Press Release: “Close Your Eyes and Imagine India”

Indian Music for the Classroom Now Available from MENC: The National Association for Music Education and Rowman & Littlefield Education

RESTON, VA (January 14, 2009)Indian Music for the Classroom, a new publication by Natalie Sarrazin and published by MENC: The National Association for Music Education and Rowman & Littlefield Education, will open doors for teachers seeking a clear and enlightening way to add Indian music to their multicultural lessons.

Indian Music for the Classroom presents the different styles of Indian music and their cultural contexts, with chapters on Indian culture and sound, Indian classical vocal and instrumental music, folk music, film music, and traditional popular musics. From Hindi-Pop to bhangra to the Urdu ghazal, the book covers them all, as well as national songs, children’s songs, and the devotional bhajan.

With lists of vocabulary and concepts, musical transcriptions, photos, and resources, teachers can use the text in their classrooms immediately. More than 53 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. In addition, 48 musical transcriptions of teaching examples, drum rhythms, and songs make it easy to teach authentically. Sarrazin starts with the fundamentals – such as swara (pitch), sargam (Indian solfège), and that (basic scales) – and then moves on to Indian music notation, improvisation, and Indian instruments. She draws students into the culture with Indian legends and folk stories. Internet resources are provided so teachers can find authentic sound clips and order movies discussed in the book, as well as other resources. Most songs include English lyrics with the Hindi, and film and national songs contain piano or Orff accompaniments appropriate for concert performance.

“Sarrazin’s book is a streetwise, hands-on, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic guide to India’s musical traditions. Including India’s northern classical style, folk, Bollywood, and the boisterous bhangra dance, the book is the perfect introduction to the music of the world’s largest democracy. In a work of love filled with cultural insights and a teacher’s creativity in making India’s varied musics accessible, Sarrazin brings intelligence to performing and appreciating India’s multifaceted musical traditions.”—David Reck, Professor of Music and Asian Languages and Civilizations, Emeritus, Amherst College

Natalie Sarrazin holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology and a Master’s degree in Music Education. She is currently assistant professor of music and teaches in the Theatre and Arts for Children program, an interdisciplinary arts program at The College at Brockport, State University of New York.

Indian Music for the Classroom is available from RLE in paperback for $34.95 and clothbound for $85.00. MENC members receive a discount of 25%. To order or for more information, call 800-462-6420 or visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 142,000 members and supporters represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. MENC is located in the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA.