1st Edition

Decolonising and Indigenising Music Education First Peoples Leading Research and Practice

Edited By Te Oti Rakena, Clare Hall, Anita Prest, David Johnson Copyright 2024
    172 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Centring the voices of Indigenous scholars at the intersection of music and education, this co-edited volume contributes to debates about current colonising music education research and practices, and offers alternative decolonising approaches that support music education imbued with Indigenous perspectives. This unique collection is far-ranging, with contributions from Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, India, South Africa, Kenya, and Finland. The authors interrogate and theorise research methodologies, curricula, and practices related to the learning and teaching of music. Providing a meeting place for Indigenous voices and viewpoints from around the globe, this book highlights the imperative that Indigenisation must be Indigenous-led.

    The book promotes Indigenous scholars’ reconceptualisations of how music education is researched and practised, with an emphasis on the application of decolonial ways of being. The authors provocatively demonstrate the value of power-sharing and eroding the gaze of non-Indigenous populations. Pushing far beyond the concepts of Western aesthetics and world music, this vital collection of scholarship presents music in education as a social and political action, and shows how to enact Indigenising and decolonising practices in a wide range of music education contexts.

    Table of Contents




    1. Introduction: Reflecting on the concepts “Decolonising” and “Indigenising”

    Author: Te Oti Rakena

    1. Bringing Back the Voices of Our Ancestors: Developing and Indigenizing Sámi Music Education

    Author: Annukka Hirvasvuopio-Laiti

    1. Indigenous Epistemic Resilience in Music Education: Envisioning Indigenous Perspectives in the Mexican Classroom

    Author: Hector Vazquez-Cordoba

    1. Te Awa Tupua: Indigenous Music Analysis for Waiata Pedagogies

    Author: Meri Haami

    1. Heritage on Stage: Music Education Lessons from Folk Musicians in Finland and Nepal

    Author: Vilma Timonen

    Author: Riju Tuladhar

    1. Contributions of Music Education to Musical Identities of Malaysian Secondary School Students

    Author: Ramona Mohd Tahir

    Author: Michel Hogenes

    1. Indigenising Music Education: The Cross-Cultural Transfer of African Indigenous Concepts and Practices

    Author: René Human

    Author: Emily Achieng’ Akuno

    1. Approaches to Ethical Engagement between Australian Tertiary Music Institutions and First Nations’ Peoples

    Author: Christopher Sainsbury

    Author: Jennifer Newsome

    1. Context and Content: Decolonizing Education in the Instrumental Music Classroom

    Author: Katie Tremblay

    1. Afterword

    Author: Anita Prest

    Author: David Johnson

    Author: Clare Hall


    List of Figures

    List of contributors






    List of Figures

    Figure 4.1: Whātaumā Stream located near Rānana Marae. The Whātaumā Stream feeds into the Whanganui River (Author’s photo, June, 2020).

    Figure 4.2: Matua te Mana (Mount Ruapehu) taken from Ngā Mōkai Marae, located in Karioi. Mount Ruapehu is critical to the whakapapa of the Whanganui River as well as Whanganui oral histories (Author’s photos, September 2020).

    Figure 4.3: The four-part harmony arrangement of Tydi A Roddaist by Arwell Hughes translated into the Māori language by Dr. Rāwiri Tinirau into the title Nōu Nei for Te Matapihi 2019 (Tinirau, 2019).

    Figure 7.1: Generic cross-cultural assessment framework for African musical arts (excerpt of Standard 2)

    Figure 7.2: Bonk’abaphandle SATB (excerpt)

    Figure 7.3: Bonk’abaphandle (performance guide)

    Figure 7.4: Merirei Cherotich, lullaby

    Figure 7.5: Merirei Cherotich (Duet with piano) (extract)

    Figure 8.1: Integrated Co-design Framework















    List of Contributors


    Annukka Hirvasvuopio-Laiti is a musician, ethnomusicologist, reindeer herder, mother of three, and Assistant Professor in Sámi language and literature living in Ohcejohka, Finland.


    Hector Vazquez-Cordoba is originally from Naolinco, Mexico. Hector completed his PhD at the University of Victoria. Hector also holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Universidad Veracruzana), and a Master’s degree in Education (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education). 


    Meri Haami is a Kaupapa Māori researcher focusing on the health and well-being of Māori communities in Aoteaora New Zealand. Her tribal affiliations are Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi; Ngāti Rangi; Ngā Rauru Kītahi; Ngāti Tūwharetoa and she is also of South East Asian heritage.


    Vilma Timonen, a Lecturer in Folk Music at the Sibelius Academy, Uniarts, Helsinki is an educator and musician whose research focuses on educational development across individual, institutional and global dimensions.


    Riju Tuladhar performs as a musician in Nepal and internationally with the band Kanta Dab Dab, and is a teacher at the Ethnomusicology Department of Kathmandu University whose work is committed to reviving the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.


    Ramona Mohd Tahir is Associate Professor of music education at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Conservatory of Music in Malaysia. She actively promotes music education at both the local and international fronts, and is president of the Malaysian Association for Music Education.


    Michel Hogenes is principal lecturer at the teacher education programme of The Hague University of Applied Sciences, and leads the Master of Arts Education at Codarts, University of the Arts in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


    René Human is a retired lecturer and research associate who founded the Africa Music and Choral Trust to promote South African choral music and is widely published in the area of international evaluation and assessment of African musical arts in cross-cultural contexts.


    Emily Achieng’ Akuno is Professor of music at the Technical University of Kenya and an editor and contributing author of the 2019 published Music Education in Africa: Concept, Process and Practice as well as articles tackling issues around music and teacher education in cultural context


    Christopher Sainsbury, composer, songwriter, guitarist, and educator is Associate Professor in composition at the Australian National University and is a member of the Dharug peoples.


    Jennifer Newsome lectures in musicology at the Australian National University and her doctoral research focuses on articulation of the rights and interests of First Nations’ Peoples in the Australian tertiary music education system.


    Katie Tremblay is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Trent University. She is the Acting Coordinator of the Indigenous BEd Program. Katie has 10 years of teaching experience in Grade 7&8 Music and is Co-Vice President for the Canadian Society for the Study of Education ARTS SIG.




    Te Oti Rakena is an Associate Professor of Music and American-trained New Zealand singer, voice teacher, and researcher with Indigenous Māori tribal affiliations to Ngāpuhi, Ngati Ruanui, and Kāi Tahu.

    Clare Hall is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts education in Australia researching diversity and inclusion in the sociology of music and music education.

    Anita Prest is Associate Professor of Music Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Guided by an advisory group, she conducts community-based participatory research to examine the embedding of local Indigenous knowledge, pedagogies, and worldviews in K-12 music classes in British Columbia.

    David Johnson is Associate Professor of Music at the Western Norway University for Applied Sciences in Bergen, Norway. He leads the Singing Map of Scandinavia initiative, which seeks to promote and sustain Nordic traditional and Indigenous singing cultures through music education.