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Decolonizing Kiki: A Preliminary Study of Discourse in Collegiate Choral Programs

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For decades, music educators have discussed the need to expand the standard choral canon to address disparities across student demographics in collegiate choral programs. These conversations have proved insufficient, because they do not address the systemic and structural issues that

For decades, music educators have discussed the need to expand the standard choral canon to address disparities across student demographics in collegiate choral programs. These conversations have proved insufficient, because they do not address the systemic and structural issues that are the main cause for the racial and gender disparities within various areas of choral music. To address how structural oppression has found its way into collegiate choral music, I have studied how the discourse, or language, found on several collegiate choral music program public websites upholds two main power structures within collegiate choral music: the white racial frame and settler colonialist thought. Through a fictionalized narrative based on my personal music education experiences called “Decolonizing Kiki: A Socratic Dialogue,” I provide a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of language found on current American collegiate choral program websites. The narrative analysis intentionally centered my body and marginalized identities in order to illustrate the need to reflect upon the impact of language in choral music education. In addition to addressing the white racial frame and colonialist knowledge systems and practices in the discourse of collegiate choral music, this document departs from a typical Western approach to educational research. The narrative analysis also serves as a personal educational currere, which has helped me affirm my cultural and ethnic identities, ground my teaching philosophy, and further reconceptualize the future of choral music education

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2021