Race and Curriculum: Music in Childhood Education
This book focuses on the near total attrition of African American students from school music programs and the travesty of democratic education that it symbolizes. It outlines an “anatomy” of dropping out and a tour through the music curriculum’s lesser-known dimensions. Describing how the field became entangled with aesthetics associated with whiteness, Gustafson examines the teaching of singing, listening, and bodily motion in general music classes on all levels. What makes this historical investigation unique is its focus on the body and its linking instructional principles to racialist projects such as minstrelsy, early psychoacoustic experiments, and body culture movements. This book considers how understanding this history makes a space for change without resorting to the simplistic, distorted conclusion that the schools and music teachers are racist.