Photo by Kentucky Country Day, "Orchestra Performance"
Repertoire, rehearsals, and representation: Diversity in the orchestra
Dr. Lindsay J. Fulcher, Lindsay.Fulcher@unco.edu
Assistant Professor of String Music Education, University of Northern Colorado
Printable handout available here.
Too many types to name! Ethnicity, gender, race, language, LGBTQ, and even musical styles.
How does my classroom look, compared to my department? My school? My community? How do I feel about that? How do my students feel? How do my potential students feel?
Who are the composers represented in my classroom? Can my students see themselves in the music? Do all my students know they could be composers?
What musical styles are represented in my classroom? Do my students hear connections between “real life” and “school life” music?
Could my students be more involved in the music selection process?
Have I considered not only the music we play, but the music we listen to & watch?
Composers to consider:
- Women Composers Database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18wEOsqlPl-Chi4JqIW9oDMQCxXt7PLklBotAjOn5Ix8/edit#gid=0
- Music by Black Composers (MBC) Living Composers Directory: https://www.musicbyblackcomposers.org/resources/living-composers-directory/
- Multicultural Pieces: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IsrdMI1Vv-ylWZshX6GO6J4jQFmUdtzIkc8RECr_ngM/edit?usp=sharing
- Cacilda Borges Barbosa: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cacilda_Borges_Barbosa (Brazilian)
- Unsuk Chin: http://www.boosey.com/composer/Unsuk+Chin (South Korean-born)
- Ann Cleare: http://annclearecomposer.com/ (Irish)
- Mozart Camargo Guarnieri: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camargo_Guarnieri (Brazilian)
- Saed Haddad: http://www.saedhaddad.com/ (Jordanian-born, German composer)
- Anne Lanzilotti: http://annelanzilotti.com/ (Hawai’i, new UNC viola professor, website of extended techniques: http://www.shakennotstuttered.com/try-techniques/)
- Angélica Negrón: https://www.angelicanegron.com/ (Puerto Rican-born)
- Florence B. Price: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Price (African American)
- Roberto Sierra: http://www.robertosierra.com/ (Puerto Rican-born)
- William Grant Still: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Grant_Still (African American)
- Heitor Villa-Lobos: http://villalobos.iu.edu/ (Brazilian)
- George Walker: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Walker_%28composer%29 (African American)
- K-12 specific:
- Lauren Bernofsky
- Janelle Zook Cunalata
- Jennifer Higdon
- Libby Larsen
- Soon Hee Newbold
- Joan Tower
- Michi Wiancko
Styles to consider:
- All of those again – but in chamber music settings
*available in “Philharmonic” series from Alfred
What activities happen in my classroom and rehearsals? Do my planned activities help build genuine relationships and understanding? Do my activities support the needs of my students (mental/emotional/relational as well as musical)?
Do my chosen audio & video examples show diversity?
- Make connections! Ask questions! It’s all about relationships. Recognize that I have bias. We all come from somewhere.
- Be genuine. Be intentional with interest in my students and recognize when I am different from them. I don’t have to be just like my students to have a relationship.
- Toss & Talk beach ball
- Answer any question you see on the ball. Others will similar answer raise their hands. Toss it to someone who is similar to you.
- Exercises to unlock creativity and increase leadership: Trusting the Moment: Unlocking Your Creativity and Imagination
- Stretches, rhythm exercises, & scales: use a loop in the background (instead of a metronome) and rotate through loops of different styles
- Intentional sectionals: bring together students who wouldn’t normally work together (for musical or relational reasons) OR bring together "people like me"
- New MusicBox (Fostering connections, deepening knowledge, encouraging appreciation, and providing financial support for new music created in the United States): https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/conversations/
- Building Curriculum Diversity: Stereotype Threat (Lanzilotti): https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/building-curriculum-diversity-stereotype-threat/
- Building Curriculum Diversity: Pink Noises (Lanzilotti): https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/building-curriculum-diversity-pink-noises/
- Building Curriculum Diversity: Analytical Essays (Lanzilotti): https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/building-curriculum-diversity-analytical-essays/
- Building Curriculum Diversity: Technique, History, and Performance (Lanzilotti): https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/building-curriculum-diversity-technique-history-and-performance/
- Six easy ways to immediately address racial and gender diversity in your music history classroom: http://musicologynow.ams-net.org/2017/07/six-easy-ways-to-immediately-address.html
- African Heritage in Classical Music: http://AfriClassical.com
- Blog companion to AfriClassical.com: http://africlassical.blogspot.com/
- Music by Black Composers (MBC) Educational Materials: https://www.musicbyblackcomposers.org/resources/educational-materials/
- Videos showing diversity of ethnicity and/or musical style
- NPR Tiny Desk Concerts: http://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/
- Daniel Bernard Roumain, composer & violinist: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrN1ygPEiZaFwkFQmUEP2zA
- Black Violin, duo: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC13qVNV7MWSB54MegD5C19w “We studied classical but we lived hip hop” – I love this quote! Specifically addressing the stereotypes they face: https://youtu.be/GzULgLuAwDU
- Regina Carter, violinist: http://reginacarter.com/
- Daniel D., violinist, “Billie Jean”: https://youtu.be/IrxJ-VJAZeM
- Simply Three, trio, “Wake Me Up”: https://youtu.be/XSs2cR2Tvuk
- Defying Ashes, family of musicians, “O Holy Night”: https://youtu.be/Kvo7G-ngESo
- Kevin Olusola, cellist, “All of Me”: https://youtu.be/cB4jr7rMJQ4
- Street Musician on electric violin: https://youtu.be/czkJYLqylzs
- Yosvani, violin, “Killing Me Softly”: https://youtu.be/Oaln3u0cyys
- Siham Naim, violin, “Ana Fintizarak”: https://youtu.be/5tGFAaxpqKc
- Steve Ramsingh, violin/viola, “Heathens”: https://youtu.be/VBfRyqtgJyg
- OC String Ensemble, quartet, “This is What You Came For”: https://youtu.be/MUnB21QP7xg
- Mark Wood (electric violin/rock): http://youtu.be/Ka0a9HSNs_Y
- Got Strings? Electric Instruments (pop): http://youtu.be/bh8445Skorg
- Quartet San Francisco (jazz/pop): http://youtu.be/KZ0XbwxjEXw
- Chris Howes (jazz): http://youtu.be/RkgDFTt5BGA
- Mariachi 2: http://youtu.be/jheo8Xrn334
- Lindsey Sterling (pop/dubstep): http://youtu.be/aHjpOzsQ9YI
- Mariachi: http://youtu.be/h9KQbbheFcM
- Turtle Island String Quartet (jazz/folk): https://youtu.be/NacFvfTlX1c
- Berklee World Strings (world music): http://youtu.be/MC6nXjNqh9s
- Randy Sabien & the Fiddlehead Band (jazz): http://youtu.be/PZs7EjrEoJ4
- Troy Country Fiddlers (high schoolers): http://youtu.be/X-Y6du06z_g
- Barrage (fiddle/world music): http://youtu.be/-XeB_eKnmls
- Cello Fury (rock/pop): http://youtu.be/qU4qSGNtMg0
- Berklee Pop String Ensemble with Mike Block: http://youtu.be/lmPVOFWMFNc
- 2Cellos (rock/pop): http://youtu.be/Mx0xCI1jaUM
- Mark O'Connor/Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer (folk/fiddle): http://youtu.be/DreJerSU9vo
- Palatine Electric String Quartet (trad. music on electric instruments): https://youtu.be/A7DKq5QO-ZU
- Csardas "Revamped" (trad. music with a twist – watch all the way to the end!): https://youtu.be/Dsz-yZ5j5FI
- Scorpions Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra “Rock You Like a Hurricane”: https://youtu.be/_Cd9FYO9Rh4
I recommend making YouTube playlists!
How do I recruit students? Can all students see themselves in my classroom? How do I retain students? Can all students see themselves as long-term musicians?
- Have current students speak for the program as much as possible. Recruitment video?? Video where students say “come join us” in native languages.
- Include as many different races/ethnicities/genders/outward appearances as possible in recruitment materials.
- If current students speak other languages, use that. Try to be aware of whether potential students speak other languages and utilize that info.
- Make a cheat sheet of phrases in Spanish to use with students, and other phrases for parents. Practice those phrases!
- Remember that “musical background” can look very different across cultures. Be intentional about how I phrase questions.
Once students are in my program – am I supporting them? Do I use faces like theirs as musical examples? Can they see themselves in orchestra long-term? Do they see avenues for fun and success in my room?
If you meet these composers or performers, take a picture with them and create a “wall of fame” in your room.
Another thought for students in my program: concert dress that is not gender-specific. For example:
Students are expected to dress in 'Concert Black', which consists of:
- black pants/ slacks, or skirt (skirt at least knee length)
- black blouse/dress shirt (appropriate sleeve length please)
- black dress shoes, with dark socks/hose/leggings/etc.
- colorful ties/scarves/accessories are acceptable
Things not in the acceptable category: wearing only leggings, exposed midriffs/backs, plunging necklines, sheer clothing etc. Think school dress code, but dressy. If you are questioning a part of your Concert Black attire, it is most likely not appropriate. Look your best! This dress code has been designed to be as gender-inclusive as possible.
Additional comments on this type of dress code:
Many of the ideas in this presentation were inspired by (or stolen from) Ms. Taniesha M. Hines in Columbia, SC. Please see her blog, via NAfME, for additional thoughts: https://nafme.org/colorless-teaching-guide-breaking-cultural-barriers-todays-orchestra-classroom/