Wednesday, August 21, 2013

global competence and preschool/primary music

In this school, in this century, many adults have had the opportunity to be involved in projects around the world, whether through travel or internet or even old fashioned snail mail.   All of my global understanding was developed as an adult, outside of school.  In school – I love to share my understandings, songs, and instruments with young music class students.  Many BB&N students have a global sense of self already because of their birthplace, or that of their parents or grandparents.  They have connections to a variety of cultures.  They might be bi or tri lingual when they come to us.  They are citizens of the world.

 Chapter 9 (Taking Action) mentioned the homogenization of culture that happens with global music.  Yet learning the history of a culture is one way that students in Argentina took action.  They demonstrated a commitment to keep the Sikus (panpipes) of Andean music from disappearing from use in one village.  Students learned a lot in the process, and developed relationships with people from the culture they studied.

 I am not able to make Andean sikus with the young children in my classes, but I am able to share the music/instruments/dances of cultures they explore in their social studies classes.  One elementary school I know of took a whole school approach to cultural exploration by having the entire school study one continent each year.  Every grade/classroom/subject took on the challenge in a different way, and teachers were free to pursue any aspect of learning about that continent they wished.  This whole school approach allows teachers to combine at different grade levels to do hands on projects and learn from/with children of different ages. 

The attitudes that children develop in their earliest years will stay with them through their lives.  Their abilities to question, puzzle, create, & negotiate will be what they reach back to rely on.  The global projects I've seen at the Lower School are very exciting.  I would hope that our students will continue to want to participate and even initiate this sort of positive global interaction.



Ada Park Snider
Lower School Music Teacher
Buckingham Browne & Nichols School
Cambridge MA 02138

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