Sound as a Lens for Understanding our World

In addition to listening, playing, and creating music for its own sake, I believe the other primary value of music education is to learn about our world through its sounds. Here are four ways to put that into practice.

Sound as a lens for:

Understanding their own lived experience.
What are the sounds of your life? Where did these sounds come from? What musicians and processes? What musical cultures? What corporations? What histories and other contexts?

Understanding other content areas.
What have they learned about other subjects so far? How could you collaborate with their other teachers?

Understanding our culture.
Which American musical and artistic cultures are worth studying?
How does sound intersect with the arts, media, entertainment, advertising, and technology industries? How is it wielded to manipulate?

Understanding our world.
In what ways are the sounds of other cultures different and the same as our own?
What can we learn by studying the sounds of nature?

In all these cases, we are connecting what they are learning to the world beyond the music classroom.


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