Categories
4 Minute Read The Gap What We Have Learnt

Baking sourdough bread: A metaphor for understanding how music as social action works (and doesn’t always work)

As we were finalising this post, we heard that Dr Kim Dunphy had passed away. Agrigento wishes to recognise Dr Dunphy’s international contribution to dance therapy and cultural development and the profound loss that will be felt by her community in Australia and more widely. This article is indebted to her work.

In Agrigento’s office in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia, Louise’s daughter has been baking sourdough. She has nurtured the starter, asking: Does it respond best to strong white, wholemeal or rye flour? She has watched it develop and fail to develop. She has cared for the dough, experimenting with water content ratios, different rise conditions, and cold or hot ovens.

Sourdough has taught this young woman a lot. It has taught her patience, diligence and humility, and encouraged her to be curious and learn through experimentation. Perhaps most importantly, she has learnt to acknowledge equally what works and what doesn’t.

Categories
The Gap

A silver lining? The case for small ensemble music making

The dark cloud of Covid-19 has cast long shadows across the cultural sector. Over the past weeks, our newsfeeds have been punctuated with articles considering the dire implications for organisations, workers, and students in this field. As regards music participation, a large question mark hangs over the short- to medium-term future for choirs and school band programs. Music education is faced with the possibility of having to reimagine large ensemble programs. But is this such a bad thing?