Decolonizing the Music Room

Decolonizing the Music Room

by Sara Cowan

I’ve been following Decolonizing the Music Room on social media for years, and this organization has a lot to offer to pre-service music teachers and current music teachers at all levels. The website is full of articles, stories, videos, and other resources for music teachers. Whether you are interested in learning about the African American roots of stringband music in early America, or teaching about the music of the lunar new year, or contemporary Native American music, DTMR has resources for you! There are also links to other resources: articles, repertoire lists, podcasts, and books to further your learning.

My favorite thing about DTMR is the emphasis on learning from culture bearers. If we want to teach Native American music to our students, for example, we may or may not have access to someone in our community with lived experience in the culture we are learning about, but on the DMTR website, I can find videos of Native and Indigenous musicians teaching songs and sharing context that I do not have. Here’s a fantastic video from a Native educator about teaching Native American music. You can find Michelle McCauley’s video, and many others from culture bearers, shared on the DTMR website.

Decolonizing the Music Room is an invaluable resource, and I encourage you to explore it on your own!

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