The Relationship of Art and Education for the Development of Society: Reconsidering Kabalevsky’s Contribution

By David Forrest.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the twentieth century, the Russian Soviet composer and educator D. B. Kabalevsky (1904–1987) was one of the most significant arts educators and advocate. Kabalevsky’s life spanned most of the major events that marked twentieth century Russian and Soviet history. As a composer, Kabalevsky is closely associated with Khachaturian, Khrennikov, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. As a music educator, his contribution stands alongside Kodály, Orff, Suzuki and Dalcroze. Like each of these composers, Kabalevsky left a rich and incisive legacy of compositions and writings. His compositions ranged from symphonies, concertos, operas and ballets through to songs and piano works for children.
Kabalevsky was an articulate composer and educator. He could identify an issue and clearly demonstrate how to deal with it musically and educationally. Kabalevsky the educator, artist, philosopher, politician and administrator was able to bring together the many aspects of his life for the promotion and development of the future generations of his country and humanity more generally. There are many dimensions of Kabalevsky’s extraordinary life, and the inherent interrelationships between the various aspects of his work and life are clearly demonstrated in his writings. They provide us with a great deal to consider and ponder, particularly as we apply some of the thinking to our own practice.

Keywords: Kabalevsky, Music for Children, Arts Education

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.17-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 189.537KB).

Prof. David Forrest

Associate Professor of Music Education, School of Education, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. David Forrest is Professor of Music Education in the School of Education and the School of Art at RMIT University. His research interests include curriculum development and policy, music for children, and the life and educational philosophy of DB Kabalevsky. He is the National Publications Editor for the Australian Society for Music Education and recently completed two terms as a Board Member of the International Society for Music Education.