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Promoting cultural understandings through song across the Tasman: pre-service primary teacher education
journal contributionposted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Dawn JosephDawn Joseph, R Trinick
As tertiary music educators across the Tasman we argue that music, particularly song, is an effective medium for teaching and learning about non-western music when preparing generalist primary Pre-Service Teachers (PSTs). Using ‘voice’ as a portable and accessible vehicle to transmit cultural understandings, we draw on the Zimbabwean proverb ‘if you can speak you can learn to sing and if you can walk you can learn to dance’ to foster music creativity and enhance literacy development and confidence in our PSTs. Using narrative methodology, we share our teaching and learning experience at Deakin University (Australia) and the University of Auckland (New Zealand) where we include African and Māori music respectively as effective ways to promote cultural understandings. In our experience, the teaching of song goes beyond teaching a tune or something that is ‘fun’. Rather, it is as an effective context for developing knowledge, skills and understandings about multiculturalism and the importance and need to be ‘inclusive of others’. PSTs gained socially, linguistically, cultural and emotionally, to name a few. We encourage other music educators at all education levels to be culturally and linguistically inclusive and to explore non-western music as a positive teaching and learning experience.