Sites of social justice: community music in New York City

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Research Studies in Music Education


The purpose of this article is to integrate some philosophical reflections on music and music education with aspects of social justice as practiced in three community music sites in New York City. Through this integration of theory and practice, I offer ways in which school music educators might adapt and benefit from the practices of community workers in these contexts. After examining the nature of social justice, I discuss some prerequisites for, and aspects of, this concept in the context of western societies generally and the USA particularly. In doing so, I draw principally on the work of bell hooks, one of America’s most eminent social critics. The last section of my discussion connects salient aspects of social justice to three sites of community music in New York City.



Published Citation

Silverman, Marissa. 2009. “Sites of Social Justice: Community Music in New York City.” Research Studies in Music Education 31 (2): 178–92. doi:10.1177/1321103X09344384.