Classical Music Education should Recognize & Respect Music of All Cultures

I’m calling out the music education establishment.

Leadership is NOT just noncommittal statements of solidarity…

ASTA, SAA, and other classical music institutions should acknowledge that “fine string playing and teaching” is NOT exclusive to or synonymous with playing classical music. I invite you to challenge them to acknowledge this.

That false equivalency feels like a form of Eurocentrism,  reinforcing the idea of the supremacy of the Western European canon.

As long as classical music = violin = “fine art”, and other cultural forms of music are directly or indirectly looked down on or excluded from music education (in the classical world), this is reinforcing cultural imperialism, racism, or whatever you want to call it.

The violin should no longer be an archetypal symbol of whiteness.

The classical music establishment should come off their/our high horse- (insecurity).

Leadership IS admitting when you don’t have answers, & you have much more to learn…

Leadership IS engaging in continuing self-education.

Music teachers can educate them/ourselves about the music of other cultures beyond the European canon.

If a music teacher doesn’t know Anything about music outside of Bach and Brahms, they/we can learn about it alongside  students.

If we all push together, we can knock the Ivory Tower over, and the culture of Music Education can be reshaped in a truly multicultural way.

The culture of music education must change, because it influences culture at large. We should recognize the power that we have as educators and musicians to influence the world around us. I call out the classical music community to acknowledge and change in the Specific ways mentioned above. If we don’t, we are not leading on this important cultural issue.

Related:

How White American Musicians can help heal the racial divide

Is the Classical World Too White?

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