Listening to Ravel’s Bolero helps a child develop a sense of patterns, an important concept in the development of math skills.
Musica Exotica,Multiculturalism,And School Musicby Patricia Shehan CampbellPresented by Jerison Harper Lee
PurposeThis presentation summarizes theevolution of music education in theUnited States as the multiculturaldemographics shifted over the lastcentury
MulticulturalismThe definition of Multiculturalism:The doctrine that several differentcultures (rather than one nationalculture) can coexist peacefully andequitably in a single country.wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn. Web. 6 July 2012.
Challenges faced in Americanschools toward Multiculturalism Curricular attempts to feature too many cultures too quickly Students are disillusioned by what they see as a hodge- podge of facts and values. There is no focal point nor identifiable purpose. The educational system seems unable to define for itself the meaning of an American heritage. There is no balance between subject-specific knowledge and skills and the multicultural perspectives. Music teachers and their programs are just beginning to meet some of the mandates placed upon them in the name of multiculturalism.
Influential events over the century1901-1910 Immigrants from southern and eastern Europe joined asociety of Anglo-Saxons, Germans, Irish and some westernAfrican heritages.An initial trend to assimilate children of immigrants into onecommon American culture was shifted gradually to ethnicstudies.1907 The Music Supervisors National Conference was organized,focusing more on fine arts rather than “folk”music.1929 A committee on International Relations was formed.1930 Textbook companies began to publish “songs from manylands”1939 Musical cultures of South and Central America began to befostered through MENC.
Influential events over the century, continued…1940 The quest for inter-American unity throughmusic was seen as an important thrust of musiceducation.1948 Internationalism emerged on many fronts withthe founding of the United Nations.An International Music council was established by theUnited Nations Educational, Scientific, and CulturalOrganization (UNESCO)1953 International Society for Music Education (ISME)was founded.
The turning point At mid-century, the rapid changes in transportation, telecommunications, and world organizations resulted in the rise of internationalism. Music teachers occasionally featured stories, songs and dances from outside of United States. Civil and minority rights triggered social upheaval and became one of the principal influences for change in American schools. The Tanglewood Symposium was created in 1967 to discuss the values and functions of music and the arts in American society which resulted in the statement “Music of all periods, styles, forms, and cultures belong[s] in the curriculum” (Choate, 1968). By the early 1980s, a turn toward multiculturism began to be reflected more widely in the professional work of music educators.
Progress through the 1990s New immigrants from Latin American and Asia influenced the society, economy, and education in the U.S. A movement toward national cohesion was on the rise. Teachers had to modify their teaching methods for students from diverse groups. Development of various paradigms, including “ethnic additive,” “self-concept development,” “cultural pluralism,” and “assimilationism”. Music educators were influenced by federal and state mandates in multicultural and bicultural education.
Missing the Mark As of 1994, nowhere in the MENC literature is multicultural and music education explicitly defined. World music education is concerned with cross- cultural comparisons that span many musical styles, rather than with concentrating more intensively as in multiethnic or multicultural. Expansion of musical curricular content was most widely discussed, however, there were very few publications within MENC for the use of specific selections to represent the musical culture.
Unresolved issues:1. The musical competence of teachers who teach unfamiliar styles.2. Their cultural competence in delivering music to students who are culturally distant from them.
Assessment Despite the profusion of literature on multicultural music education, there was little evidence that specific approaches do what they intended to do. As there were virtually no assessment or research studies on multicultural music education, it was suggested that MENC initiate such studies nationally.
ConclusionConsiderable progress has been made throughout the century, there are still many gaps to befilled. In a country as culturally diversified asAmerica, a significant effort is needed to putforward multiculturalism in music education
ReferenceCampbell, Patricia Shehan. 1994. “Musica Exotica,Multiculturalism, and School Music.” The Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning 5 (2): 65-75.