Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Canadian Music in the Canadian Music Educator: An Update

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Canadian Music in the Canadian Music Educator: An Update

Article excerpt

A special issue of the Canadian Music Educator was published in 2000 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of CMEA. Under the title 4 Decades of Leadership (Roberts and Hanley, 2000), this special issue looked back over 40 years of CMEA achievements. I contributed an article (Shand, 2000a) analysing the focus on Canadian music in Volumes 1 to 40 of CME. I found a rich diversity of approaches to and perspectives on Canadian music in education in these 40 volumes. I concluded my 40-year historical survey as follows: "The voices and perspectives of the writers reflect the variety of the Canadian mosaic. It is this rich diversity which has been and continues to be the essence of our Canadian identity" (Shand, 2000a, p. 50).

As a follow-up to that analysis, I recently completed a study of the coverage of Canadian music in volumes 41 to 45 of CME. Again, considerable variety was evident in the articles in these five volumes. As in the first forty volumes of CME, there was a clear indication of interest in Canadian music suitable for student performers in volumes 41 to 45. For example, Fraser Linklater (2001) provided a detailed analysis of the band piece Three Folk Miniatures by André Jutras, with a step by step description of how to rehearse the piece, including suggestions on tuning, balance and structure. Another article (Shand 2001b) described music by Canadian women composers on the April 28, 2001 concert presented by the Toronto Children's Chorus. The article described a new piece by Ruth Watson Henderson, Adventures in Color, which was commissioned for the concert. Mary Legge (2002) discussed a concert celebrating Canadian composers, presented by the Penthelia Singers in 2001. Through this concert experience, the choir members learned about the presence of cultural diversity in each composer's work. Toronto composer John Govedas was invited to contribute to this experience by speaking about his style of composing and by performing in the concert. As part of the 40th anniversary edition of CME, some early articles were reprinted, including my 1976 article "In search of our own music." This reprinted article (Shand 2000b) provided a brief history of the John Adaskin Project, emphasized the importance of Canadian music in education, and described the research for Canadian Music: A Selective Guidelist for Teachers (Shand 1978) which was developed to guide teachers in choosing Canadian music for their students. The article included brief descriptions of a selection of Canadian music suitable for student ensembles.

Research on Canadian music for student performers was the focus of several recent articles in CME. For example, Rodger J. Beatty (2000) described his doctoral research on unison Canadian choral compositions suitable for performance by first-, second-, and third-grade elementary school pupils. Moira Szabo and Inez St. Dennis (2003) described a collaborative project sponsored by the John Adaskin Project and the British Columbia Choral Federation, designed to produce an annotated guide to Canadian choral music by British Columbia composers.

In my first "Canadian Music in Education" column in CME, 1 I described research on the use of Canadian music in elementary and secondary school music curricula (Shand 2001a). The research investigated the content of music curriculum documents published by provincial ministries of education and by local boards of education, and also drew on data collected from individual teachers across Canada. I reported results of that research in two follow-up columns. "Why Teach Canadian Music?" (Shand 2002a) reported responses by teachers to that question about their motivation for including Canadian music in their classrooms. "Describing Canadian Music" (Shand 2003b) included descriptions of Canadian music by elementary and secondary school music teachers from across Canada. The teachers who were interviewed emphasized the variety and diversity of Canadian music.

In preparing a regular column on Canadian music in education, I seek and welcome input from readers. …

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