We Need More Cultural Diversity In Music Education

Sheet music of a black midi composition

Music is everywhere but hidden or not, so is culture. Music serves all kinds of purposes, and it is constantly around us. It is a part of our society and popular culture. Because it is a part of our own individualized communities, we need culture to be represented in the music industry. To become a better diversified and culturally fluid nation, music education plays a huge role in what we learn to love and hear.

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Music has a unique way of communicating cultural fluidity and hidden diversity in ways we may not even consciously be aware of. Music helps build our individual self-identities, connect with our communities, and embrace multiculturalism.

While there are so many benefits to mainstream music, there is a large portion of our population that is not represented or very vividly represented.

We need to start sharing the platform with others to represent the world more accurately around us. It is no argument that we have cultural pioneers that have brought diversity to the music scene and those artists should not go unnoticed. But imagine if we modified our popular culture music to match the actual culturally fluid nation we live in.

Rethinking Musical Education

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According to a Pew Research Center report, they predict that by 2022, 54.7% of the population is expected to be composed of a minoritized group. Because of the growing diversity in public education, it is essential educators begin integrating culturally fluid teachings.

Today, there is a heavily Westernized classical teaching method applied to music education in public schools. When children who come from different cultures attend an American public school, they feel more isolated because their music education is lacking cultural diversity. Biased music education comes down to a lack of understanding of cultural fluidity as well as unfamiliarity in recognizing other cultures.

Educators need to take the necessary steps to start becoming more culturally responsible especially because music has such a significance in various cultures. More culturally fluid music education programs can help reimagine and reconfigure the system to become more inclusive.  

Children’s stories of immigration, tribal stories, migrant children and cultural differences should be allowed to be shared, cherished, and celebrated just like how history classrooms do to celebrate our founding fathers. Music classrooms are the perfect place to start to embrace and integrate diversity.

The Benefits of Cultural Fluidity in Music Education

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Integrating cultural diversity into the music classroom will serve many benefits. This allows students to learn far more than a history book could. This could allow children to connect with each other inside and outside the classroom. This also creates a very helpful and positive experience for educators and staff.

Music alone has shown many positive scientific benefits to people during their developmental years. One study found that music can help lead to lifelong neuroplasticity and the brain’s ability to be malleable. It can help children gain stronger memory skills and develop language and reasoning.  Learning music during this age can also increase coordination and fine-tune necessary life skills like auditory attentiveness and focus.  

Implementing Cultural Fluidity in Music Education

Institutions need to start to begin to understand and format education to suit the community’s needs. They need to start seeing the population makeup of the area and implement diverse teachings. It is important to learn about unfamiliar traditions and begin integrating them into the curriculum.

Educators owe it to their students to accommodate and represent the student accurately. No student should feel as if they are lesser than others over unchangeable factors. School districts could benefit by learning and teaching more inclusively and accepting non-traditional students. It is time to actively begin to integrate the power of cultural fluidity in education to help provide a fairer and more diverse environment for everyone. Small changes like this can help shape a stronger future for everyone.

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