Introducing Multicultural Music to Your String Music Program

By Welsh, Sarah | Strings, January 2012 | Go to article overview

Introducing Multicultural Music to Your String Music Program


Welsh, Sarah, Strings


It's all in the rhythm: keep students engaged by livening up the traditional repertoire

When veteran music teacher and South Carolina American String Teacher Association president Theresa Jenkins-Russ found herself teaching the same pieces to her string students year after year, she decided it was time for a change. "I was getting bored teaching them the same thing over and over again," says Jenkins-Russ, who teaches both string orchestra and private students. "And, if you're bored, you can imagine the kids who are playing the same music day in and day out - they won't want to stick with the program or practice at home."

To keep students interested, JenkinsRuss started looking for music outside the standard repertoire, seeking out works and composers that draw from African, South American, and Cuban cultures. A palpable rhythm rendered by the addition of piano or drums to pieces for string orchestra sets these works apart from the old standbys.

A big benefit of teaching multi-cultural works with a strong ethnic rhythm is that you may be able to introduce students to advanced concepts that wouldn't otherwise be learned until later in their music education. "With multicultural music, you have that added rhythm that is different from classical music, so you can tie in things like duple meters that you might only introduce to kids when they're a junior or senior in high school," JenkinsRuss says. "You don't have to go into all the details, but you can give them the information briefly and let them play."

So where do you start when you want to integrate multicultural music into your standard repertoire? And how do you ensure that students are getting the same level of quality music instruction?

BROWSE SHEET-MUSIC RETAILERS ONLINE

Jenkins-Russ started at J.W. Pepper, an online sheet-music company. Aside from being a respectable source for traditional music for students of all levels, the company publishes a variety of pieces composed with a multicultural flair. Eventually, Jenkins-Russ was able to build up her own library of new music, but she found that sometimes it can be hard to tell which pieces would be appropriate for a specific group of students. Looking at the level designated by the publishing company or reading the score isn't always enough, she says.

"The cool thing right now is that most of the music that's coming out also has a CD track you can listen to so you don't have to guess as to what it might sound like," she says. "But sometimes you just have to play it yourself first and try it out."

Looking for music for students who take private lessons? Jenkins-Russ says finding music for private lessons is more of a challenge because many of these multicultural works are arranged for larger groups. "You have to be creative," she says. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Introducing Multicultural Music to Your String Music Program
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.