Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Fifty Years of Canadian Music in the Canadian Music Educator

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Fifty Years of Canadian Music in the Canadian Music Educator

Article excerpt

CMEA's 50th anniversary provided many opportunities for CMEA members to reflect on and celebrate half a century of achievements. Because of my on-going commitment to Canadian music in education, I have been interested to look back on CMEA's impressive contributions in this area. In 2000 I contributed an article to 4 Decades of Leadership (Roberts and Hanley, 2000), published in honour of CMEA's 40th anniversary. That article (Shand, 2000) analysed the focus on various aspects of Canadian music in Volumes 1 to 40 of CME. In a follow-up article (Shand, 2007), I analysed the Canadian music coverage in Volumes 41 to 45 of CME. What follows is an analysis of Canadian music articles in CME Volumes 46 to 50.1

A sense of history was evident in quite a number of CME articles from the past five years. Several articles celebrated the work of important composer-educators who were early leaders of CMEA: Keith Bissell (Vogan, 2008) and Richard Johnson (Vogan, 2009). Roberta Lamb (2005) looked back to the significant work of composer-teacher Barbara Pentland. Two articles (Shand, 2008 and Ward, 2009) described the many contributions of Murray Schafer to music and to music education as he celebrated his 75th birthday. Eleanor Stubley (2005) looked back to a significant Canadian opera - Harry Somers' 1967 Louis Riel - and then moved to the present as she described the McGill Faculty of Music production of the opera almost 40 years later. Steven Duff (2007) described his delight upon discovering in 1965 an early recording by the Howard Cable Concert Band, a recording which he used for many years with his students, and for which he thanked Cable in person at a concert in 2007. In a follow-up article, Duff (2009) again looked back as a retired teacher, recalling introducing his students to the music of Canadian composers.

Other CME articles have reported on recent efforts by teachers to introduce their students to Canadian music. For example, Deborah Smith (2008) focused on using a band composition by a fellow teacher and a student-created piece to help her grade 9 beginning band students explore their own Canadian identity. In "Teaching Canadian Music in a Rural Setting," Janet Spring (2007) reported on how she integrated Canadian folk and composed music in her music, literacy, and social studies classes in a rural Ontario elementary school. Marilyn Jenkins (2006) reported on an Ottawa inter-school project which she initiated in which music students developed a website featuring Canadian composers. Gillian MacKay (2006) described the challenges and rewards for the members of the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble as they rehearsed and performed a new work by Brian Cherney, Quelques espaces entre les anges et la terre (A Few Spaces Between the Angels and the Earth). Ronald Royer (2007), himself a composer as well as a teacher, described a Soundstreams project in which his high school string students were involved. The Toronto project gave his students the opportunity to interact with professional performers and composers in exploring contemporary Canadian music. In "Cross-Cultural Arts Exchanges: Connecting Canada and India through the Arts," Gaumond and Morrison (2007) described an ambitious international exchange project in which their students were involved. Their students explored a variety of Canadian materials, and then, during a visit to India, presented those materials for their hosts.

A number of articles explored issues related to Canadian music and identity. For example, in "Multiculturalism in Canada: An Opportunity to Nurture and Develop the Individual Musical Identities of Students within the Music Classroom," Catherine Gillis (2009) reflected on her own experiences teaching abroad, and her realization of the importance of her sense of Canadian identity to her work as a teacher. She emphasized the need for teachers to foster multicultural musical identities in Canadian classrooms. Nina Hollington (2005) reflected on the need for more Canadian content in music curricula. …

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