Boundaries and bridges: the influence of James Cooksey Culwick on the development of the teaching and learning of music in 19th-century Ireland

Stakelum, M. (2014) Boundaries and bridges: the influence of James Cooksey Culwick on the development of the teaching and learning of music in 19th-century Ireland. International Journal of Music Education, 32 (4). pp. 409-421. ISSN 0255-7614 (print) 1744-795X (online)

Abstract

James Cooksey Culwick (1845–1907) was born in England. Trained as chorister and organist in Lichfield Cathedral, he moved to Ireland at 21 and remained there until his death in 1907. Although his reputation as scholar, musician and teacher was acknowledged widely during his lifetime – he received an honorary doctorate from University of Dublin (1893) – little has been documented about the contribution he made to music education. This article addresses this gap in the literature and argues that it was Culwick’s singular achievement to pay attention to music pedagogy at secondary level, by recognizing that music could be seen as a serious career option for girls, and by providing a resource for teachers which could be used with pupils of all abilities. In addition, he considered Irish music as an art that had significance as music first, and Irish music second, and advocated a “laudable tolerance” for opposing views on matters of cultural identity to Ireland at the end of the 19th century.

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