educación socio-comunitaria, o bien optando por una especialización en los nuevos modelos. Se constata la necesidad de diseñar estrategias didácticas, metodologías y actividades destinadas al desarrollo del modelo de mediación social y promover la investigación educativa en este ámbito. Finalmente, la taxonomía presentada responde a la realidad observada y generada a partir del escenario mundial actual, pero lejos de ser una clasificación estática, es previsible que deberá ser revisada en diálogo continuo con el contexto en los próximos años y décadas.

Palabras clave Educación musical; Sociología del arte; Taxonomía; Modelo educacional; Formación del profesorado de música; Mediación socio-educativa


The notion of social commitment as a cross-curricular element in curricula design in educational institutions in Spain has pervaded over the last 25 years in practically all educational communities. Even so, the way the Key Skills Qualification has materialised in programs and educational activities is, to this day, very uneven and disparate in its day-to-day implementation within the classroom. In the field of music education, an effort has been made, over the last decade especially, to integrate values within the curriculum such as solidarity, community well-being and social engagement at all institutional levels - from elementary education to professional, superior, non-regulated, public and private- (Suárez-Arroyo, 2005; UNESCO, 2009; Borro-Reverendo, 2017).

Over the last years, teaching professionals on national and international forums on music education have repeatedly voiced the need to address the efficient and effective implementation of programs, workshops, activities, and all kinds of projects with a vocation of service towards communities and members of society who are at a social disadvantage using music as a tool for mediation and intervention (depending on each case). The use of music as part of the process of social reintegration on a local level is a recurring example often talked about on these forums where it is also suggested that projects have to be created in music education institutions as a response to the social demands as a service to the community, and as a way of giving back the results of their educational activities to the community which they are part of (González y Wagenaar, 2003; Bravo-Salinas, 2007).

Community style music programs are also strong transversal pillars that music education and music centres of all levels can lean on directly and specifically, thus fostering social cohesion and cultural vitality within a social context that is familiar, recognised, and within reach (Lorenzo de Reizábal, 2020). It is especially striking to observe how most music projects at a socio-community level have originated outside of the educational field, and are held without support, help or advice from nearby music institutions. It is as though musicians that receive training in these institutions, teachers and, in general, the entire educational community nurtured music within the walls, but without letting it go beyond those walls (Jorquera-Jaramillo, 2010). It would then seem interesting that music schools should be the driving force that moves music culture in a community, contributing to its social well-being and that of the more disadvantaged groups through socio-educational projects putting their human capital and resources at the service of the surrounding needs. However, the real scenario is quite different. It is true that there are initiatives that stand out, in particular from some non-regulated music schools, and that there is increasing awareness of the need to contribute to the state of social well-being (Borro-Reverendo, 2017; Blancas, 2018). Nevertheless, in Jorquera-Jaramillo's (2008) opinion, most obstacles in kick-starting these innovative initiatives are lack of specific methodologies, lack of teacher training in the field of social and community work, and tendency to remain inert when confronting the uncertain situation of working on unknown projects with unknown results that require a lot of work, reflection and other educational habits that people are not used to: management of new technologies and design of didactic activities through them, discontinuous schedules, classes outside the educational centre, specific curricular adaptations, introduction of new skills and competencies in the teaching staff -updating in social and psychological issues, for example-, among others.

In the face of this general inertia, and with only a few music schools taking on challenges and paving the way, Espigares y García (2010) advise that a deeper thought becomes necessary regarding the reason of being of music schools and an analysis of educational models that have been used traditionally, as well as other models that are upcoming and that might shed light on the needs of the society in which we find ourselves, without eliminating the rigour and effectiveness of musical training. Indeed, the implementation of socio-educational music projects in specific workshops requires effort and knowledge of context, and it is necessary that these workshops be the result of a multidisciplinary managed project including psychologists, social educators, educational institutions, and music educators (Moreno, 2010; Borro-Reverendo, 2017; Lorenzo de Reizábal, 2020). The musical creativity and imagination that every musician and music teacher has developed throughout their lives allows them to face these challenges with musical tools that can only be developed through musical knowledge. For this reason, it is essential, when music is used as a tool for social or community intervention, that there be at least one person in the work team who is an expert in music, capable of designing (or co-designing) the process. This, together with collaboration with social workers, can foster a new way of understanding music education and new professional profiles within the musician collective. In fact, new models in music education generate the need to add a new approach to music teacher training programmes, since specific training should be added: learning how to design these projects and how to carry them out, as well as psychological and educational aspects intimately related to the new profiles of students receiving this music mediation.

The main objective of this paper is to propose an update of the taxonomy of music education models in force in this first quarter of the 21st century. For this, two specific objectives are pursued. On the one hand, reflecting on music education models traditionally used in music training and, on the other hand, incorporating the new models resulting from technological innovations and those that can support socio-community education projects, as a response to alleviate the needs that are observed at the social and community level in the current global scenario.

The taxonomy of music educational models that is presented below is the result of almost five decades as a music teacher in very diverse fields: non-regulated music schools, professional, and higher music education conservatories, adult education at the university, and in social projects at an international level (Scandinavian countries, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, France and Spain).

There are different approaches to a classification of didactic models in the literature, such as that of Escudero (1981) in which he makes a general description of some didactic models, such as those of Carroll, Bomm, Harnischegeger and Wiley, and one elaborated by himself or herself and described as situational-institutional. Another very interesting taxonomy, focused on the description of music teaching methodologies, which is still valid, is the one made by Violeta Hemsy de Gaínza (2004) on the methods of music education in the 20th century and also, in 2003, a far-reaching reflection on the changes in methodologies towards new paradigms at the turn of the century.

However, there is no description of the current or traditional music education models in the specialized literature, and our work is a first approximation that describes, at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century, an ordered classification of the different models of using music for educational purposes. Perhaps it is convenient to discern between the concept of method and that of model to better understand the contribution of this work.

Hemsy de Gaínza (2004) thus defines the method[1]:

Un método -o enfoque metodológico- consiste por lo general en una creación o producción individual: de acuerdo con sus propias necesidades y características, cada autor enfatiza determinado aspecto de la enseñanza musical; las actividades y/o materiales se presentan cuidadosamente secuenciados, de modo de ofrecer a los usuarios un panorama más o menos completo y ordenado de la problemática específica que se aborda. (p. 79)

The same pedagogue and researcher adds, in relation to the definition of the model, the following[2]:

Por lo general, un modelo comprende un conjunto de conductas (actividades, acciones) y materiales que suceden o se desarrollan en un contexto específico (lúdico, cultural, antropológico, tecnológico, etc.). Tiene que ver con cómo se aprende o se transmite un saber-costumbres, habilidades, creencias, etc.-, ya sea en la vida cotidiana, en la calle, en la comunidad; a través del juego, del canto y/o la danza popular; mediante aparatos o máquinas, a través de actitudes y prácticas varias. (p. 80)

Violeta accurately distinguishes the difference between the two concepts, but her theoretical contributions regarding music education refer fundamentally to educational methodologies, not to models. In this sense, the contribution of this article is the reflection on educational models, not on specific methodologies, which will have to be defined from the models, especially for the most current ones. The perspective or approach of this work is, fundamentally, of an epistemological nature, creating the basis for further qualifications of the models in an effort to maintain a dialogical position with the evolution of the social and educational contexts that may take place in the future.

1 – Models of music education in the 21st Century

Before beginning to propose the different models of music education, it is convenient to clarify some of the concepts that are going to be used to distinguish them from others that are, sometimes, used as synonyms, but are not. A model is the theoretical framework or pedagogical foundation in which a teaching-learning system or process is oriented. A model (pedagogical) falls within the field of beliefs, training and updating of the teacher. That is, the model interprets, designs and adjusts the pedagogical reality that responds to a specific need (Escribano, 1992; Hemsy de Gaínza, 2003). The method consists of working in an orderly and calculated manner to achieve defined objectives in accordance with the educational model to which they subscribe. The method then refers to a way of doing things, and includes the use of certain tools and/or techniques (Oriol, 2005; Navarro, 2011).

The methodology is characterized by being normative, that is, it assesses the methods (determining if they are adequate according to the objective it seeks to achieve), but it is also descriptive and comparative since it analyses different methods to know the advantages and disadvantages of each one (Alsina, 1997).

According to its etymology, Touriñán and Sáez (2006) explain that the methodology is commonly understood as the theory of the method. In summary, the methodology has as its object of study, the investigation of methods. Thus, methodology is a branch of study which is a concept more linked to the academy, while method is a tool which is more related to the practical (Westreicher, 2020).It must be clarified that the taxonomy presented below deals with educational models, not with methods applicable to them, nor methodologies that explain the implementation of such methods and their relevance in each model.

There are various models of arts education that are recognised by experts (House and Mathison, 1983; Sáez-Carreras, 1993; Eisner, 1995). An overview of these from the music education perspective shows a backdrop with recognisable models, although often slightly overlapping. The main difference between the following ones is where the emphasis on education lies. Indeed, these models are not mutually exclusive and music education institutions in Europe, especially after the process of convergence to the European Higher Education Area, can opt for various models at the same time. Zubeldia (2017) shows in her study on music schools in Spain and Europe that the combination of models is a widespread practice, offering especially non-regulated teaching (amateur model) and regulated teaching (academic conservatory model). Interestingly, the taxonomic proposal made in this work allows a combination of any of the traditional models with the emerging ones (such as the gamification, or the cultural entertainment education), of which it is worth highlighting the intervention/mediation model that puts educational actions in collectives, not contemplated until now, in the spotlight.

1.1 Academic Model

This model brings together western musical tradition and how it is done, interpreted, written, and thought from the point of view of important classical composers in particular. This educational model promotes reproduction in academic terms of its entire body of knowledge and is mainly focused towards understanding the object of study. Its purpose is to master the techniques and processes that lead to the production of a work of art with its different significance throughout history and, in the case of music, focused on the history of Western music. This is the model used in music conservatories at all levels (elementary, professional and higher music education). In this academic field, according to Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010)[3],

[…] el aprendizaje musical consiste principalmente en el estudio de repertorios, ya que a lo largo del siglo XIX desapareció la práctica de la improvisación, dando lugar a un desarrollo extraordinario del virtuosismo instrumental y canoro. Sus métodos, en términos históricos, se han caracterizado por consistir esencialmente en la imitación y la repetición. (p. 58)

The fundamental skills that are worked on in the conservatories are, in the elementary grade, musical reading and writing, handling an instrument and choral singing. The professional or intermediate level of formal conservatory education addresses the history of academic Western music, its analytical understanding, and the study of a repertoire ranging from the Renaissance/Baroque to the 20th century and its avant-gardes. Higher conservatory studies delve into the aesthetic, stylistic and analytical aspects of the same type of repertoire, in addition to working on instrumental/vocal chamber music skills, and orchestral/band/choral training. The difference with the previous level lies in the difficulty of the interpreted instrumental repertoire and the preparation for the professional future as a musician-performer, composer, pedagogue, musicologist, conductor, or lately, musical producer/manager, as specialties.

As can be seen, until now in the European academic environment of conservatories at all levels, certain types of music are not found: popular music, folklore, traditional music, music of oral tradition, improvised music, nor the music of the various cultures. Improvisation, in general, is not a primary objective in these curricula. Excellence is pursued in interpretation with the aim of becoming future soloists, professional orchestra and band musicians, avant-garde composers, symphony orchestra directors and music teachers in conservatories.

This academic vision, a music education specialized, is difficult to implement in compulsory general education in Spain for various reasons, among them: the lack of specific musical training of the teachers in charge of it, the scant teaching time devoted to music in the educational curriculum for children and youth, and a lack of real interest in educational policies in integrating the arts as an essential part of the formation of individuals (Domínguez-Nonay, 2015; Elorriaga, 2016).

Escudero (1981) and Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010) mention that within musical academicism there are different levels of expertise that range from a first stage of literacy to a complex level that includes semiotics, phenomenology, and critical capacity, among other higher-ranking musical skills. Likewise, I agree with the consideration of this model as traditional and positivist, as stated by Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010), although a distinction should be made between practical academic learning and reflective academic learning. The first of these is the authentically traditional model that has been used in Spain until the Bologna Convergence Process (1999), in which musical instruction was unidirectional, from teacher to pupil, without the possibility of reflecting on one's own practice, thus originating passive learning focused on instrumental skills. Conversely, reflexive academic learning requires critical skills, self-regulation capacity and the ability to base the practical activity that is carried out from different points of view (theoretical, aesthetic, stylistic, formal, phenomenological, semiotic, etc.). However, this reflective academic model has difficulty permeating educational institutions where inertia prevails to perpetuate traditional ways of doing things in the classroom.

1.2 The expressionist model

This model sees music as a conduit of expressivity and personal creativity. It evolves parallel to other arts post-World War II. The Expressionist Current dates from the second decade of the 20th century, and López-Martínez (2011) states that

[It was) conceived from the free and emotional expression of the person, without the intervention of models, or previous instructions, only those acquired autonomously by experimentation with artistic techniques and materials. This artistic didactics will manage to combine progressive pedagogy with the new conceptual and technical discourses promulgated by avant-garde artists. (p.91)

The objective in this model is to allow individuals to express themselves with freedom through music, even if the result is not done with the rigour and standards of a work of art in terms of techniques and processes more in line with the academic model outlined above. This educational vision does not seek to teach how to produce an artistic musical object, rather it strives to achieve a person's expression of his or her inner world. This type of music education is part of non-regulated teaching that takes place in music schools or private centres aimed primarily at a child's first contact with music, for instance. It is also found in workshops for music and body expression offered by academies and schools as extracurricular activities, both private and public. The style of music that is broached is varied and some ideas can be taken from this model that are put forward in the intervention/mediation model.

1.3 Amateur Model

This model is frequently found in unregulated music education systems as a direct consequence of the democratization of the arts and the access of the middle class to arts education. This is a mixed model, which from an academic point of view of education trains people in symbolic language of music with the aim to know how to use an instrument or the voice at a basic level, understanding that would be enough for the personal and collective enjoyment of music. When referring to symbolic musical language, it means that musical literacy is taught through non-musical signs, such as letters of the alphabet, simplified American cipher, or tetragrams, rather than staves of 5 lines (pentagram), to locate the fingerings (the fingers to use) in each one of the lines, which represent the 4 strings (on the guitar, violin, viola, cello, lute, etc.). However, this model can also facilitate a basic traditional musical reading in staff, figures and pitches of sounds.

Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010) adds that it is an accessory musical activity, chosen individually by families or by some children as a hobby. In this regard, it should be noted that these activities, designed for enjoyment, are often chosen by families to keep children busy acquiring some basic musical skills during the afternoons. This happens as they cannot reconcile their daily work with compulsory school hours. It is a fact that the access of women to the labour market has led to the youngest being enrolled in different cultural and sports activities to alleviate the discrepancy between school and work schedules of both parents (Luzón y Luengo, 2001).

The goal for the students in this amateur model is to enjoy music with basic knowledge of its language and technical principles. This education coincides with non-regulated music education, and comes from the idea, not shared by all, that music can only be enjoyed if you know its language and you know the basics on playing an instrument. Thus, Nunes (2015) concludes that the purpose of musical education is to achieve that each student reaches mastery in handling the language of music, to put them at the service of creation and communication, as a composer, as a performer of instruments musical, as a listener or as an improviser or creator of music. Nevertheless, amongst its critics, it is noted that this type of music education perpetuates an elitist consumption of a specific type of music in turn favouring academic education, but it does not allow the community as a whole to access its knowledge and enjoyment. About this issue, Oriol (2005) attributes the emergence of the different methods of the 20th century, to concern that different musicians and pedagogues had to ensure that musical education reached to all school children and not just to an elite with aptitudes. The researcher Lorenzo de Reizábal (2020) also argues that traditional repertoires should be incorporated into amateur teaching, not exclusively those from established composers of Western music, and encourage creativity, the composition of their own musical pieces and improvisation. The purpose, in her opinion, is not to achieve a limited replica of the academic training of the conservatories, but to put at the service of users the basic knowledge to enjoy the music they choose, to be able to reproduce or create it, taking into account individual and social contexts.

The type of music that is addressed in this model is varied, though the aim is to be able to play a classical repertoire, even at a basic level. The purpose behind this type of musical education is to create amateur musicians and an informed future audience that attends classical music concerts performed by professionals. This model also shows the type of music education that takes place in local amateur collectives such as choirs, bands or community orchestras where technical training is essential to be able to handle an instrument or voice with the minimum standards.

In Spain, with a long choral tradition (in the north) and band tradition (in the Mediterranean coast and south), amateur education is a fundamental pillar for the support of the different musical groups that are the backbone of popular and folk activities. The musical manifestations derived from the amateur model are part of the hallmarks of a region, a human group and its culture and customs. In this case, it is a model with a clear socio-community vocation and in Spain it has led to a great boom in musical associations (Nagore-Ferrer, 2001).

1.4 Music education for leisure and cultural entertainment model

This model, as opposed to the amateur one, does not work on music instrumentally with the aim of obtaining a musical product more or less artistic, but rather aspires towards the well-being of the person. In this regard, Hemsy de Gainza (2003) and Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010) state that the ludic conception of music focuses activities towards obtaining the motivation of the students. To do this, the teacher's job is to make proposals that are pleasing, enjoyable and entertaining. Nevertheless, this meaning which is attributed to musical education with a ludic vocation, refers to children's education without contemplating an increasingly wide space of people who, in maturity and old age, approach with curiosity (and passion) learning and understanding music. It should be emphasized that this first quarter of the 21st century has seen the flourishing of musical cultural activity classrooms for adults, both in private institutions and conservatories, but especially in universities, both in Spain and in Europe (Roldán, 2016; Zubeldia, 2017). On the one hand, the reasons underlying this reality are sociological, demographic, work and health related. Among them is the greater longevity of the population thanks to advances in health and well-being. The emergence of a lot of free time, especially after retirement, allows people to dedicate their free leisure time to cultural activities and to receive training in subjects they have never had access to. Having free time, a decent pension and satisfactory physical and mental health has made this model of leisure and entertainment spread beyond traditional paedocentrism and oriented towards the elderly.

On the other hand, the concept of lifelong learning has fostered both the recycling of knowledge at all stages of life, and the possibility of understanding education as a continuum that must be accessible at any moment of our vital journey (Delors, 1996; Zhao & Biesta, 2012).

The main objective in this model is to reach a minimum training in music for a better understanding of it, but never handling the artistic product or trying to emulate it (Pitts, 2017). There are several subtypes, depending on the public to which the educational process is addressed (children, young people, adults), as well as depending on the focus of the training (basic instrumental learning, vocal, theoretical, musical appreciation, historical keys, etc.). My personal experience as a collaborating professor at the Leisure Institute of the University of Deusto has allowed me to closely follow the interests of large groups of adult students (mainly between 40 and 80 years old) towards opera and musical theater courses of a theoretical and musical appreciation nature, very stimulating both for them and for me, as a teacher.

Consumers of this type of musical education are usually adults who generally have access to more elitist musical and artistic representations, but lack the training to understand the complexity of musical art, despite having intuition and enjoying it. This enjoyment leads to epistemic curiosity towards a deeper understanding of music, its history, styles, composers, genres, etc. This model usually includes external activities (attendance to concerts, talks, excursions related to musical themes) which are aimed at groups rather than individuals.

1.5 Gamification model

Zichermann and Cunningham (2011) define gamification as ''a process related to player thinking and game techniques to engage users and solve problems” (p.11). Kapp (2012) refers to gamification as "the use of mechanisms, aesthetics and the use of thought, to attract people, incite action, promote learning and solve problems" (p.9). Lee et al. (2013) state that gamification can end up being a practical system that provides quick solutions with which the user constantly learns through a rewarding experience. Gamification seeks to achieve a change in the user's attitude without the need to use coercion or deception, using game elements that attract the user's attention.

There are two trends when talking about gamification in music education. One of them is related to the more traditional game concept; the other refers to the manipulation of video games or technological applications for the music classroom.

The first trend uses music as an element that can be used in educational games where the aim could be music itself or, more often, to teach, through music, other aspects of the human being such as cooperation with other players, solving challenges and problems, stimulating creativity, and increasing their skills and knowledge. In this model, educational actions are centred on games and are especially useful in the pre-school collective in school surroundings where music, and songs – music with lyrics – generally serve as a way of leading to transversal concepts, values, and ideas in education. This model does not teach music even though the activities are carried out in the music curriculum. This type of music education uses popular songs or songs where the focus (be it the refrain or the theme) is its textual relation with a specific topic. Structure and musical elements are not generally studied. The games are diverse and include activities like changing the original text of a well-known song, performing it with gestures as a collective group, giving music to lyrics individually and within a group, etc. Bermell et al. (2016) report the game at children's ages through the manipulation of instruments, giving rise to private sound discoveries, or the use of specific corners in the classroom where boys and girls can carry out joint improvisations and games involving group sounds.

The second trend points to gamification being used in contexts of regulated music, such as conservatories since the programs and technological applications develop the game as a learning tool for learning musical technique itself: musical dictations, rhythmic exercises, score analysis, listening exercises. This type of technological gamification also includes activities through games that take place in the early stages of music education in children in pre-school and at higher music education institutions and universities (Ardila, 2019).

This gamification model would be, in reality, a branch of a broader model and transversal to all the others, which would be the digital music education model. This model has yet to be defined in all its complexity: What is pursued with the use of ICT in music education and specify if the object of study is music itself or if the objective is to acquire technological skills, or both, and with what specific weight of each of them in the teaching-learning process.

On the one hand, in relation to the future of this educational gamification, Quintero et al. (2018) indicate ''the rethinking of the functions of the teachers, who must be able to carry out designs of hybrid learning systems and changing learning spaces, and even to move with ease in the framework of the transmedia narrative” (p. 343). On the other hand, in gamified environments, important aspects must be considered in project planning, such as aesthetics, dynamics, mechanics and components (Quintero-González, 2017; Abilleira & Arufe, 2018). However, both groups of researchers mentioned above warn that the aim is to always enhance the common positive effects of games and video games from the correct planning of the didactic environment, in order to limit any unwanted behaviour and have provided the guidelines for action before them. The gamification through ITC prioritizes an educational approach that seeks to anchor goals in exciting situations of self-improvement and fair play.

Pérez-Pueyo et al. (2017) consider that the gamified environment is conducive of social learning, and therefore, the focus should be on cooperative learning as a methodological complement through the creation of groupings that favor interactions of positive interdependence among students.

This model, as can be seen, still has questions and aspects that must be addressed now in order to integrate it into music schools, where it is still at a very incipient level. This digital music education model will have to be addressed separately and in depth in future investigations.

1.6 Music Mediation Model

The description of the music mediation model is the result of a deep reflection on my own teaching experience, accumulated in almost half a century, and the knowledge of different realities in different international contexts as Quality Inspector of European Conservatories. The extensive research carried out in the educational field has allowed me to be an exceptional witness of the need to include ethical and moral values in music education. In this sense, the music mediation model would meet some of the traditionally forgotten values ​​in music education.

This type of education values music as a tool itself with the objective being the art experience and what can be changed or transformed through it, regardless of the specific sound results. The quality of technique or art derived from music mediation does not matter; the aim is not to train musicians. The music workshop becomes a tool of social reinsertion and transformation. Moreno (2010) attributes Music Mediation ''to some concepts widely used in pedagogy, psychology and social work” (p. 5). For this pedagogue, the objectives of any social mediation are: a) comprehensive development of the person; b) symbolic elaboration and overcoming of conflicts; and c) becoming aware of the current situation and starting a process of transformation and reinsertion. Interest shifts from the final product to the process.

It should be clarified that even though music therapy shares procedural characteristics with the music mediation model, the latter is not a therapy, but rather mediates in disadvantageous circumstances for individuals, not necessarily sick, but at risk of social exclusion or other contexts that prevent them from being incorporated into society and living a full life.

2- Socio-educational and community projects in the current context

The economic crisis at the start of the millennium as well as factors such as the transition into a post-industrial society, the individualism that is characteristic of capitalist societies, the emergence of new situations of social risk, globalisation, the transformation of the labour market, the integration of women into the latter, ageing populations, changes in family structures, and more recently the Covid-19 health pandemic, are inexorably leading towards a neglect of the new challenges in the so called welfare society, fundamentally due to a lack of resources. Mayo (2017) warns that citizens face new social risks such as the fragility of the elderly, the reconciliation of work and family life, individual maternity/paternity, low professional qualifications and insufficient coverage of public and private social protection with inadequate services and benefits. Under these circumstances, social changes cause a remaking in how people perceive social inclusion and exclusion and the models of intervention have become obsolete.

Creux (2012) postulates in favour of the intervention of art as a mediator in this social work. Segado (2011) believes in a new type of social intervention through which the aim is not an immediate one, but rather long-term and which can aspire to long lasting changes in people.

The community is a genuine space for dialogue. It is dynamic, lively, and within a historical context which evolves and in which there is room for diversity, individualism, as well as a strong feeling of belonging. The idea that schools –music schools included- should integrate themselves within the community fabric and respond to social needs is of major pedagogical and social significance and linked to the idea of permanent education and education throughout life (Ortega, 2005). Another idea linked to social pedagogy is that educational centres, regardless of the subject they are teaching, should engage in education for social participation and transformation, thus becoming authentic social agents within and for the community. Educational institutions cannot remain isolated, closed in on themselves and remain on the fringes of social reality and the needs of the context, but must open up to the local community (Cieza, 2010).

The rise of art therapy and the use of artistic tools as mediators in social and community intervention has rocketed in the last few years, even though in the field of music there isn't as much research as there is for instance in relation to the use of drawing, images, painting and other visual arts (Luján-Ferrer, 2010).

Lorenzo de Reizábal (2020), has collected the socio-educational and community areas in which musical pilot experiences are being carried out through workshops with target groups in Europe:

[…] social projects: support for groups at risk of exclusion, marginalization or cultural minorities, the disabled, the chronically ill, etc. Within these social projects there would also be actions and activities aimed at making solidarity and humanitarian causes visible, as well as those aimed at promoting a greater intergenerational and interpersonal relationship between different human groups of the collective (with the elderly, with immigrants, etc.) (p.47).

A pilot experience for the community use of music is the National System of Orchestras of Venezuela, created in 1975 by Maestro José Antonio Abreu in the firm belief that musical activities carried out in a group not only constitute an ideal means of social integration, but contribute powerfully to rescuing people from situations of exclusion in which they live. Inspired by the work of Maestro Abreu, other projects have emerged, such as the Child and Youth Orchestras in Argentina, led by Eduardo Tacconi and Santiago Pusso, or the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in Mexico, conducted by Sergio Suarez-Lubian, among others. The Sistema also inspired the creation of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Orchestra Program for Youth at Risk in the Caribbean in 2009 or the Network of Medellin Music Schools. (Ruiz et al., 2014).

In the musical school field, some projects are being developed without losing sight of the great integrating, socializer, and transformer power of music. Among them, it is necessary to mention the LOVA project (2006): The Opera as a Learning Vehicle, an educational project in which a class becomes an Opera company and during a complete course a short opera is created. It originates from the show Educational Creating Original Opera and arrived in Spain at the hands of Mary Ruth McGinn during the 2006-07 academic year. She began applying it in three public schools of the Community of Madrid and is currently developed in 24 centers in six Autonomous Communities.

The MUS-E Program (1996) has as its motto: educate to integrate, include and coexist. It's a program, integrated into the school curriculum, devised by Master Yehudi Menuhin to promote the social integration of disadvantaged groups through workshops taught by active artists.

Other socio-community oriented projects are: Voices and music for integration (2004) or Oysiao (2012).

3 – What is socio-educational mediation? Models of mediation

There are two significant models that summarise socio-educational actions for mediation: the technological or reproductive model, and the critical or reconstructive model. According to Sáez (1993), the focus at university and in centres for higher education is on the technological, scientific, or positivist model, making these educational spaces what he calls cognitive prescription. In his opinion, there is a big gap in this model between university and school since some subjects design knowledge (scientists and researchers), whilst others apply it (teachers), meaning there is a vacuum between planners and doers, between theory and practice; ''whilst scientists devise their theories in the laboratory, others try to retranslate these theories into practice” (Sáez-Carreras, 1993, pg. 92).

The other important model of mediation as a critical social practice has been defined by House and Mathison (1983) as a fundamentally political action: actions that are neither neutral nor sterile but fraught with values and interests. The concept of intervention/mediation in this case is dialogical, defined not because of its scientific and technological design, but rather because ''it is personal and socially significant for the subjects who receive it” (Sáez-Carreras, 1993, p. 96). Advocates of the critical approach to intervention aim for there to be social and personal emancipation of people in their programs and for them to also be key actors in their own process of emancipation and self-determination (Bachman & Simonin, 1981). The beacon in this social and educational model is undoubtedly Freire (1972), who believes in engagement, participation, and democracy in education.

In a more current context, Moreno (2016), one of the authorities in the study of artistic mediation, positions herself in a very specific space between philosophy, pedagogy and psychology where art is a tool, a mediating object of socio-educational intervention to promote access to culture, develop resilience, promote empowerment, enable symbolization processes and resolve conflicts.

4- Art education: models for social mediation

The inclusion of this model is a milestone in the classifications that have been taking place since the second half of the 20th century. There has been no one until now who has conceived social and community commitment as an educational need that could be addressed from music.

It is true that there are some sporadic initiatives, almost always from the private sphere, that have been exploring the way of using sound material as an intervention tool in groups at risk of social exclusion for therapeutic purposes (e.g. prison groups, prostitution, reception centers for minors, or groups of immigrants, among others), as a tool to improve communication (e.g. people with Down Syndrome) or memory (e.g. Alzheimer's disease patients or senile dementia).There are very few positive experiences referenced in these areas but not always documented with scientific rigor.

The inclusion of social mediation through music as a model of social and community commitment can be aimed at groups with a therapeutic purpose but also without it. That is, towards healthy individuals integrated into society but in need of values ​​and scenarios in which to share and experience art, beauty, empathy, combat loneliness, etc. This double path can be approached from the same model: when there is a therapeutic purpose and music is a tool to go through the therapeutic process, then the model has an interventionist vocation. In such case, the application of the educational model must be guided in an interdisciplinary way with a team that includes a therapist, a psychologist, a social educator and a music professional, all converging in the task of recovering individuals for society.

The other path within the social mediation model does not have an interventionist purpose, but rather a mediator one, a driver of values and generator of friendly situations and scenarios in which people feel their emotional needs are met. This route is not therapeutic because, in principle, it is aimed at normal people without pathological diagnoses to treat or, at least not clinically evidenced. In the educational activities of this path, music professionals, music educators who carry out creative and motivating workshops, and the support of a social educator are generally needed in the event of conflict situations that may arise during mediation processes.

In the extensive review carried out, no reference has been found to any educational model of this type and with these two specific purposes. For the first route described above, there is literature within the field of music therapy in which there are some meeting points in activities and methodological assumptions, but the approach is not educational but therapeutic. However, it is important to underline that it is not possible to develop specific didactics or pedagogical methods when the model that supports these practices has not been defined until now. Therefore, special emphasis should be placed on the importance of defining and delimiting this model in order to develop an entire pedagogical action based on it, which must necessarily lead to new musical educational policies.

Among the notable contributions that have pointed towards such a model in the past Eisner (1995) must be mentioned. Expert in art education, he drew up a draft approach to two general models in art education that justified art education from different perspectives: on one hand, an essentialist trend, and on the other hand, the contextual trend. Followers of the essentialist trend like Dewey, Langer and Tolstoi believe that the artistic experience given off in learning art cultivates a series of emotions in people, sensitivities and representations that are not created in any other area of teaching. What is learnt through the artistic experience, be it creation or interpretation, is unique. Therefore, this model of art deserves to be in a field of knowledge on its own, regardless of its possibilities in contributing to learning in other fields or with other educational ends.

On the other hand, using a contextual reference system (contextual trend), Eisner stated that an educational program -both its means and its ends- can only be correctly determined if the context in which said program is going to work is understood. Both, the characteristics of the students, and the needs of the majority of society, must be considered in this trend.

In the two trends described above, music is used as a tool or vehicle for artistic mediation. For Hennion (1993), music is the art of mediation because without the help of the mediations operated by scores, performers, concerts, or recordings; music remains inaccessible. Musical mediation -a field within artistic mediation- therefore connects the different repertoires of universal music with the musicians who perform them and the people who listen to them. It develops strategies to approach real or potential audiences and establishes the tools to evaluate the impact of said actions. The activity is reflected in a wide range of educational and artistic activities in which the common denominator is to provoke interaction between the public and the music.

Interpreters, musicologists, pedagogues, communicators or creators are the professionals who currently carry out this work, although higher education has detected the need to create a specialized professional profile that provides the necessary skills for artistic mediation (Lorenzo de Reizábal, 2020). The figure of the musical mediator attends to a paradigm shift in the profile of the professional musician. Increasingly, society and the socioeconomic situation of the music sector require a flexible, versatile and multidisciplinary musician profile. The artistic mediator, who works in the socio-educational and community environment, must necessarily incorporate into his work a social perspective that is very close to the work of the social educator. In this way, the artistic mediator has to incorporate strategies and procedures from the field of social mediation with the difference of having an artistic specialization (Lafortune, 2012).

Aligned with this view and according to Barragán and Moreno (2004), the social educator is closer to the contextual model of arts education since the aim is to improve the personal and social situation of people within a group, instead of being able to assimilate artistic procedures and end up with a final product that has artistic value.

It is common to find institutions within a social network that organise workshops and activities with artistic content. Social educators who do not have specific training in the arts develop these workshops. This means that the quality of those workshops depends on the imagination and/or intuition of the educators, which is the reason they are not developed within an adequate theoretical framework or specific artistic methods. This reveals the need to combine specific efforts, knowledge, and methodologies to carry out workshops where the artistic actions –in our case, music, and dance– are mediators. It should be considered that work teams using art as an intervention tool are made up of professionals who come from the artistic field as well. However, it must be highlighted that the concept of an artistic action is an educational tool in these social contexts. The main aim is not that people who use it learn to create an artistic object in accordance with academic norms, but rather that these activities encourage their independence as well as their cultural identity and social inclusion. In this type of mediation, musicians do not have psychological training, but do have the skills and necessary knowledge to imagine and create activities that are related to music in its multiple aspects. That is why artistic education professionals can and should complement the teams where workshops and activities with artistic mediation are planned and developed.

5. Benefits of music mediation in the socio-educational field

According to Moreno (2010), ''the artistic activity connects the subject with their own individual and cultural identity; it allows them to check their consciousness and access the symbolic universe” (p. 2). Moreno (2016) and Fontdevila (2018), like other experts in social pedagogy, believe that the artistic experience makes it easier for the individual to take a critical stand before reality, himself or herself, and the world. Thus, imagining other representations of that self and the world in other surroundings and cultures. This circumstance provokes the idea that both concepts are reviewable and changing, leaving room for the possibility of change and transformation within the individual himself or herself. In other words, an artistic experience allows people to look within themselves and imagine themselves differently and in other circumstances. Especially revealing is the perspective of Mañón and Lorente (2003) who conceive mediation as an accompaniment, that is, the educator walks together with someone in the direction of achieving an improvement in the autonomy of the people with whom he works.

Barragán and Moreno (2004) have described the benefits of the artistic experience in social collectives experiencing difficulties, which have been adapted to musical experience as a specific form of art, based on the accumulated experience in projects of this type. As a result of this adaptation, the following decalogue of benefits of musical experience in social collectives has been proposed:

1. Music provides opportunities to come closer to our past and relive it symbolically

2. Participating in collective music activities allows the individual to have a feeling of belonging to a group, to feel safe, protected, important and necessary, embraced as just one more in a safe environment

3. Through musical synesthetic activities, individuals can remember, recognise and rebuild their past from a contemporary perspective, symbolically assimilate experiences and events and rethink their meaning

4. Through sound production, the individual can express his or her inner emotions that are hard to communicate, in a discursive way, without making them explicit

5. Group experience in collective activities eases collaboration between others, negotiation, and the exchange of skills. It promotes inter-relations within a healthy context with other individuals and foments learning to listen and put oneself in the other's shoes and accept or integrate the differences

6. Music can lead to susceptible and very diverse experiences depending on the type of music used in each activity (festive feeling, vengeful, melancholic, loving, fraternity, longing, freedom, etc.)

7. Music can inspire a playful atmosphere of enjoyment with no other objective other than to relax and generate personal and collective well-being that goes beyond therapeutical intentions

8. Creativity and imagination are stimulated, as well as spontaneity and inventiveness, which might lead to a surfacing of the capacity to reinvent oneself and imagine oneself in another surrounding with another image, to rephrase it, rebuilding your life

9. Increase in the self-concept, independence and personal motivation

10. Leads to insight, becoming aware of oneself.

Finally, it is worth highlighting the importance of incorporating this model of artistic mediation - in our case, through music - since it brings benefits to the individuals, groups and communities who participate in these creative and educational processes. UNESCO (1982), declared that culture, education and art can offer the human being the ability to reflect on oneself. It is this capacity for reflection that makes us specifically human beings, rational, critical and ethically committed.

6. Discussion and conclusions

The changes experienced in all areas in the first two decades of the 21st century place us in a different scenario from that in which the traditional educational models in the field of music were defined during the second half of the 20th century. Despite these changes derived from globalization, the incorporation of women into the labor market, migratory movements, job insecurity, greater leisure time, greater longevity, etc., musical education has remained adhered to the academic and amateur model defined by Escudero in 1981, and House and Mathison in 1983. All these traditional models fundamentally pursue that students acquire technical instruction and musical skills that lead to the production of a sound work that reaches the highest levels of interpretive quality, according to the aesthetic and stylistic codes inherited from the so-called Western musical tradition. Naturally, training of qualified professionals is still needed, competent in interpretation, in the field of composition, orchestral conducting, etc. But these are not the only training options in the field of music education in the 21st century. I agree with the diagnosis made by González and Wagenaar (2003) and Bravo-Salinas (2007) when they sustain that music must reach the entire social fabric as a way of reverting to the most local environment the artistic capital that is handled in music schools and conservatories.In line with Espigares and García (2010), I believe that a new taxonomy of musical educational models is absolutely necessary to bring them up to date, but above all, to be able to introduce new perspectives in the ways of doing things in the classroom. Going even further, I defend that it is necessary to contemplate and expand the human groups to which this musical formation can be addressed and contemplate music not only as an object of study in itself, but as a tool for the acquisition of values ​​and attitudes that contribute to the well-being of human beings. I also subscribe to the statement by Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010) and Cieza (2010) about the need to go beyond the walls of music schools. In addition, one of the problems in carrying out this falling of walls is the lack of methodologies appropriate. Even though I share the classification of teaching methods of Hemsy de Gaínza, as well as the didactics of Escudero (1981), to the best of our knowledge, neither pedagogical actions nor methodologies can be defined if the chosen educational model is not previously clarified. In this sense, the methodologies applicable to the most recent models are yet to be defined, such as the gamification model (in all its aspects), the model for leisure and entertainment (which must contemplate the training of adults, still unexplored), and the music mediation (still to be studied).In relation to the academic model described by Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010), it should be noted that the practical academic learning submodel is the one that has traditionally been carried out in conservatories until a few years ago: unidirectional teaching, passive learning, methodologies based on master classes and teaching staff without pedagogical training. In this sense, the approach of reflective academic learning is very recent and has forced to renew the music teacher training curricula and give access to active and participatory methodologies in the educational process in conservatories.The lack of specialized literature that reflects on the academic model corresponding to the subject of music in general education is noteworthy. In the case of Spain, it is unfortunately not well-defined, and it takes some of the activities for the classroom from the gamification model and the amateur model. The most visible shortcomings are two: a teaching staff that is not always specialized in music, and the lack of adequate teaching time for this subject that relegates it to the background. For now there is no glimpse of any policy aimed at alleviating these problems. The music education for leisure defined by Hemsy de Gainza (2003) and Jorquera-Jaramillo (2010) is clearly insufficient because it refers fundamentally to early ages and does not contemplate the new social groups that also demand access to musical training of this type (adults, elderly, unemployed, risk groups, sick, lumpen groups, etc.). These new target groups imply new teaching strategies, new resources and new pedagogical approaches.Research such as that of Roldán (2016) and Zubeldia (2017) confirm the current trend towards the creation of occupational music training workshops for adults in Spain and in the European context. The great development is especially relevant within university departments dedicated to cultural leisure that offer courses and diplomas for adults, which can also be taken without previous studies of any kind. This supposes the approach to the university environment of people who could not access higher education in the past.

I subscribe to the idea of ​​Zhao and Biesta (2012) when they say that the concept of lifelong learning has substantially contributed to the change in the educational paradigm from a paedocentrism towards an inclusion of the older sectors. Regarding gamification, a very interesting model is proposed, but again focused on the childhood and youth stage of learning (Bermell et al., 2016; Ardila, 2019). However, in our opinion, the lack of access to new technologies in some scenarios, the lack of resources (we have been able to verify this during the recent Covid-19 health pandemic and the difficulty in continuing online classes for some sectors of the population), together with the lack of experience in the use of technological applications by older people, does not currently allow a generalization of this gamification model.

As conclusions about the new model of music mediation presented in this work, I could state the following:

a) New social contexts originated by economic crisis, migration, the consequences of globalization, the state of the labor market and employment, cultural and social policies, and more recently health emergencies, have created a new social ecosystem. Music cannot remain apart from these social changes and transformations.

b) Possible inertia due to traditional models of music education can be overcome with imagination and creativity. Educational projects should give a response to real demands of the social collectives of the surroundings. Music education will thus see a widened network of users including individuals with different interests rather than traditional ones. This will lead teachers to face adequate methodologies, different from those experienced in the past.

d) Research in socio-educational and community music education is necessary to respond to the demand of the needs of some target groups that traditionally have not had access to the benefits that music can bring if it is properly oriented. This research would be oriented to take advantage of all the transformative and potential change that music can have when used properly. The fundamental question is: How to use music for social welfare?

e) The educational model of social mediation through music has been described for the first time, with two subtypes: intervention in groups at risk of social exclusion, and mediation in healthy groups with fundamentally emotional and relational needs.

f) Before conceiving specific methodologies for the use of music as a socio-community tool, it is essential to define an educational model that would serve as a reference to adapt the pedagogical actions to the goals pursued.

g) It must be considered that the training of music teachers of the future must include tools to be able to function in all educational models, or specialize in one or more of them. The traditional musical training of teachers, based on models inherited from the 19th century, have become obsolete or do not respond to the interests of all learners. It is necessary to rethink the skills and competencies of music teachers, incorporating those that enable them not only to teach the academic or amateur model.

h) It is essential to promote educational research in these new environments, and respond to the new challenges of music education generated by the new models.

i) It must be emphasized that interdisciplinary work is vital in the planning and development of socially committed pedagogical models. The work teams that design workshops and projects in which music mediates must necessarily include a music professional (musician/music teacher).

7- Final reflection

The speed at which changes occur in the 21st century, as a result of multiple factors ranging from health or the environment, to the displacement of large masses of individuals due to wars, to poverty, poor distribution of wealth, acculturation and uprooting brought about by globalization and migratory movements, the aging of the population and other demographic, political and social factors, should put us on alert as pedagogues and researchers of the 21st century.

Surely the current drift of events will bring us in the not-too-distant future other scenarios not imagined until now in which music will have to broaden and/or change its horizons. This ethically obliges us to respond dialogically to future changes in musical educational models that are necessary to continue providing human beings with social cohesion and a continuous commitment to the well-being of individuals and groups. Future research should investigate the new music education models and shed light on possible didactic tools for their application in new learning environments, as well as clarify the functions of the members of multidisciplinary work groups and the role of music in the designs of socio-community intervention.


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[1]Own translation: A method -or methodological approach- generally consists of an individual creation or production: according to its own needs and characteristics, each author emphasizes a certain aspect of music teaching. The activities and/or materials are presented carefully in sequence, in order to offer users a more or less complete and ordered overview of the specific problem addressed. (p.79)

[2]Own Translation: In general, a model comprises a set of behaviours (activities, actions) and materials that take place or are developed in a specific context (playful, cultural, anthropological, technological, etc.). It has to do with how knowledge is learned or transmitted -customs, skills, beliefs, etc.-, whether in daily life, on the street, in the community; through games, songs and/or popular dance; through devices or machines, through various attitudes and practices. (p.80)

[3]Own translation: Musical learning consists mainly in the study of repertoires, since throughout the 19th century the practice of improvisation disappeared, giving rise to an extraordinary development of instrumental and singing virtuosity. Its methods, in historical terms, have been characterized as essentially consisting of imitation and repetition. (p.58)

Received: February 08, 2022; Accepted: April 04, 2022

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