In search of a motivating multicultural music experience: Lessons learned from the Sounds of Silk project

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The aim of the Sounds of Silk project was to develop an interdisciplinary educational program that combines the study of Chinese music and culture with the goal of motivating students' learning. It involved three schools, six teachers and 250 fifth- and sixth-grade students in New York City. Participants explored three topics in Chinese music and culture through live demonstrations by Chinese musicians, classroom lessons and student creative projects over a 10-week period. The daily life, philosophies and festivals of people in China were studied in relation to Chinese music. Results revealed that multicultural music can motivate learning when it (a) provides novelty and interest in class, (b) is relevant and meaningful, and (c) is based on a student-centered curriculum with practical creative activities. An interdisciplinary approach to multicultural music education and a broad perspective on music education with a focus on the enrichment of students' life experiences are recommended. Copyright © 2007 International Society for Music Education.

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International Journal of Music Education

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