Melissa Cain

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The binary opposition between 'own music' and 'other's music' is the 'result of deep conditioning' (Drummond, 2010, p. 118) and is almost impossible to overcome. By exploring the underlying constructs that influence students' and teachers' perceptions of minority cultures and their musics, this paper explores the notion of 'the other' in Australian music education. Inparticular, how the many factors which play a role in cultural identity serve to both promote and prevent musical understanding and appreciation. An examination of Australian multicultural policy and music curriculum documents in the state of Queensland provides a foundation for the discussion of data obtained from interviews with teachers from state and private primary schools in the capital Brisbane. The results reveal that while music educators are generally inquisitive about incorporating musics of 'other' cultures into their lessons, they are less comfortable with crossing cultural boundaries, and do not wish to threaten the position of Australia's own musical culture - ultimately highlighting a disconnect between policy, rhetoric and practice in the area of culturally diverse music education in classrooms today.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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