Frederick Ballew

NYC19

Bloomington, Minnesota, USA

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Challenge

I have been teaching beginning instrumental music since 1998. In that time I have worked with many different specialists and fine arts teachers. A common problem that we have all encountered is finding music and literature that is representative of our diverse student population. Although the largest group ethnically speaking is often white (at roughly 50%) nearly all (90%) of our composers and authors are males of European descent. This is not representative of the diversity that exists in our classrooms. Finding music and literature that represents the many ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations in our classrooms is often challenging, time-consuming, and in some cases, bordering on impossible. The result is often a spiritual added to a music program or a short poetry unit of a non-white author. None of which are true representation.

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