This paper explores music education viewed through lenses of cultural identity and the formation of personal identity in contemporary, multicultural Victoria, Australia. The people of this state come from more than 280 countries, speak more than 240 languages and follow more than 120 faiths. Our population diversity is constantly changing which challenges music educators to respond to classroom demographics and as tertiary educators we prepare our pre-service students to become culturally responsive teachers. As music educators, we occupy and are situated in multiple identities that shape the ways in which we experience and understand music and its transmission. As Australian tertiary music educators, we explore pre-service teacher cultural identity, attitudes and values about the inclusion of multicultural music in the classroom where cultural dialogue provides a platform for the construction of meaning. While marginalization and diversity occurs within multifaceted forms, we question: What music do we present in contemporary Victorian schools? Why do we make these choices? How do we present this music? This consideration, contextualized within the curricular framework, addresses issues of access, equity and community engagement. The making of meaning in shared cultural experiences contributes to the formation of identity which is a fluid and multilayered construct.
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