Research-based curriculum design for multicultural school music: Reflections on a national project


 INSTITUT DE DIPLOMATIE PUBLIQUE / instituto de diplomatia publique

About the author:

Rohan Sagar/ Guyana

PHD Western and Non-Western Education and Philosophy, Western Norway University of Applied Science, Bergen Norway (In progress)

University of Bergen, 2018 Applied Community Change & Conservation, Multidisciplinary MA, Year 2012,


Member of the INSTITUT DE DIPLOMATIE PUBLIQUE








This article reports on an applied ethnomusicological and historical study that guided the development of a new music curriculum for schools in Guyana, a multi-ethnic and postcolonial nation in Latin America. We establish our rationale with an introduction to Guyana and the status quo of its school music education, then embark on examining the socio-historical background: from Indigenous Peoples and the European settlement of colonial Guyana, to the arrival of Africans as slaves, and indentured servants from Portugal, China and East India. The diverse heritage of post-colonial Guyana, including distinctive creolization, is reviewed as a prelude to discussion of local music traditions and their representation in schools. The curriculum's framework envisages diverse performances that re-connect choir and audience with local, national, and global cultural heritage. Our outcomes arguably engender improvements to music education within Guyana, and potentially offer insights relevant to music curriculum development in other postcolonial nations.