“Part of my teaching philosophy is to introduce students to other cultures and help them discover a bigger world,” says MENC member Linda White.
In searching out sources of multicultural music, White suggests
- Read books about other cultures (not just music-related books).
- Attend concerts with musicians and music from other places.
- Take classes that teach music and games from other countries.
- Invite parents or others in the community from other countries to school—for classroom visits or assemblies.
- Attend sessions on multicultural music at MENC, Orff, and Kodály conferences, and consult with the clinicians.
White has collaborated with her school librarian or music colleagues and made presentations with lots of visuals:
- Charts or collages for the wall
Students use these to form questions about the culture or the arts that they want to explore for a “question wall.”
MENC Strategies for Teaching Lesson Plans:
White’s Recommended Resources:
- The works of Patricia Shehan Campbell and Ellen McCullough-Brabson (Roots and Branches, We’ll Be in Your Mountains, We’ll Be in Your Songs: A Navajo Woman Sings— see other multicultural series articles for others)
- MENC and Orff magazine articles
- Multicultural children’s books (which she makes available to her students in her classroom)
- Japanese Kamishibai (a form of storytelling)–great for introducing Japanese stories and incorporating Japanese songs. (See Kamishibai Story Theater)
- Mary Goetze and Jay Fern’s Global Voices in Song DVDs–full of dances, songs, games, and background about various cultures.
Linda K. White has been an elementary school teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. She was one of 20 educators nationwide named to USA Today’s 2007 All USA Teacher Team and was honored by the Virginia MEA as General Music Teacher of the Year in 2006, the year she was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame.
Linda Brown, November 19, 2008, © National Association for Music Education (nafme.org)