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American Culture in Musical Setting, by Iris Davis

Guide Entry to 92.04.08:

The objective of this unit is to point out the significance of similarities and contrasts of three separate cultures of the United States through music. The goals and objectives of this curriculum are geared to the students’ need to understand the African, Latino, and the European cultures of the past and present world in hopes that they will be better equipped to make decisions about their place in today’s society, socially, spiritually and professionally. Students are exposed to a richer account of history, musically supplemented in order to better understand the complex world of today. Students enjoy learning about themselves and others, while getting the benefit of exciting lessons in a non-formal setting. Knowledge of the cultures builds pride in home, school, and the community.

This unit attempts to give a clear picture of society and how it is supposed to work for everyone involved. It opens issues on the social structure of our society, religious rights, civil rights and duties as well as a right to private life and happiness. Youth opportunities, education, and community should be focused upon as a means of educating students to their immediate need for understanding today’s society and how it can work for them, and where they fit into the scheme of the mainstream culture. Latin-Americans and Afro-Americans should be able to enter the mainstream culture without restrictions of any sort. Although each group is, in actuality, distinct from each other, they need not be separate and set apart from the majority culture. They all have great contributions for society.

Ultimately, it is my hope that this curriculum unit will help to bridge the gap between the groups in the school as well as in the community at large, and that new information and resources available will make it possible to bring students closer together. Academically speaking, students will have a better opportunity to succeed and build for the future.

(Recommended for Social Studies and Music, grades 1-5)

Key Words

Adolescence American History Afro-American Music Slavery Ethnicity Hill Community Puerto Rican Hispanic Music Latin

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