Perspectives on Music, the Environment, and Sustainability Education from Recording Artists Featured on the David Suzuki Foundation Playlist for the Planet, 2011
The arts have the power to evoke emotion, spark dialogue, encourage innovative thinking, present diverse perspectives, cope with ambiguity and non-linearity, and influence the development of cultural norms. Increasingly used as tools in social change agendas, the arts have been promoted as a critical component for achieving a sustainable future. Through a cultural and social geography lens, this study explores how music, as one of the arts, can be used to encourage pro-environmental behaviour. Using a non-probabilistic, purposive sampling technique, I asked musicians who contributed songs to the David Suzuki Foundation Playlist for the Planet to contemplate their environment-related music, in their particular performing contexts, in the light of musical ecocriticism and/or environmental education. Results show multivalent themes emerging around maintaining musical authenticity in both artistic output and off-stage pro-environmental behaviour, balancing environmental messaging with other components in the entertainment context, and the roles of time, place, and audiences.