Skip to main content

The Politics of Diversity in Music Education

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Brings together high-level theorisation with empirical analyses of the political structures and processes that produce understandings of diversity in music education
  • Extends the conceptual scope of diversity in music education through the lenses of intersectionality, biopolitics and ecodiversity
  • Offers critical methodological considerations for future research

Part of the book series: Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education (LAAE, volume 29)

Buy print copy

Softcover Book USD 16.99 USD 49.99
Discount applied Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Table of contents (15 chapters)

  1. Extending the Scope of Diversity in Music Education


About this book

This open access book examines the political structures and processes that frame and produce understandings of diversity in and through music education. Recent surges in nationalist, fundamentalist, protectionist and separatist tendencies highlight the imperative for music education to extend beyond nominal policy agendas or wholly celebratory diversity discourses. Bringing together high-level theorisation of the ways in which music education upholds or unsettles understandings of society and empirical analyses of the complex situations that arise when negotiating diversity in practice, the chapters in this volume explore the politics of inquiry in research; examine music teachers’ navigations of the shifting political landscapes of society and state; extend conceptualisations of diversity in music education beyond familiar boundaries; and critically consider the implications of diversity for music education leadership. Diversity is thus not approached as a label applied to certainindividuals or musical repertoires, but as socially organized difference, produced and manifest in various ways as part of everyday relations and interactions. This compelling collection serves as an invitation to ongoing reflexive inquiry; to deliberate the politics of diversity in a fast-changing and pluralist world; and together work towards more informed and ethically sound understandings of how diversity in music education policy, practice, and research is framed and conditioned both locally and globally.


"While many titles have addressed issues of diversity in its many forms, and while political issues are often embedded in this work, the current title specifically and directly frames the book from the perspective of politics, adding a unique focus and frame that makes an important contribution to the field. Addressing the politics of diversity as part of the “everyday processes by which we all exercise agency, negotiate power and identity, and assign meaning to difference” makes for compelling reading, offering a complex set of views on a dynamic and varied range of topics. This is a must read book to all compelled to engage with the urgent work around equity and diversity."— Patrick Schmidt, Professor of Music Education, Western University, Canada

Editors and Affiliations

  • Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

    Alexis Anja Kallio

  • Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    Heidi Westerlund

  • Music Education and Music Therapy Department, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, Norway

    Sidsel Karlsen

  • Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

    Kathryn Marsh

  • Malmö Academy of Music, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

    Eva Sæther

About the editors

Alexis Anja Kallio is Senior Lecturer of Music and Research at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. Her research investigates the politics of music education, with a particular focus on diversity and equity issues. She is editor of Difference and Division in Music Education (2020) and co-editor of Music, Education, and Religion: Intersections and Entanglements (2019).

Heidi Westerlund is Professor at the Sibelius Academy, the University of the Arts Helsinki where she also serves as head of music education doctoral studies. She is PI of Global visions through mobilizing networks; The Arts as Public Service: Strategic Steps towards Equality (ArtsEqual); and Co-investigator in Music for social impact. Westerlund has published widely, serves on several editorial boards and is the editor-in-chief of the Finnish Journal of Music Education.

Sidsel Karlsen is Professor of Music Education at the Norwegian Academy of Music where she is one of the leaders of the Centre for Educational Research in Music, and docent at the University of the Arts Helsinki. She is PI of Global visions through mobilizing networks. Karlsen has published widely in international research journals, anthologies and handbooks and serves on several international editorial boards.

Kathryn Marsh is Professor Emerita at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. She has been the editor of Research Studies in Music Education and Visiting Fellow at the Universities of Oxford, London and Washington. She is author of the award winning (2008) book The Musical Playground: Global Tradition and Change in Children’s Songs and Games (OUP).

Eva Sæther is Professor in Music Education at Lund University, Malmö Academy of Music (MAM), and docent at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Her research focuses on intercultural perspectives on musical learning and creativity(ies). She teaches in the music teacher education program, and leads the research education in music education at MAM.   

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Politics of Diversity in Music Education

  • Editors: Alexis Anja Kallio, Heidi Westerlund, Sidsel Karlsen, Kathryn Marsh, Eva Sæther

  • Series Title: Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-65616-4Published: 20 March 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-65619-5Published: 29 March 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-65617-1Published: 19 March 2021

  • Series ISSN: 1573-4528

  • Series E-ISSN: 2214-0069

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 214

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Creativity and Arts Education, Educational Policy and Politics, Teaching and Teacher Education

Publish with us