My curriculum unit examines how music has served as a catalyst for interactions between social groups, ranging from creative exploration and new styles of music to conflict and violence. The unit will address the Great Migration from the southern United States to the northern Midwest, the "Zoot Suit" phenomenon among Mexican-Americans (and Filipinos and Japanese immigrants) in California, and role of Puerto Rican musicians in representing American music abroad and also in creating hip-hop in New York City. For each genre, students will learn about the migration and immigration patterns that served as catalysts for each new genre's emergence, focusing on (but not limited to) work and housing. Students will also learn about the class- and race-related issues regarding the music's acceptance by "mainstream" culture.
(Recommended for Music and Jazz Band, grades 9-12)