Music Education and Narratives of Social Cohesion: From National Melting Pot to Global Community Page: 25
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Music Education and Narratives of Social Cohesion
as unique as the circumstances that cause them to uproot or be uprooted and leave home;
second, music is often central to the process of cultural relocation-a praxis of living out who
we are as border people, a means of maintaining continuity with the past by drawing on music
of the home culture, and a way to make sense of life in the adopted country by participating in
its musical cultures.
Engagement with music can be incredibly powerful and profoundly significant in
positioning oneself in new political and cultural landscapes and filling the spaces between the
old and familiar and the new and the distant worlds. Indeed there are elements of the migrant
experience in each person's life, similar to Hildegard Froehlich's observation that we are all
immigrants. We do not need to cross a political boundary and settle in a new country to
encounter cultural difference, experience hegemony, or feel marginalized and
In a sense, we all live in multiple worlds as part of everyday life and we may
experience being 'Other' in certain contexts. In postmodern discourse, this experience is seen
to occur not only at the level of ethnicity and race but also in relation to social class, gender,
disability, sexual orientation, generation, political affiliation, among others. For the purpose
of this presentation, I am keeping this more expansive definition of 'Other' in mind while
focusing on the experience of immigrants as 'Other', exploring how music education can
provide a doorway for them that leads into a space of hospitality and possibility. This kind of
doorway is modeled here in Limerick in the work of Doras Luimn[ (trans. from the Irish as
'door of Limerick'), a group of concerned people who have come together to welcome and
provide support for refugees.
Ireland has a long history of emigration and an even longer history of occupation by
foreigners, from Celts to Vikings, Normans to British. But the recent influx of immigrants is
unique and central to discussions of education and social and cultural life in Ireland today. For
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McCarthy, Marie. Music Education and Narratives of Social Cohesion: From National Melting Pot to Global Community, paper, July 2009; Dublin, Ireland. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1390643/m1/3/: accessed April 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Music.