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ERIC Number: EJ699777
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan-1
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0027-4321
Connecting Meaningful Music and Experiences in a Multicultural, Multimusical Classroom
Kelly, Steven N.; Van Weelden, Kimberly
Music Educators Journal, v90 n3 p35 Jan 2004
It is important to realize that students encompass a vast array of American musical cultures and the values they represent. The impact of this diversity can be seen in the influence music has on the self-image that many students have developed. Clothing, hair styles, makeup, tattoos, and body piercings, as well as in-and out-of-school social activities, often mirror those of a particular music genre or group. It is also important for teachers to realize that they may not truly know and understand all the facets of these musical cultures, including their cultural, academic, and musical impact. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness may prevent some teachers from including a diversity of music in their classrooms and exposing their students to the benefits of musical diversity. Teachers tend to teach what they know and what is comfortable. While this method includes many wonderful musical styles and experiences, there is also a possibility this approach may overlook the rich and diverse musical cultures of students. Teachers do not need to personally embrace current pop styles, but they should know the names of the current artists their students prefer so they can better transfer class concepts to the students' culture. To begin this process, teachers must discover the musical cultures of their classrooms and communities. Observing students' reactions to various musical styles (both in and out of class), asking students to list and talk about their musical preferences, and interviewing people from the community are excellent sources of information. Teachers may find this process helpful in determining which musical genres they should become familiar with and in planning musical experiences that link school music to musical experiences that students participate in away from school. If one goal of education is to improve the quality of life, then it makes sense that everything a student learns should have some direct relation to his or her life. With a broader cultural focus, music education can provide this connection. (Contains 15 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A