“The beat will make you be courage”: The role of a secondary school music program in supporting young refugees and newly arrived immigrants in Australia.
Marsh, K. (2012). “The beat will make you be courage”: The role of a secondary school music program in supporting young refugees and newly arrived immigrants in Australia, Research Studies in Music Education 34 (2): 93-111.
This article documents one case in a multi-case study of the role of music in refugee and newly arrived immigrant children’s and young people’s lives within a number of school, home, and community contexts in Sydney, Australia. It explores the ways in which a range of music activities operating within a specialist secondary school catering for newly arrived immigrants and refugees contribute to students’ processes of acculturation and integration within the host culture. A number of school-based musical experiences that provide opportunities for cultural maintenance, cross-cultural transmission, and verbal and non-verbal communication are described. The development of interpersonal connections, social cohesion, and student empowerment through varied learning, teaching, and performance opportunities is examined. A major outcome for students is a feeling of belonging, both to communities of practice within the school and to the wider Australian community, as well as to a global music community disseminated through various technological media.
|Acculturation; Cultural Diversity; Immigrant; Refugee; School Music Education; Social Inclusion|
Other interesting information
''The current project commenced in Sydney during the latter part of 2009 and aimed to examine the role of music in the lives of refugee and newly arrived immigrant children and young people (aged 0–18 years) as a means of developing forms of communication, a sense of belonging and empowerment, and as a contribution to cultural maintenance, identity construction, emotional release, and integration within the host culture. Participants from a range of geographical and cultural origins were selected so that insights could be gained into a variety of cultural practices in relation to musical activity and its effects. In addition to children and young people, participants included parents and caregivers, community leaders, teachers and multicultural teaching assistants in schools catering to refugee and newly arrived immigrant populations, and community workers with special knowledge of refugee and immigrant populations.
The provision of music and dance performance experiences enabled students to immediately use their prior or newly learnt skills and knowledge in an inclusive way for a concrete purpose.
Turino (2008) notes that participatory music performance can lead to ”social synchrony,” which is a “crucial underpinning of feelings of social comfort, belonging, and identity” (p. 44). Although the final performance described in this article could be defined as a presentational performance, its conception in relation to the purpose and outcomes for students was participatory. For the staff in this school, student inclusion was a primary raison d’être in developing performance opportunities, which focused on the skills and knowledge that individual students brought to music, language, and dance, allowing them to flourish in conjunction with the
willing participation of others. In working together towards a common goal of music and dance creation and performance, students were engaged in “cooperative work with a shared objective” (Odena, 2010, p. 94), seen as contributing to effective intergroup contact and social inclusion. It is important to note that such activities can be beneficial in a variety of settings. For students whose ability to connect verbally is limited because of language difference, school musical activity provides a joint enterprise in which students can engage cooperatively. Such activities may take the form of singing groups where song language is controlled, repetitive, familiar to students through repeated global exposure, or contributed by students in a collaborative way. Students can use previously acquired instrumental skills or develop these within instrumental groups that either play alone or in an accompaniment role.''
Interest for the project
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Stéphanie Barillé - firstname.lastname@example.org