Many Layers of Meaning: Multicultural Music Education in Victoria, Australia

By Jane Elizabeth Southcott and Dawn Joseph.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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.

Keywords: Music Education, Multiculturalism, Cultural Diversity, Australian School Music, Teacher Education

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.189-200. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 631.380KB).

Dr. Jane Elizabeth Southcott

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Jane Southcott is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Monash University. Her main research focus is the history of the music curriculum in Australia, America and Europe. She is a narrative historian and much of her research is biographical. Dr Southcott also researches experiential education, cultural identity and performance anxiety. She is Director of Postgraduate Education, teaches in postgraduate and pre-service programmes and supervises many postgraduate research students. Dr Southcott is President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education and a member of the editorial boards of international and national refereed journals.

Dr. Dawn Joseph

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dr. Dawn Joseph is a senior lecturer in music and education studies in the Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. She is currently responsible for teaching in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses and is the Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts. Dawn researches, publishes and reviews in national and international journals in the areas of teacher education, African music, cultural diversity and multiculturalism. She is a committee member of the Australian Society for Music Education (Victorian Chapter).


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