Reply To: Global music education in the 21st century


I think one of the important parts is knowing your audience. Although there is value in teaching students about things they have no idea existed, there is also the perspective of refusing to teach them what they are culturally biased towards. Los Angeles is a great microcosm of this, where I feel like many music educators really have no experience in the music of their largely urban and/or latino students. I had to spend quite a bit of time getting a specific feel for a lot of music, including playing in a mariachi and a salsa band. It really comes down to the pre-service model to a big extent…if we are locked into filling schedules with strings, winds, brass, and percussion, we are leaving out larger pieces. In a place like Los Angeles or the southwest, there should be a component of mariachi in the training as much as there needs to be marching band methods in Texas (although less so in places with no football culture). Maybe a separate course on specific non-traditional teaching ideas and programs can be a start, but nothing prepares a teacher like actually doing.