Intercultural Understanding of Music for Kyosei Living: A Case Study on Multicultural Music Education in an American Primary School

Intercultural Understanding of Music for Kyosei Living: A Case Study on Multicultural Music Education in an American Primary School

Koji Matsunobu (The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8042-3.ch004

Abstract

Music has the power to connect people of distance and differences. Music education can facilitate this process. However, it can also develop cultural misunderstanding and prohibit the acceptance of others. This chapter introduces a negative case of multicultural music education in an American primary school to make sense of an intercultural misunderstanding in music that fails to achieve kyosei living in multicultural society. A detailed case study sheds light on the ways in which a music teacher facilitated students' cultural misunderstanding by teaching multicultural music from a European viewpoint, ignoring culture-specific contexts of practicing and appreciating music. Two examples of multicultural music taught in the class were Japanese and Native American music. Each will be examined from a culture-bearer's and ethnomusicologist's perspectives. Instead of criticizing the teacher's approach, the author analyzes why and how it happened within the context of the teacher.
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Context Of Sarah’S Teaching

Teaching multicultural music or world music education was not new to many music teachers (Volk, 1998; Rodrigues, 2003).1 As ethnomusicologists provided an array of information and materials documenting the diversity of the music traditions in the world, music teachers became aware of the multicultural dimensions of their profession (Campbell, 1991). The awareness of the necessity for ethnic inclusion also challenged music educators to seek new philosophy and models of multicultural music education (Jorgensen, 1998). Scholars advocating world music education suggested ways to integrate multicultural music in Western contexts (e.g. Campbell, 1991, 2002, 2004; Hebert, 2003). The music taught and learned in schools eventually expanded in terms of form and style (Campbell, 1996). There was already a shared understanding that we have to teach “many different but equally valid forms of musical and artistic expression” (Anderson and Campbell, 1989, p. 1).

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