Promoting diversity and inclusivity in the music history classroom

Posted on: July 19, 2017

“Many of us have probably had ‘the talk.’ No, not the birds and the bees, the talk on how to bring women and people of color into the overwhelmingly white, male world of the art music history survey class,” write Kira Thurman and Kristen Turner on Monday (7/17) at Musicology Now, published by the American Musicological Society. “What to do … has become a hot topic of conversation…. Some departments have chosen to revamp their curriculums … while others have found ways to undermine a strictly chronological approach…. Many of the sources that we found generally address genre diversity and defend adding new repertoires such as jazz or popular music to music history survey courses…. People of color, the assumption remains, create ‘ethnic music’ … and are outsiders to the world of classical music. Many musicologists of course understand that this is not true.” Among “six tips for quickly making music history courses more diverse, equitable, and inclusive” are to “play canonical composers—but use a recording featuring a musician of color or a woman musician,” “let diverse voices speak,” and “build specific structures into your curriculum that will yearly remind you to include contemporary conversations on diversity in classical music.”

Posted July 19, 2017