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For much of history, there has been a long-standing belief of the superiority of Western art music; that it is more natural, complex, expressive, and meaningful than other musics. This standpoint is being challenged more than ever as advances in musicology, ethnomusicolgy, global communication and media bring musics of other nations and cultures to the doorstep of the American people. There are many benefits to teaching cultural music in the instrumental classroom, including social and musical components. These components have the ability to open the minds of students to a higher sense of community as they enter the "world village" of the 21st century. Through examining the heritage of a community by the way of music, educators have the ability to not only teach great literature, but to increase cultural awareness and foster relationships within the community. So why should we teach Hispanic culture specifically? Though every culture is worthwhile and has academic and aesthetic merits, it is most appropriate to begin cultural study with cultures that are already present within the community such as Hispanic culture. The US Census Bureau estimates that as soon as 2042 the non-Hispank white population will fall into the minority in the United States, due largely to the rapid growth of the Hispanic community. This shift is expected to happen much sooner in the population under age 18, with some estimates showing the transition as early as 2019. These statistics serve as definitive evidence of the increasing importance of the Hispanic community as a demographic community within the United States, especially within the sector of public education. Of the 49,265,572 estimated total students under the age of 18 enrolled in schools, public or private, in United States in the year 2008, over 44,100,292 were serviced by the public education system, translating to over 89% of the population under 18 years of age. Hispanic students accounted for 21.5% of the student population under age 18, equating to nearly 9.5 million students. We must consider: are we prepared to meet the academic and cultural needs of our evoking community of diverse individuals?
Armstead, Alexander, "Incorporating Hispanic Culture into a Secondary Instrumental Classroom" (2012). Honors Theses. 1540.
Honors Thesis-Open Access