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Marsh, K.
“The beat will make you be courage”: The role of a secondary school   music program in supporting young refugees and newly arrived immigrants in   Australia.
Full references
Marsh, K. (2012). “The beat will make you be   courage”: The role of a secondary school music program in supporting young   refugees and newly arrived immigrants in Australia, Research Studies in Music Education 34 (2): 93-111.
This article documents one case in a   multi-case study of the role of music in refugee and newly arrived immigrant   children’s and young people’s lives within a number of school, home, and   community contexts in Sydney, Australia. It explores the ways in which a   range of music activities operating within a specialist secondary school   catering for newly arrived immigrants and refugees contribute to students’   processes of acculturation and integration within the host culture. A number   of school-based musical experiences that provide opportunities for cultural   maintenance, cross-cultural transmission, and verbal and non-verbal communication are described. The development of interpersonal connections,   social cohesion, and student empowerment through varied learning, teaching,   and performance opportunities is examined. A major outcome for students is a feeling of belonging, both to communities of practice within the school and   to the wider Australian community, as well as to a global music community   disseminated through various technological media.
Key words
Acculturation; Cultural Diversity; Immigrant; Refugee; School Music Education; Social Inclusion
Other interesting information
''The current project   commenced in Sydney during the latter part of 2009 and aimed to examine the   role of music in the lives of refugee and newly arrived immigrant children   and young people (aged 0–18 years) as a means of developing forms of   communication, a sense of belonging and empowerment, and as a contribution to   cultural maintenance, identity construction, emotional release, and   integration within the host culture. Participants from a range of   geographical and cultural origins were selected so that insights could be   gained into a variety of cultural practices in relation to musical activity   and its effects. In addition to children and young people, participants   included parents and caregivers, community leaders, teachers and   multicultural teaching assistants in schools catering to refugee and newly   arrived immigrant populations, and community workers with special knowledge   of refugee and immigrant populations.
The provision of music and   dance performance experiences enabled students to immediately use their prior   or newly learnt skills and knowledge in an inclusive way for a concrete   purpose.
Turino (2008) notes that   participatory music performance can lead to ”social synchrony,” which is a   “crucial underpinning of feelings of social comfort, belonging, and identity”   (p. 44). Although the final performance described in this article could be   defined as a presentational performance, its conception in relation to the purpose and outcomes for students was participatory. For the staff in this   school, student inclusion was a primary raison d’être in developing   performance opportunities, which focused on the skills and knowledge that individual students brought to music, language, and dance, allowing them to   flourish in conjunction with the
willing participation of   others. In working together towards a common goal of music and dance creation   and performance, students were engaged in “cooperative work with a shared   objective” (Odena, 2010, p. 94), seen as contributing to effective intergroup   contact and social inclusion. It is important to note that such activities   can be beneficial in a variety of settings. For students whose ability to   connect verbally is limited because of language difference, school musical   activity provides a joint enterprise in which students can engage cooperatively. Such activities may take the form of singing groups where song   language is controlled, repetitive, familiar to students through repeated   global exposure, or contributed by students in a collaborative way. Students   can use previously acquired instrumental skills or develop these within   instrumental groups that either play alone or in an accompaniment role.''
Interest for the project
Contributor´s name + email
Stéphanie Barillé -   stephanie@unak.is
Co-funded by The Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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