Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Scraps from the Notebook

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Scraps from the Notebook

Article excerpt

Summer approaches in Canada. The school year comes to a close quickly, and the newly minted memories of recent experiences mingle with ideas and dreams for next year.

Mustn't lose them!

Indulge me for a few moments while I share some matters that are vying for space in my crowded mind...both memories and ideas.

Canada. We are more

The Canadian Tourism Commission ( has released a compilation of Canadian music under the name Canada. We are more. The CTC states "we promote Canada. Our vision is compelling the world to explore Canada."

What would you put on a music compilation designed to give tourists a picture of what Canada sounds like? Would you include Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Barenaked Ladies, Corneille, Our Lady Peace? Canada. We are more does.

"Do you find it shocking that of the nine songs representing our country through music, all of the performers are white?" I have since found out that one is not white! So, put it this way, if you can, "Do you find it shocking that of the nine songs representing our country through music, all but one of the performers are white?" (See Tran-Adams' column on page 16 Challenging Whiteness.) I wonder where some of my favourite performers are, such as Autorickshaw, (their fusion cover of Leonard Cohen's Bird on a Wire is just perfect) or Cassava Latin Rhythms, or Molly Johnson?

I am reminded of Trudeau's famous speech where he repeated "My Canada includes...." It really made me think about "My Canada's" musical inventory.

May, Asian Culture Month

A motion to designate the month of May as Asian Heritage Month was introduced in the Canadian Senate by Senator Vivienne Poy on May 29, 2001. In December, 2001, the Senate of Canada passed a motion officially designating May as Asian Heritage Month. Senator Poy continues as a leading cultural ambassador for Canadian Asians.

"Multiculturalism is really the co-existence of different cultures in one society," she says. "It entails the acceptance of minority cultural values and traditions by society at large, and the adoption of the mainstream cultures by new Canadians. Ultimately, multiculturalism not only implies acceptance but a celebration of differences which are a fundamental characteristic of our Canadian identity and national heritage."

Violence in Symphony Hall!

A knock-down, all-out fight broke out between two men seated in the balcony section of Boston's Symphony Hall, halting a performance of a musical medley from the film Gigi by the orchestra and its special guest, singer-songwriter Ben Folds. At that point, conductor Keith Lockhart reportedly looked up at the balcony but continued to lead the orchestra. He paused, however, when the two brawling men began knocking over chairs and a second, louder scream rang out.

Several local television stations, which had sent cameras to record footage of the season opener, caught the fight on film.

Lockhart briefly stopped the performance as ushers and police officers working security for the concert broke up the fight and escorted the two men - including one whose shirt was torn open in the violent struggle - off the property. (from

Just Music

One of the most important initiatives the CMEA Editorial Board has ever undertaken is the new bienniel volume Envisioning and Enacting Social Justice in Music Education Elizabeth Gould, lead editor (call for chapters found on page 10). More than a dozen years ago while doing doctoral course work in Global Education, we grappled with the question, "What is the most critical curriculum that students should be learning in schools?" From that perspective, we agreed that the sustenance of Planet Earth trumped all other disciplines, topics, or themes.

At that point, I began a line of thinking that invited the arts and music to be leaders in transformational thinking, dealing with all things that contributed to a culture of permanence, equality, and justice. …

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