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Cross-cultural music education can motivate children to look at music in fresh ways and awaken their imagination to new possibilities and ways of thinking. This paper presents the voices of three practitioners experienced in, and passionate about the field of culturally diverse music education. Over the past 25 years the presenters have ignited an interest in world musics in their students from pre-school to higher education in North America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. They have been committed to creating innovative programs which practically reflect the changing nature of contemporary classrooms within a global society. The paper provides a review of the current state of culturally diverse music education in North America and Australia - exploring underlying philosophical constructs, prevailing attitudes and current teacher training experiences - as a theoretical framework for a practical 'how to' guide for school teachers; tried and tested with a wide variety of ages, and in an abundance of contexts. Themes discussed include the role of diverse musical experiences in creative expression, and the critical role individual music educators play in assisting students to develop qualities of curiosity, open-mindedness and a 'tolerance of uncertainty'. Factors conducive to successful multicultural music programs and a contextual themes framework will provide readers with knowledge and skills to spark interest in world musics in their students.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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