Deakin University
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Sharing and speaking about African music : professional development with Swaziland primary school teachers

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conference contribution
posted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dawn JosephDawn Joseph
The teaching and learning of Indigenous African music is characterised as a holistic integrated experience where music, dance and theatre are inseparable, seen as an integral part of culture. The transmission of this experience is absorbed through participation in cultural activities from childhood in the community. In African societies, both traditional and contemporary, musical arts education and the understanding of culture are fundamental to life, community and society. It is through musical arts, that Africans embrace spiritual, emotional, material and intellectual aspects and knowledge of both the individual and the community. This paper reports on an in-service program (August 2006) offered at the Centre for Indigenous African Instrumental Music and Dance Practices (CIIMDA), Pretoria, South Africa. For the purpose of this paper, the one week professional development course undertaken by generalist primary school teachers from Swaziland is highlighted and proves worthy for these teachers to implement what they learnt in the classroom. As a position paper, I contend that the understanding and participation in indigenous cultural musical arts practices, enlightens learners about their cultural heritage and further enriches their understanding of African music and dance that can be adopted, adapted and applied to primary schools in Swaziland. This paper summaries some key findings of interview data from ten participants in relation to the intensive program. By offering such in-service professional development programs, teachers are able to reach their wider communities where they will continue to share and speak about African music, dance and culture.



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


81 - 88


Australian Association for Research in Music Education (AARME)


Melbourne, Victoria

Place of publication

Melbourne, Vic.

Start date


End date







Conference 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