Music education in multilingual contexts
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This paper will present significant aspects of music education programs taught and related research projects undertaken the Faculty of Education of the Free University of Bozen / Bolzano, in the Italian “autonomous province” of South-Tyrol. South-Tyrol is a multi-ethnic area, where three language groups (German-, Italian- and Ladin-speaking) coexist, thus influencing many aspects of its social life and school system. The three language groups have different schools, and the Ladin-speaking school has a multicultural character: it provides lessons in Ladin, however several subjects are taught in the other two languages. South-Tyrolean university music education programs differ from those taught at other Italian universities in order to respond to the needs of the province. In particular, they are taught in Italian, Ladin and German, and focus on specifically developing practical aspects / competences through laboratories and workshops of longer duration than at other Italian universities. Such a teaching format is particularly appropriate as it helps students acquire disciplinary and didactic competences in music education in the light of students’ often limited initial musical knowledge: on the one hand students can learn the basics of music, and on the other hand they can directly experience the main methods and strategies of music education programs. Furthermore, traineeship and musical activities in schools offer students the opportunity of experimenting and trying out their newly acquired knowledge and skills. As regards research projects carried out at the Faculty of Education, we investigate the role of music in a multilingual and multicultural area. In 2011-2014, a research project focused on how the inclusive aspect in Ladin-speaking schools has a relevant counterpoint in the inclusive nature of music activities in Ladin-speaking areas. Additionally, a recent research project investigating class violin instruction in a primary school aimed at specifically investigating the role of music education in creating links between children from different ethnic and language backgrounds. Through freely using the two main local languages, the teacher introduced children to instrumental music-making (violin and cello) and singing, whilst university students were directly involved in the activities, thus enriching their disciplinary and pedagogical knowledge. In our paper, we will present and discuss the main points arising from these studies as well as our university programs in order to start a discussion of relevant issues, including reflecting on opportunities for applying some of our research results to other contexts.
URIhttps://www.isme.org/sites/default/files/documents/proceedings/ISME Commission on Policy 2018.pdf