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Teaching ethnomusicology in times of trouble: a perspective from Johannesburg, South Africa
Ethnomusicology Forum  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-06-24, DOI: 10.1080/17411912.2021.1938627
Marie Jorritsma


Teaching ethnomusicology at a South African university as a white female in the context of the 2015–2016 national #FeesMustFall student protests presents a significant challenge. In this article, I discuss the context of Euro-American scholarship on the ethnomusicologist as pedagogue and compare this to the situation in South Africa, using the framing devices of three main statements, namely that all musics are equal, that a culturally diverse music education (and education in ethnomusicology) is beneficial for students and that teaching strategies for instilling broader understanding, openness and compassion should be prioritised over what musics are taught in the actual curriculum. Reflecting on pedagogy in tertiary education in this field at this particular time, I present certain strategies that have assisted in my own teaching practice. It is hoped that this work will contribute towards the broader discussion surrounding South African tertiary music education.