The Impossible Profession

Chris Higgins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article proposes the following thesis: If teaching is an impossible profession, music education is a really impossible profession. In music class, the discussion argues, four tensions inherent in the modern school appear: Tensions between liberal and vocational aims in education; "high" and "low" culture; the teacher's inner musician and her inner pedagogue; and practices and institutions. The article traces the sources and consequences of these dilemmas, exploring how each shapes the world of the music educator, making an impossible profession even more difficult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199968893
ISBN (Print)9780195394733
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • High culture
  • Low culture
  • Music class
  • Music education
  • Music teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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