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Music Education Research
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Placing elementary music education: a case study of a Canadian rural music program
Faculty of Education , Queen's University , Kingston , ON , Canada Published online: 20 Jun 2013.
To cite this article: Music Education Research (2013): Placing elementary music education: a case study of a Canadian rural music program, Music Education Research, DOI: 10.1080/14613808.2013.779641 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2013.779641
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thus strengthening their sense of place. These research studies profile how teachers implement units and/or after-school programmes that aimed to expose students to ideas and traditions that were part of their local environment (e.Music Education Research.brook@queensu. that is. Through these experiences. often by virtue of necessity. many schools are implementing programmes and courses that teach students about caring for one another and the world around them. more research is needed to examine how music education can deepen students’ sense of place. and similarly. students can develop unique and long-lasting relationships.org/10. students’ understanding of the people and the places that surround them were enhanced (Gradle 2007a). their understanding of local traditions and the deepening of relationships with others. Through ensemble music-making. Place-based educational research has explored the implementation of such programme in the areas of social studies and visual arts. Place-based educational research has explored the implementation of such programmes in the areas of social studies and the arts. Using case-study methodology a richer understanding of how selected repertoire as well as small and large group activities enhanced students’ connections to the people and places that surround them. ﬁnal version received 20 February 2013) The purpose of this research study was to explore how one rural elementary music programme deepens students’ sense of place.779641 Placing elementary music education: a case study of a Canadian rural music program Julia Brook* Faculty of Education.doi. Queen’s University. ON. thus strengthening students’ connections to place. rural education. In particular. providing opportunities to experience the traditions that underpin one’s environment that can not only increase their musical understanding but also develop students socially and emotionally. place-based education Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 Introduction Many educational researchers are acknowledging the importance of ethical and character education for children (Noddings 2005. Canada (Received 17 October 2011. rely heavily on local assets to frame their music programmes.1080/14613808.2013. 2013 http://dx.ca # 2013 Taylor & Francis . the music education’s ability to impact students is dependent on the types of music and musical experiences that are introduced in the *Email: julia. Music education programmes may be implicitly incorporating features of placebased education. Kingston. As such. Music education allows one to be in culture (Gibson 2008). however. 2007). Keywords: elementary music education. Arguably. rural music education programmes. the music concerts are valuable tradition in these communities. Gruenewald and Smith 2008).g.
that frame both Koda ´ ly’s and Orff ’s approaches. The study’s findings and conclusions are presented in the final two sections. strategies or musical activities into their music programme that are not part of the original framework (Jorgensen 2003). that is. students engaged with music through the learning and creation of speech poems. playing. creation. Therefore. I explore elementary music education traditions and research related to rural music education as well as extant literature related to the implementation of various music programmes. Zoltan Koda ´ ly and Carl Orff emphasised the importance of local music and of learning music by doing. While the powerful nature of music has been lauded by several.2 J. Montgomery (2000) argued that both approaches have great potential in nurturing students. Bowman 2002). . Hungary (Houlahan & Tacka 2008). lends itself well to placebased notions such as connecting to the local environment and developing traditions. creating and/or listening. In this system. singing. These music programmes are often structured according to Koda ´ ly or Orff methodologies (Hill Strategies 2010). respectively. and when necessary. listening and analysis (Frazee 1987). In the first section. In the third section. Carl Orff (1895 Á 1982) was a German composer and music educator who emphasised creativity and instrumental playing as well as singing (Steen 1992). I outline the case-study methodology that was employed for this study. such as the folk songs. Canada. which served as a theoretical framework. Teachers structure their music programme around the principles of Koda ´ ly or Orff but are responsive to the needs of their students. incorporating embodied activities. the purpose of this research study is to explore how the repertoire and activities in one elementary music education programme deepen students’ sense of place. Review of literature Performance-based elementary music education Canadian performance-based elementary music education programmes involve a variety of activities including singing. the oppressive and irrelevant nature of music education has also been acknowledged by some (Sloboda 2001. Given the strong links to place that are often part of rural music education programmes. I then explore literature related to place-based music education. countering the music education traditions of their times. Examining music education in terms of how it develops students’ sense of place may prove powerful in elucidating the features of music education programmes that enrich students (Bowman 2002). students should learn about music by engaging in music through performance. Zoltan Koda ´ ly (1882 Á1967) is recognised for creating a new style of music education based on the folk music of his country. This paper contains five sections. this study explores such a programme in rural Manitoba. that is well known for its connections to the community. Koda ´ ly incorporated Hungarian folk music in his own compositions and advocated for its use in Hungarian children’s music education. Brook Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 music classroom. playing in ensembles. The emphasis on using locally based music. He believed that music education should be participatory and performance-based. stating that ‘experience has indicated that [both Koda ´ ly and Orff] offer extraordinary potential for nurturing children towards a distinct aspect of musical knowing’ (130). moving and playing of instruments. incorporate ideas.
However. classical and jazz music among others. The extent to Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 . including non-Western types of music (Campbell 2003). Kushner (1991) documented the experiences of children in a British school who believed that musical activities contradicted their religious beliefs but were. The extent to which repertoire in school music should be similar to the music children experience outside of school is of great consideration in terms of the types of music and ensembles that are incorporated in music education programmes. With little background knowledge of Mariachi music.Music Education Research 3 Children have their own cultures that are different from the adults in their worlds Á as babies. To this end. clapping chants and regular and purposeful rhythms (Campbell 2003). having to adhere to school practices by participating in activities that were seemingly in conflict with their religious beliefs. which includes singing games. while at other times present new and different experiences that can potentially broaden their understanding and the scope of their experiences. the various cultures represented in the schools and communities need to be represented. This is an example of how embodied musical experiences may not help students connect to their local environment. we may need to address the fact that for some. she advocated for the incorporation of musical activities that stem from students’ particular communities. Stauffer (2009) documented the experiences of a band teacher who attempted to meet the needs and interests of more students through the development of a Mariachi band. teacher must somehow balance the need to deepen students’ existing musical understanding. By introducing music that is not part of the regular out-of-school experience. the teacher was able to extent his music programme in a way that was responsive to the needs of the students and the community through support from the community. resources have been developed to support teachers that include songs and activities that encompass folk. For example. in developing a music programme. For example. many music teachers rely on community musicians. nevertheless. they sing and make up songs as they play to early school attenders engaging in school music. To incorporate music from the local community. In this way. Consequently. educators introduce the potential to broaden the musical scope of children which in turn can lead students to develop new musical traditions that they would otherwise not know (Sweet 2010). Jaffurs (2004) found that the school music setting ‘in no way portrayed students’ capabilities’ (98). Therefore. they listen to lullabies. the holistic and embodied nature of music may be condoned. as young children. Hess (2009) found that middle-school students enjoyed participating in a Ghanaian drum and dance ensemble and learning the pieces aurally even though they were not of Ghanaian descent. expected to participate in music events. bringing music and musical practices that are important to students outside of school into the classroom so that they may have a music education that is meaningful. When we consider a community’s musical cultures. The teacher purchased and borrowed recordings and scores to start the programme. the teacher relied on the expertise of community members to expand his understanding of Mariachi performance practices. In this way. The opportunity to expose students to new and different music is also considered to be an important part of music education. These students felt conflicted. the difference between musical ideas learned in school and out-ofschool musical experiences may are also evident in the genres of music that are prominent in school programmes.
For example. Noddings (2005) argued that by emphasising the local. just as these spaces and places impact us.1 which involved rehearsals outside of school hours. Gibson 2008). thus incorporating principals of placebased education (Bowman 2002. Rural music education A rural teaching context presents both challenges and supports that may differ from those in urban centres. the teacher enjoyed the work and the people and received a great deal of joy from watching his students ‘achieve while developing a love of music’ (29). Brook which teachers are able to deepen and broaden students’ musical experiences is dependent on factors such as available resources and time and community beliefs. Noddings 1984. community members and administrative personnel was integral to the development of a music programme that was valued by students and community alike. we not only support education in these areas. but we also allow opportunities for new ideas that can enhance education in other settings (e. 2002. in addition to a teaching load that includes several different courses and/or grades (Isabell 2005). Place-based education Place-based education research suggests that our society consists primarily of relationships between and among people and places. This emphasis on the local may seem counter to the need to educate children to be global citizens and thus to be mobile. By examining rural music education. At the same time. teachers in rural areas have supports that are not present in more urban schools. By understanding the education contents and contexts in these areas. Developing a supportive relationship with students. Elliott 1995. 2005. The importance that music education plays in these communities by providing a place for students to make music and by presenting performances that the community can enjoy highlights the role that music has Á allowing students to be in culture. we can gain a rich understanding of the interplay between content and context and examine how it impacts the people in these areas. which enhances their Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 . rural education can play an important part. however. This teacher additionally provided private lessons to interested young people. Rural communities have typically been places where people bought their goods and services locally and the success of the community has been due in part on people’s ability to interact with these resources in a sustainable way (Flora and Flora 2008). 2007). we offer our youth the experience of caring for the things around them. Wilcox (2005) described the life of a rural American music teacher who provided music instruction. The manner in which we educate our children must recognise that our actions and ideas affect our spaces and places. such as parental support for performances and opportunities to develop long-term relationships with students (Hunt 2009).4 J. insufficient resources and geographic isolation are factors that rural music teachers must address. In a time where many educational reformers are calling for the establishment of relationships and for the increased understanding of the local environment and connecting to the land. rather than learning about culture. Despite this hectic schedule. urban and suburban) to emerge.g. The teacher in this study provided band and choral instruction to students in Grades 5 Á12. and that our educational system should facilitate the development of positive relationships with the land as well as with others (Gradle 2007b.
A richer understanding of the students’ perceptions beyond a verbal response could be ascertained through this process (Freeman and Mathison 2009). questionnaires were distributed to parents in order to gain a broad understanding of their perceptions as adults. The emphasis of considering ideas within the local context acknowledges that life is multidimensional and our relationships to place are dynamic. Through these classroom observations. I also developed a running log of observations that described the setting. To further understand the perceptions of students. While the goal of place-based education is to promote the connection to the things and people within a local context. These five themes relate to both the local customs and traditions that are part of the community and the relationships that are formed between various members. rather than just talk. there is a danger in associating the notion of building community with a homogenisation of differences. I Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 . the physical character of the location and the general characteristics of the classroom (Lofland and Lofland 1995).Music Education Research 5 understanding that caring requires work. Similarly. which were each 30 minutes. (2) realising the challenges and potentialities of a collective effort. I wanted to examine the interaction between the context and content of the music programme. Place-based education is not only limited to the passive transmission of local facts but also includes the investigation. I learnt directly about the contents of the music programme and how the students interacted with other members of the community. their community. (4) being attuned to local diversity and (5) promoting an education in ethics. place-based education acknowledges the importance of diversity within a community and that through the exploration of place one can come to understand diverse practices within a particular context (Gruenewald 2008). I recruited a rural music programme that was well known by the provincial music education community for involving the community as part of the music programme. the unit of analysis was the music programme. Semistructured interviews were conducted with the music teacher and the principal. challenges and change of these ideas. I observed music classes for several days and made visits and tours around the community. questionnaires were distributed to the elementary students in the school. Data were collected from 31 students in Grades 1 Á52 during 20 minutes focus-group interviews. (3) recognising the importance of interdependence. No identifying characteristics of students or community members were included without explicit consent from the people identified and/or their guardians. When we think of emphasising the local. Connecting to the local gives students agency to showcase positive aspects of their places to the larger world. I also collected relevant documents such as concert programmes and pertinent newspaper articles and a book written about Winkler. A case study (Yin 2003) methodology was employed for this study. the school and the music programme. multiple data collection tools were employed. Method The study aimed to understand how an elementary music programme facilitated a sense of place. To enhance trustworthiness. Gruenewald and Smith (2008) identified five core themes within place-based education (1) finding assets in the surrounding human and natural environments. which are considered within a context. thus strengthening their connection to their local place and strengthening their connections to the various performance places. For this study.
related to the music programme (e. listening and band trip). and 20 km north of the Canada/USA border. Winnipeg.g. moving into this community. This analysis resulted in a rich picture of the music programme and how the experiences in this programme enhanced participants’ sense of place. while other Mennonites have a more refined sense of expression and either prefer not to express themselves through music or limit the types of music that they engage in to more stoic types of music. only one restaurant serves alcohol and few stores are open on Sundays. movement. music background). The number of churches not only points to the prominence of Christian beliefs in the community but also to the diversity of practices within Christianity that is evident in this community. Analysis procedures for the qualitative data consisted of coding the data for emergent themes as well as for a priori themes combed from music education and place-based education literature. Muhr 2007). Rural context: Winkler. Observational data. a Kindergarten (5-year-old students) to Grade 8 (14-year old-students) school with an enrolment of 481 students. Christian values and traditions are an important aspect of this community and impact its lifestyle. Codes related to place (e. I visited one elementary school. For example.g. Many respondents believed that Winkler offered many amenities of the city. Werner 2006) were consulted.6 J. choral singing is an important cultural practice. These family themes were used to create a rich description of how the music programmes related to those themes explored in music education and place-based research. which is 14 km away). the community (leisure activities. The 196 codes were grouped into families. Manitoba Winkler is located on the western edge of the Red River Valley in South Central Manitoba. Canada. which allowed me to examine their interactions. School websites and literature describing the history of the area (e. Parkland Elementary School. which contained census information for this community. relationships and traditions) were also grouped into themes.g. For example. Brook Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 accessed Statistics Canada Community Profiles. with an above-average number of churches for its size (City of Winkler 2010).ti (Version 5. music outside of school and interacting with community members) and characteristics of the participants (e. length of residency. Mexico or South America.g. the community feels strongly about worship. each elementary (K-6) class receives three . I examined the co-occurrence between the various family themes. 120 km south-west of the capital city. and much of Winkler’s recent population increase is attributed to Mennonites from Germany. open-ended questionnaire data and verbatim transcript data were uploaded into the qualitative analysis software Atlas. I examined how the music features related to the students’ sense of place. At Parkland School. a thriving manufacturing industry and a healthy retail industry. According to the city’s website.5. Most people in Winkler come from a Mennonite background. These documents contributed to my understanding of the community and the music programme. Winkler has a rich agricultural tradition. while remaining true to its rural charm. Winkler has a population of only 9106 and is one of the fastest growing communities in Manitoba (Statistics Canada 2006). The retail owners continue to respect community’s values: there are no liquor stores (the closest is in Plum Coulee. for many.
To support their sharing and exchanging of ideas. There is a part-time general music teacher to teach students in Grades 1 through 5. instrumental playing and choreography are also incorporated into the programme. Children’s cultural artefacts. This association allowed the students to connect the words and rhythm of the songs with their own experiences in a canoe. they’re working in their small groups. The classes were designed in a way that supported the development of relationships as opportunities to interact with one another in supportive ways and were encouraged. Findings The music classes Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 The elementary programme incorporates the principles and practices developed by Carl Orff: musical media Á speech. So what you saw with the Grade 2 and 3 [students]. As the teacher explained: ‘[L]earning together and helping each other is such a natural fit for music’. movement. the students in Grades 3 and 4 were learning My Paddle’s Keen and Bright which would eventually be partnered with Land of the Silver Birch. there are 10 choirs. ‘A lot of what we do is group oriented’. students added an action as indicated in the score. The repertoire incorporated in these classes includes songs both from the students’ culture and more traditional Canadian culture. she explained: so they’re not generally in here working on their own. song. providing each grade with its own choir. In addition to the timetabled music classes. By mastering this repertoire. there are four extracurricular choirs and in total. she associated with experiences that students had had canoeing on the various lakes and rivers in Manitoba or exploring the outdoors in these areas. instruments and listening. Simonsays games and other singing games are used to help develop singing skills and musical concepts. Parkland is a particularly rich music programme. students not only learned children’s music but also developed their singing skills by learning songs that are part of their local context.[they’re] singing as a team. You can’t really just show up for the performance. Further. the teacher designed activities to allow them to work together to create new ideas.Music Education Research 7 30-minute classes of music per 6-day cycle in the music room During one of these periods. Along with learning the words of each verse. different ideas about how the song could be interpreted could emerge . The music programme at Parkland aims to support the traditions of the community. For example. and this combined music class is devoted to choral repertoire. Traditional folk songs were also a focus in this music programme. the elementary general music teacher is part-time. To create this balance the music programme is grounded in traditional music-making activities: singing. Their input was elicited to decide the details related to the actions needed to be part of the song. While some associate My Paddle’s Keen and Bright and Land of the Silver Birch with the Aboriginal cultures. especially considering that the school has fewer than 500 students. these songs were introduced as Canadian folk songs and when speaking of the text of the song. an increased need to support English language skills of new students has not resulted in decreased resources for the music programme. such as puppets. the classes in each grade are brought together. while at the same time introducing students to different ideas and experiences that do not counter the community’s beliefs. [or they’ re] singing as a choir. In this way.
Following these presentations. although seemingly conservative. Students were given ample time to rehearse and were guided through different rehearsal goals: generating ideas. If they had not had music instruction. Similarly. 4 and 5. but [we] wouldn’t know how to write notes’. They were divided into groups of four and asked to develop movements to accompany the song. there was discussion about the meaning of the words. At the end of the activity. testing ideas and practising the performance of the ideas. Some parents are apprehensive to speak. ‘[Music] brings people together [and it] can be done for many years. The Grade 3 and 4 students were then asked to apply their understanding of the text and rhythm. As one community member noted. Similarly. Pitched and unpitched percussion instruments are incorporated into songs as students learn accompaniment patterns such as solid and broken open fifth patterns. the class combined the best ideas from the various groups to develop choreography for the class’ performance of the piece. there was applause followed by a short critique by the teacher where she highlighted an aspect of the performance that was particularly good. there were also opportunities for students to learn to play instruments which introduced new music-making opportunities. ‘[We] could write the words. students enjoyed composing songs outside of school and the skills learned in their school music classes provided them with the skills to compose. represent practices that are outside the sacred beliefs of the families. I started singing in Grade 1 and now at age 66 I still sing in 3 choirs’. the musical form and the types of images that the melody/ rhythm evoked. The teacher circulated between the groups and occasionally held impromptu whole-group discussions to help generate ideas. rhythms. After each group had finished. thus deepening the inter-applicability between school learning and out-of-school activity. are respected by the school. such as rock beats or Latin beats that use the drum. and they experience music in an embodied way. The value given to students’ ideas and the incorporation of children’s traditions deepens students’ sense of place by supporting interdependent relationships while learning traditional repertoire. Parents are ensured that their beliefs are respected to the extent possible through dialogue as teachers explain their rationale for the incorporation of various activities. explained some Grade 5 students. Students’ newly found instrumental and compositional skills enhance the ways that they can express themselves through music. Brook and contribute to an enhanced performance. each group performed its choreography in front of the class while their peers sang the song. The incorporation of singing in this music programme correlated with the prominence of singing in the community. As the teacher taught the melody and text.8 J. and some ultimately choose to withdraw their students from concerts or their children may choose not to participate. ‘I definitely will play the recorder in the future’. These ideas of some of the families. While the incorporation of the singing-based activities supported choral traditions. claimed some of the Grade 5 students. The recorder was part of the music programme for students in Grades 3. All students were expected to learn the recorder: the use of folk songs and the recorder fell within the realm of music that did not go against any beliefs about musical instruments and secular rhythms. Setting up lines of communication so that there is a dialogue about the decision for the school to include certain activities and the rationale for some community members’ Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 .
noted one of the students. which is similar to the traditions of many in this community. augmenting the works through dance. Performing School concerts are an important tradition in this community as the teacher identified several public concerts that the students held throughout the year in music assemblies and concerts. . The symphony invites students to participate in these performances. Broadening and deepening music in this place Place-based music education forms the basis of this programme. and singing is often paired with instrumental parts or choreography. Through the performances. which is evidenced by the strong choral component. the sounds they produce are] so complex and you think. ‘I was in the concert. so it was quite awesome’. The fact that students can positively contribute to events in other locations not only contributes to the cultural offerings of those places but it also challenges these rural students’ preconceived notion of being less-than those in other areas. They ate lunch with the symphony musicians and then appeared on stage with them in front of a packed audience. indicating that they felt appreciated and proud when adults came to hear them perform. The students’ description of this experience indicated that they were treated like professional musicians. Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 The students also realised the important role that they played in the community through their performance.Music Education Research 9 opposition to various events has been successful in some situations yet more time is needed to support these types of conversations. they replace this characterization with positive feelings about what they do. These students were also part of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s School Concerts in Winkler. Christmas Concert and the Volunteer Tea. . singing or instrumental performances. Students also travelled to other communities in Manitoba through various choral performances. each [student] has [his/her] own [part] . These concerts enhance the students’ sense of place as their performances become part of the community’s cultural fabric. It is the students’ skills and experiences that are showcased in these events. these Grade 2s are producing incredible music. They performed with other choirs as equals Á they were not less than other choirs because they were from a rural area Á thus students’ sense of belonging within the province was enhanced as they came to understand that what they do is valued by people in other places. including Remembrance Day Assembly. . thus supporting a positive sense of place. Deepening students’ musical traditions means incorporating Canadian repertoire as well as Christian . The selection of a wide array of activities provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of what they know as well as broaden their scope of understanding. As noted by the principal: [All students] have an important part [in concerts]. students’ sense of place was deepened as these concerts provided good opportunities to contribute to the musical traditions in other communities. Students develop a singing voice and learn to sing in parts. . It’s not like the top three that have been pulled to sing solos . The repertoire that is chosen encompasses many types of music.
This balancing is dynamic in nature and requires constant negotiation. Brook repertoire. not just diversity. It has been integral for the teachers to dialogue with parents to explain the rationale behind incorporating other ideas within the school concert. teachers incorporate repertoire from different cultures in the hopes of broadening students’ musical experiences. Campbell 2001. where sacred texts and holidays are not explored. Graham 2008). Christmas and other sacred beliefs are important for many families who value their Christian heritage and believe that their Christian beliefs should impact all aspects of their life. . The school is committed to establishing a sense of place for its students and in doing so celebrates diversity. Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 Discussion and conclusions The purpose of this research study was to examine how one elementary music programme contributed to a sense of place for students. [M]y philosophy is so much about raising the individual. which sometimes reinforce the beliefs/ traditions/skills of a group. This negotiation happens at the programme level in the teachers’ choices of repertoire. . The context of this music contents of this community were incorporated into the school music programme. in a school context. .g. The teacher purposefully chooses activities that she feels will be relevant and engaging to students. personally. consider the beliefs and prior experiences of students. As the teacher stated. Choosing activities that balance the traditions that present in the community as well as providing opportunities to incorporate new and different musical experiences is not a straightforward process. However. both the music teacher and the principal believed that it is important to expose students to other ideas.10 J. and at other times extends them. it is appropriate to broaden the students’ understanding of Christmas and to explore other stories associated with this holiday. the ongoing structure of this programme was steeped in the community. the character. Building community and having students connect to the places around them were embedded within the music classes themselves. with the intention of expanding their knowledge-base. When choosing repertoire. For some families. In this way. is the line between what should be in the schools and what should be in the] church. And what’s expected of me in a [school] Christmas concert’. Others believe that. the nativity story should be at the forefront of the school Christmas Concert. but embracing differences and embracing uniqueness of our own stories. . activities aimed to broaden students’ experiences were also evident. As the principal says. and what has resulted from these conversations is the broadening of repertoire within the programme. Contrary to other place-based research (e. While this music programme incorporated the community’s traditions. ‘we’re about diversity. place-based education was already established in these schools. At the same time. Diverse ideas are given voice within the classes and are respected as the teachers develop and present their programmes. Unlike other schools. The place-based music programme examined in this research was part of the community’s cultural fabric and shared many of the place-based educational features outlined by Gruenewald and Smith (2008). where new and different programmes were developed. the citizen’. Parkland’s teachers are free to incorporate such themes. ‘[P]robably the biggest [challenge] for me.
Being exposed to unfamiliar music served to extend their musical interests and tastes. whose participation was not only expected but also valued. allowing those students to withdraw from various activities. Students’ ideas.g. Similar to the findings. play wind instrument and develop a sense of pulse) outside of school. The extent that sacred beliefs and practices were incorporated into public school education was an important topic in place-based education and requires further investigation. broadening the types of music with which they identified. helping them to realise that they were welcome at school and that their values were accepted. improvisation of music and creation of music or musical movements. sing in harmony. allowing opportunity to develop a rich understanding of many types of music and to adopt some of this music into their leisure activities. In this way. Findings from this study show that teachers desired to acknowledge and support diverse ideas. Gruenewald and Smith (2008) acknowledged that place-based education must consider and incorporate diversity. this music programmes were able to support the sacred traditions found in this community. The success of the activities in this music programme was contingent on student participation.Music Education Research 11 Findings from this study indicate that the music education programme provided opportunities for students to develop interdependence in their learning. this study and performances were an important component of the rural music programmes and were in and of themselves cultural Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 . participation and skills were directly related to the success of the activities because they were active members in the music communities. thus increasing their sense of interdependence. for some students. In doing so. Many of the musicmaking experiences were group-based. However. nevertheless. Other music was new to them.g. they were. accommodating diversity was difficult when there was opposition between certain traditions. the staff encouraged dialogue with the families to help families understand teachers’ rationale for the inclusion of some activities and for the teaching staff to further understand ways that they could support students and families. which led them to not participate in some activities. their aim was to enhance students’ sense of place. students played instruments (e. Skills and ideas learned in the music class enhanced the students’ after-school activities: in Winkler. The school’s staff members were sensitive to the diversity of beliefs that were held in the community and made several attempts to celebrate differences. Students needed to contribute to the development of the music through the performance of repertoire. Whether or not teachers were able to incorporate specific sacred repertoire. At the same time. thereby offering a place for each student to participate: the collective sounds of these ensembles were dependent on the individuals within them and ideas were expected to be exchanged among one another. their ability to incorporate diverse repertoire and traditions was sometimes limited due to resources and their scant understanding of the sacred practices associated with the performances of some of the music. including sacred settings (e. However. Students worked together to make music and came to rely on and trust other members of the group. The teachers and the administration were sensitive to these differences. participation in school activities seemed to counter their beliefs. recorder) or made up songs during their leisure time having engaged in similar activities in their music class. Moreover. able to support the development of skills that students could apply to various settings. Some of the chosen songs and pieces were familiar to students from their church or family interactions or from various leisure activities.
The schools gained a presence in these communities through these events where students’ learning contributed to the local culture by providing enjoyment for others. and they appreciated their interest in them. This research illuminates how music education was inextricably part of the local music culture. These connections broaden and deepen the traditions and relationships that are part of students’ lives outside of the music classroom. Downloaded by [University of Utah] at 19:30 28 August 2013 Notes on contributor Julia Brook is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Queen’s University. 63 Á84. Brook artefacts. Notes 1.1177/ 0013124501334007. programmes. New York: Oxford University Press. Students performed music that showcased a variety of ensembles in concert. and the commitment that the schools have in supporting the needs of the community. In this way. Students were cognizant of the support that audiences provided. Campbell. Julia worked as an elementary music teacher and piano pedagogue. global citizens. 2001.’’ In The New Handbook of Music Teaching and Learning: A Project of the Music Educators National Conference.12 J. Her research examines the multiple ways music programming can foster social and academically inclusive classrooms. and students in Grade 12 are 18 years old. students showcase their abilities to the community. edited by R. This study illuminated how students were able to contribute to their communities in authentic ways that were valued by all and were embedded with the cultures of the communities. ‘‘Educating Musically. 2. Richardson. ‘‘Shouts in the Dark: Community Arts Organizations for Students in Rural Schools with ‘Urban’ Problems. these programmes were established using the foundational principles of place-based education Á the nature of the programmes included the incorporation of various traditions and supported the development of relationships over a long period of time. Unlike other place-based educational research profiling specific programmes that incorporate specific. W. Grade 1 students are approximately 6 years old. doi:10. The connection to the local emphasises the importance that this school has in the community. by engaging in an art form that allows them to understand who they are and to connect to the people and places that surround them. .’’ Education and Urban Society 33: 445 Á465. Students in Grade 5 are approximately 10 years old. establishing their roles in the community as musicians. schools and communities. Building community and having students connect to the places around them was embedded in the school’s beliefs and framed the music programme. 2002. References Bowman. There seems to be an increasing awareness of the importance of place in developing caring. Cowell and C. Music education provides an opportunity for students to become more fully human. place-based education was already established. By performing. S. allowing them to contribute to and enhance the local musical culture. and thereby strengthening students’ sense of belonging within the communities. Students were actively able to participate in their music education in ways that honour the past and brighten the future. Prior to her university work. limited-time.
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