Masakhane: Drumming up an effective music curriculum for pre-service teacher education

Year: 2004

Author: Joseph, Dawn

Type of paper: Refereed paper

The introduction of African indigenous music to a generalist primary teacher education course transcended both cultural differences and personal inadequacies of students. It provided a cohesive bond for promoting the learning of music that is aptly represented by the African concept of masakhane (building together). This research demonstrated the effectiveness of Africa music for promoting cross-cultural music education, thereby providing a worthy model for implementation in other teacher education programs. According to findings from a questionnaire survey and interviews, students reported they were able to more effectively engage with, know, create, perform, teach and experience music through African rather than just the Western music. This experience provided students with new musical knowledge, understandings and skills as well as giving them insights into another musical tradition and culture. Students also perceived Indigenous African music as a source of motivation, interest and enjoyment, thereby promoting their creativity and musical learning. As global citizens, we need to embrace diversity and change not only in our immediate teaching contexts but also in broader educational policy. This curriculum clearly enhanced the effectiveness of music within a teacher education course and by extension has the potential to contribute to a greater professional and public good in education.