School of Music


Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology (MA)


John Benham

Primary Subject Area

Music; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Elementary; Education, General; Education, Music


Classroom Materials, Curriculum, Elementary, General Music, Lesson Plans, World Music


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Methods | Elementary Education and Teaching | Ethnomusicology | Music | Music Education


The world we live in today is increasingly a global society. As such, the various cultures of the world come into contact with one another more often. Students today need to have experiences with different cultures in order to participate effectively in this globally minded world. An excellent way to expose children to these cultures is through the use of world music in the general music classroom. The need for world music from a music education standpoint has been addressed over the past few decades. However, little has been done to address the teaching methods associated with world music or the process of selecting materials for classroom use. The two main research questions in this project seek to determine how the lesson structure influences the learning of world music for students in an elementary music classroom and how to find relevant world music materials for use in an elementary general music classroom. These questions are addressed primarily through observations in elementary general music classrooms with support from questionnaires from elementary music teacher participants. The general result of this project concludes that world music is most effectively taught by combining music objectives with world music samples. The other option for teaching world music is to present students with a separate unit dedicated to world music or the music of one culture. As described in the following report, this method leads to time constraints in the curriculum as well as low retention of information on the part of students. Teachers who present world music throughout the curriculum with the focus on other musical objectives note that their students are more engaged and are more easily able to recall information after the lesson. The task of finding useful, accurate, and inviting classroom materials is also addressed through the demonstration of a textbook comparison model which is adapted from the article "QFD-based Technical Textbook Evaluation - Procedure and a Case Study" by Jacob Chen and Joseph Chen (2002). The model in this project is an example of identifying the needs of a music classroom and ranking a textbook's ability to meet these goals. This model can be edited to fit the use of finding a textbook for other general music teachers and their classes. Teachers that incorporate the methods described in this project will be able to more effectively teach world music in their classrooms.