Anyone who practices or studies community music is constantly asked to define it. Most of my colleagues and I agree that everyone's definition is different and subjective to their own experiences. For example my idea of community music is focused on the educational benefits. However there are many aspects to community music that most would agree on. Let me outline what community music means to me and how I apply it to CRASH.
The first is that community music focuses on experiential music making as apposed to study. At CRASH we learn about music through doing. The students write their own exercises, with my guidance, in order to learn theory and playing techniques. I find this is not only a fun way to learn about music, but is also extremely engaging for kids. Another aspect to community music is the difference in hierarchal learning. CRASH Rhythm classes allow collaboration between the students and I instead of a more formal lecture style. This allows the students input to be heard and gives the students pride in what they are learning. They are invested in the classes because they contribute to the material.
Community music also preaches diversity and inclusion stating that music making and music education is for everyone. I heard an analogy comparing community music to cooking from composer, performer and educator Peter Moser that I found very enlightening. He said that cooking is a way of expression. Just because a recipe is written in english does not mean that someone who only speaks spanish cannot make it. And we never judge those who cook for leisure as apposed to profession. Music should be viewed the same way. Anyone can make music and contribute to the recipe. That is what community music is all about!