New Book Explores Classroom Use of Indian Music, From Bollywood to Classical

Author Natalie Sarrazin has visited India frequently and is fascinated by its music, as well as the cultural underpinnings that create it. Her new book, Indian Music for the Classroom, covers Hindi-Pop, bhangra, and Urdu ghazal music, as well as national songs, children’s songs, and the devotional bhajan. “There is no one music, just as there is no one culture in India,” Sarrazin says.

Although music of all types is popular India, there is little formal music training in schools until the college level. Private lessons and informal sharing of music are the norm for younger children.

“People value music, and for the most part, the country has a rich musical heritage that is handed down. Everyone sings. There is a great deal of improvisation and very little is written down,” according to Sarrazin.

Indian Music includes lists of vocabulary and concepts, musical transcriptions, photos, and resources.Teachers can use the text in their classrooms immediately. More than 50 lesson activities with listening charts, composition exercises, reflective questions, and other creative ideas bring the music of India alive and align with the National Standards for Music Education. The author recommends her book for classes from kindergarten through high school.

Sarrazin holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology and a master’s degree in music education. She is currently assistant professor of music in the Theatre and Arts for Children program,  an interdisciplinary arts program at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. “It is my hope that Indian Music for the Classroom will introduce Indian music to people with little previous exposure, be helpful to those who are already familiar with the music, and that the lessons and music will excite the imagination of readers of all backgrounds,” she said.

MENC and Rowman & Littlefield Education copublished the book, which is now available. MENC members receive a 25% discount off the list price of $85 for the hardcover and $34.95 for the paperback version. Visit the Rowman & Littlefield Store to order.

Visit MENC Books for additional information on other recently published MENC books.

 — Roz Fehr, February 6, 2009. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education