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Oct 27 2023

Nexus: Ethnomusicology and Education

lectures-symposia, world-music

World Music Center Distinguished Scholar Series

Nexus: Ethnomusicology and Education

Lecture by Patricia Campbell
Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington


Abstract: Alan P. Merriam once remarked on the presence of a few scattered teachers in SEM working at the cusp of ethnomusicology, and had referred to them as “sandbox ethnomusicologists.” Over the years, public school teachers and university faculty of music education have continued to flow into the field of ethnomusicology in search of the music of many global and local cultures, and with an intent to know late-breaking perspectives on music enculturation, socialization, and transmission processes, even as the presence of these educators may have led to the increased interest by ethnomusicologists in these topics. More recently, I’ve witnessed a change of heart within the field of ethnomusicology that includes attention to (1) the musical agency of children (and as such, children as important contributors to the study of music in cultures and communities), (2) teachers as collaborators with ethnomusicologists in school and community work, and (3) research by ethnomusicologists and educators together on pedagogical approaches to the development of intercultural understanding in and through music. My recollection springs forth from decades-long active participation, as an educator with decidedly ethnomusicological leanings, in K-12 school music, higher education music, and community music projects. I offer observations of ethnomusicology’s evolving commitment, often through collaborative efforts with teachers, to understanding and activating on questions of music, education, and culture for learners of every age, experience, and circumstance.

Patricia Shehan Campbell is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, where she taught courses at the interface of education and ethnomusicology for 33 years. Her work is in world music pedagogy and children’s musical cultures, with multiple publications that include Global Music Cultures; Teaching Music Globally; Songs in Their Heads: Music and its Meaning in Children's Lives; Music, Education, and Diversity; The Oxford Handbook on Children’s Musical Cultures; Oxford’s 28-volume Global Music Series, and the Routledge World Music Pedagogy Series. Campbell is a recipient of the 2012 Taiji Award and the 2017 Koizumi Prize for work on the preservation of traditional music through educational practice, and was named an Honorary Member of the Society for Ethnomusicology in 2021. She is educational consultant to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Alan Lomax recordings, and the Global Jukebox, and continues to supervise Ph.D. dissertations in Music Education and Ethnomusicology.


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