Throughout the chaotic, unpredictable, and often messy process of discovery, one method people consistently use to identify oneself is through music. Music supports identity, from active participation in its creation to the personal experience of making a connection with an artist or song. Because music, like literature, has the potential to be interpreted through a myriad of lenses, no two individuals need to have the same concepts in order to have a piece of music support their current identity. Music allows a range of meaning to be projected based completely on the needs centered on the self. As we mature and learn more about ourselves and those around us we find identity is not static, but continually evolving. Our continued exposure to new ideas shapes and influences our world view and previously unforeseen combinations of identity become possible. No longer strangled by preconceptions with a limited range of attributes, we have the ability to refine our self-identities and our conceptions of others’ identity according to a larger world-view. Acceptance of what we may have at one time believed to be outside personal tolerance becomes the norm. Despite this process, or perhaps because of it, a particular aspect of identity that modern society is currently struggling to process is that of non-binary gender/sexual identity. For this curriculum unit I have categorized three catch-all areas for the scope of identity: personal, projected, and perceived. Personal identity is defined as how an individual sees themselves. Projected identity is how an individual wishes others to identify them. Perceived identity is how we view another individual’s identity. Lessons are presented in a specific order. Modifications can be made as needed based on your unique classroom environment; however, it is suggested that the overall arc of the curriculum retain its integrity from the micro to the macro in order to maintain cohesive scaffolding across the unit.
The learning goals for each category focus around:
Personal – An understanding of the basic tenets of what influences and defines “identity”, methodologies through which individuals self-identify, and ways music is used to support these ideas.
Projected – Participants will explore how music is used to convey an outwardly projected identity. How do we wish to be seen by others in relation to how we identify ourselves? Do we listen to music to be “cool”? How does external musical input affect our identity?
Perceived – Participants will examine how personal musical choices influences their concept of others’ identity and how society-at-large impacts and benefits from this interplay.