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Perceptions of multiculturalism in music education: what matters and why

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conference contribution
posted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Southcott, Dawn JosephDawn Joseph
Pre-service teacher education students from two Australian universities were interviewed about their understandings of cultural diversity in music education. These initial findings revealed varied but generally consistent enthusiasm about including music from different cultures in teaching. However comments revealed an almost haphazard exposure to other musics. These were generally informal rather than learned in their formal education. Interviewees recognised the training that they had received in their tertiary studies in other cultures (both Western and non-Western) and expressed the intention to pursue professional development in their future careers. Engaging with the music of other cultures allows teachers and students to develop understanding and empathy with others. This is in line with current governmental initiatives on values that states that values education is intended to 'inspire and educate the next generation to see their world through the eyes of others. We want children to become adults who are caring, tolerant, fair and compassionate' (Department of Education, Science and Training, n.d., p. 2). Comments from the interviewees illustrate just such attitudes and understandings. It behoves us as educators to prepare students for teaching in multicultural classrooms that reflect the wider Australian society.



Australian Association for Research in Music Education. Annual Conference (29th : 2007 : Melbourne, Victoria)


137 - 143


Australian Association for Research in Music Education (AARME)


Melbourne, Victoria

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Start date


End date







Also Titled: Music education research, values and initiatives : Proceedings of the XXIXth Annual Conference : 2-4 July 2007 Proceedings of the Twenty Nineth Annual Conference Music education research, values and initiatives.

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed; E Conference publication

Copyright notice



P De Vries, J Southcott

Title of proceedings

AARME 2007 : Proceedings of the XXIXth Australian Association for Research in Music Education Annual Conference : Music education research : values and initiatives