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University of the Philippines

College of Music
MuEd230
Joana Kristina S. Tan
2015-89190
Reflection Paper
Clarifying the Terms Multicultural, Multiethnic, and World Music Education
through a Review of Literature
I have heard of multicultural education before. It means giving equal opportunities to
students to achieve, to be able to study without being bullied, and to not be looked down upon
despite their cultural or economic background. Multicultural education involves schools creating
an atmosphere where unity in diversity exists.
I never thought there is an issue regarding definitions of multicultural music education,
multiethnic music education, and world music education in the music education field. It is good
that someone gathered some resources and presented how music educators use these words.
Although it is evident that these words are used interchangeably most of the time, it is preferable
that educators agree on a standard meaning of the terms. Nevertheless, one thing is evident:
music educators want to make a difference in the society. They are joining with other educators
to say no to racism and prejudices. Even though educators have different specializations, I
believe that with joined hearts, they could attain their objective.
After all the definitions that have; been presented in the journal, I have reflected on all
that has been said, and I would like to share my synthesis of the definition of each term. Allow
me to use my own words to define each. Multicultural music education is a campaign of utilizing
music education to combat racism, prejudice, and bullying. It is a broader term to make music
instruction an avenue to change the hearts and minds of students ethnocentricity. I believe that
music is a great avenue to change the attitude of students towards other ethnic groups aside from
their own. In this way, they wont look down on others who are different from them.
I know that the government, the legislators, the school administrators, and teachers are
working towards unity in diversity. They would like to develop a culture of respect and
cooperation despite the different background each student has. And as a music educator, we can
do our share. These are some ideas on how we could combat prejudices
1. Propose to the school administration that aside from playing classical music or
religious songs as a background music at the school lobby, school hallway, or school
canteen, we may also add selected music from another country, city, or province.
2. Feature different musical instruments in the schools newspaper with an interview
from students coming from that country or province.

3. Invite selected music groups to perform in school so that students can be exposed to
different kinds of music and culture.
4. Hold a music seminar by a resource person about a certain kind of instrument or
music.
5. Invest on different kinds of instruments and ethnic instruments to form a school
orchestra or band.
I believe that early exposure on different kinds of music and culture would dismiss
prejudice and bias because it opens a window to a culture. Imagine if there is a new
student coming from another country or another tribe, and every student has heard and
has appreciated the new students music, and not only that, but the teachers have also
explained the musics origin, culture, and specialty, it would give a good impression to
the students cultural background, and most likely, he will be accepted well. Indeed,
Blacking has a point when he said, How can we combat narrow-mindedness, racism,
prejudice, in school books and ethnocentrism in education?...its task is not so much as to
make blacks feel at home in school, as to make sure that white children are really aware
of the historical and cultural traditions of their black neighbors.
The second term is multiethnic music education. As can be gleaned from the journal, multiethnic
music education is the principle of properly representing each ethnicity in the music curriculum
through course content and textbooks for students to learn and appreciate. As stated by Campbell
(1993), it is a music program that focuses in a greater depth on a representative and prominent
musical style of a group of people united by national or ethnic origin.
It is without a doubt that multiethnic music education is but a part of the multicultural
music education movement as properly representing each ethnic group in the content and
textbooks would gear toward respect and celebration of differences. Allow me to give some
thoughts about ethnic music content:
1. We should be careful with putting in information lest we offend the ethnic groups
2. We should not use derogatory terms in the content
3. We should consult culture experts or even people who live in that particular culture
whenever we need help in content-making or teaching.
Third, according to Wade (2004), world music refers to traditional musics from around
the world, and it is appropriate to use global music to refer to various types of music from around
the globe. With this in mind, I think world music education is a movement to open the minds of
students to all sorts of music and genres (even popular music) and from all over the world so that
students will have a broader and better understanding of themselves and others, achieving
cooperation and harmony among men. Again, this is but a part of the bigger picture which is the
multicultural music education.

After all is said and done, and after the definition of these terms have been sorted out, one
thing stands out, music educators are not living in their own safe secluded zone, but they are
taking action in combatting inequality in the areas where they have influence in. And as a
musician and an educator, here are some of my final thoughts:
1. All these terms are gearing towards multicultural education through music. Although
there were some inconsistencies in usage, they are all under one ideology and
philosophy which is equality and unity in diversity.
2. It is my responsibility to learn and understand more about other peoples music
culture to better teach them to students. It is also my responsibility to attend seminars
and trainings on curriculum planning and implementation of multicultural music
education to be able to increase awareness and appreciate of different music culture in
the most effective way.
3. Values are caught rather than taught. If we want our students to value diversity and
to embrace difference, we should be an example by telling them stories on how much
we love others culture. As an example, we could say that we have been listening to
Chinese music recently or we plan to watch a cultural music show soon. In this way,
the students would become curious and would discover world music by themselves.
Further, we could display our unity-in-diversity philosophy by being welcoming,
accommodating, kind, and caring to students from different cultural groups. We
could even develop confidence in them by interviewing them about their music and
culture. Through this, the other students would also learn to embrace their differences.
In short, we should not only educate the mind, but we should also educate the heart
by modeling.
4. We may foster unity in diversity through music by holding an International Students
Day wherein international students and students from different cultures represent
their music culture by performing to be appreciated by everyone.
5. Although music educators are doing their part in music making and music culture
awareness, there should be collaboration with all educators, administrators, and
community to further enhance and strengthen planning, implementation, and
assessment of the campaign.