NO. 13 FEBRUARY 2004

THIS MONTH'S THEME: MUSIC AND POPULAR EDUCATION

THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS

Connecting popular and community-based educators and activists to resources for improving educational work in social movements against oppression and for democracy, sustainability, social justice, and peace.

A monthly newsletter about the Popular Education/Community Organizing Resources Collection in the Penny Lernoux Memorial Library at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406. It is a collection of practical materials for facilitators and practitioners to improve the educational work in our movements for democratic social change. The three main parts of the collection are 1) Materials in English, 2) Materials in Spanish, 3) Books by Paulo Freire some titles in Spanish. An annotated bibliography with links to where to purchase materials is at www.americas.org (follow library/popular education link).

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. EDITORIAL
2. REVIEWS OF THE MONTH
3. A RESOURCE ON THE MUSIC OF DISSENT
4. LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES
5. "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH
6. WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER IN 2004

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1. EDITORIAL:

The theme for this issue has been on my mind for some time. I had hoped to find more materials to review or list for the issue, but I failed to find them. A question I posed to several active peace and social justice musicians I know was

"What materials would you recommend for either a young musician or a young organizer who wants to make better use of music in their educational work with adults for democratic social change? What materials would help them learn how to do it?"

I haven't yet received many suggestions that address the question.

I found books and articles that tell many stories of the use of song in social struggles and of the power of song to educate and organize. But not the kind of how-to-do-it guides that I seek. An article I was sent by Mae Shaw whose CD and handbook are reviewed below, "Songs for learning: learning from song," suggests a theoretical framework to begin to create the practical manual. She and co-author Ian Martin, in discussing "Songs for social purpose," suggest six themes which "song can help us develop as a basis for curriculum in adult education." These themes are learning from experience, reasserting human agency, personalising the political - politicising the personal, putting it all together, building solidarity - celebrating difference, and dreaming to make a better world. In my article in the May 2003 issue of POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS, "Popular Education Lessons From The Cultural Repertoire," in which I wrote about an experience I had in Aetearoa (New Zealand) at a conference hosted by Maori people, I identified four examples of different ways music was used: group songs, speeches accompanied by a song of the speaker's choice, songs for exercising, and collective song writing. The next step is to find and describe activities that can address each of these themes or examples, and others that might be suggested.

I challenge the readers of this newsletter to help find more materials or to write them. ...Larry Olds

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2. REVIEWS OF THE MONTH

ELDERS' WISDOM, CHILDREN'S SONG by Larry Long and Jim Fanning, photography by Andrew Goetz. Sing Out!, Box 5253, Bethlehem, PA 18015-0253; tel 610-865-5366.

This guidebook outlines the process called "Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song, Community Celebration of Place" used by Larry Long in a community cultural project. The process involves working with young people to interview the elders in their community and turn the elders' wisdom into songs that are presented to the community in a community celebration of place. The book both describes the process and presents activities for those that wish to replicate the process. The book also contains examples of songs written in communities across the USA. The references in the guidebook include songbooks, videos and references to the CDs documenting the work.

Normally this newsletter does not review materials that are prepared for teachers of children. We make this exception for two reasons. First, although the book is written for people who work with children, there is no reason that the process could not also be used with adults. Second, the third part of the process, "Community Celebration of Place," makes the process far more than just a children's activity. Not only are the elders of a community engaged in the process when they are interviewed by the children, but the whole community learns more about the history of their place when they hear the songs the children wrote.

Larry Long mentored Jodi Ritter and Patty Kakac, a rural west central Minnesota singer-songwriter duo who call themselves the Granary Girls, in the elders' wisdom-children's song process. They have adapted it to focus on songs about peace and justice. Jodi has this to say about about their current use of this work, called SONGS for PEACE & SOCIAL JUSTICE.

We do collective songwriting about a peace and social justice issues. The students pick a topic that they want to write a song about within the scope of peace and social justice. Through discussion about the topic they create a song. It's proving to be very, very interesting, given that we are getting into rural schools that often don't have the access to people working in the peace and social justice field. We use the students' ideas and words. The discussions get really deep and the songs are pretty amazing. The concert that is done at the end of the process may not be well rehearsed because we only have a week, but it's the process of the collective songwriting that educates and brings about awareness.

As with Larry Long's work, there is no reason that the process needs to be confined to children. It offers powerful opportunities for adult learning as well. Here I Stand: Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song by Larry Long is a CD that illustrates the results of this work. It includes 29 songs and spoken-word pieces that were created by Long and groups in many different communities. A video, Community Celebration of Place: Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song, is also available. For information see www.larrylong.org .

HEART, MIND & SOUL: LEARNING FROM SONG by Mae Shaw and Tony Mitchell. NAICE, 2003.

These materials comprise a CD and a small handbook that includes lyrics and notes. For each of the 12 songs sung by Mae Shaw, accompanied by Tony Mitchell, the notes include both background to the song and a set of discussion questions for use with adult groups. The performers write about their work: Songs move people - they make us sad and happy, hopeful and angry. They can also make us think. Most of all, songs communicate feelings - and hopes and our fears. And when we are moved, we are more likely to act. Heart Mind and Soul (and the notes that accompany it) can be used by all sorts of people and groups to look at things afresh - and perhaps even inspire us to do something about them. The web site of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education in the U.K. where you can order the materials can be found at http://www.niace.org.uk/Publications/H/HeartMindSoul.htm .

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3. LINKS TO POPULAR EDUCATION WEB SITES AND ONLINE BOOKSTORES (*those with online bookstores)

*Catalyst Centre (www.catalystcentre.ca/index.htm )
*Highlander Center (www.highlandercenter.org )
*IPEA (www.peopleseducation.org/ )
*Resource Center of the Americas (www.americas.org )
*Growing Communities for Peace (www.humanrightsandpeacestore.org )
Project South (www.projectsouth.org )
Center for Popular Education and Participatory Research (www.gse.berkeley.edu/research/pepr/ )
Pop Ed Links Directory (www.flora.org/mike/links/poped.html)
WE LEARN: Women Expanding-Literacy Education Action Resource Network(http://www.litwomen.org/news/issue1.html)

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4. A RESOURCE ON THE MUSIC OF DISSENT

Sound of Dissent: The Politics of Music, THE NEW INTERNATIONALIST, August 2003 is a special issue devoted to the topic that includes a CD. The issue can be viewed online (www.newint.org ) and the articles printed but unfortunately the full magazine is already out of print. They still have copies of the CD available.

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5. "WHAT IS POPULAR EDUCATION?" DEFINITION OF THE MONTH

The popular education movement seeks to address world literacy. We use the word literacy in the broadest of definitions. Popular Arts Education utilizes the language of imagery, words, movement and sound to pass on knowledge. "Pop Arts Ed" takes into consideration the holistic environment. This pluralistic approach to pedagogy seeks to liberate students from oppressive systems of education, assimilation and cultural memory wiping. We listen to oral traditions and mythology to decode a people's story. Through the integration of local aesthetics and stories combined with borrowed techniques and artifacts from other cultures we integrate ideas and concepts into a single work of art. This might be a mural, sculpture, film, theater work or game. Popular Arts education is an approach, and can be adapted and eventually taught by participants. To some degree this approach seeks to canonize an approach to cultural animation. I say this because I feel that for future generations to build upon this work we need a series of benchmarks, of which this definition is one. While it may be ultimately impossible to set boundaries around "Pop Arts Ed" an attempt to do so will contribute to a global movement that advocates for peace, justice, education and a healthy environment. In fact the pursuit of democracy itself is infused in the struggle to provide adequate arts education to all the world's learners."
........"Seeking to Define Popular Arts Education" by Michael B. Schwartz (MFA) ArtBrigade@aol.com

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From the word of an elder is derived a bone. -Rwanda/Burundi proverb
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This newsletter is produced by the Popular Education Resource Collection Circle. Betsy Barnum and Larry Olds worked on this issue. You can contribute to future issues by sending suggestions, notices of materials and short reviews to lolds@popednews.org. Help improve the newsletter. Subscribe by sending your email address to lolds@popednews.org.

 

THE POPULAR EDUCATION NEWS - SUPPLEMENT

FEBRUARY 2004

WHERE POPULAR EDUCATORS WILL GATHER IN 2004
(Please send suggestions to be included in future issues of this Supplement)

March 27, 2004 First Annual (Net)Working Conference - Women, Literacy, Resources Clark Technology Center, Univ. of Massachusetts Boston, MA http://www.litwomen.org/welearn.html

April 22 - 24, 2004 Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Tenth Annual Conference: "Growing Home: Generations Past, Present, and Future" Omaha, Nebraska USA. Theatre of the Oppressed Preconference Workshops with Augusto Boal, Sunday, April 18 Wednesday, April 21, 2004. For information http://www.unomaha.edu/~pto/conference.htm

April 28 - May 1, 2004 Fifth Annual Conference on White Privilege, White Privilege, White Supremacy, and the Prison Industrial Conplex. Central College, Pella, Iowa. For information http://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com/

May 28 - 30, 2004 AERC-CASAE/AERC 2004 Joint Conference (Pre-Conference May 27, 2004): Adult Education for Democracy, Social Justice and a Culture of Peace http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/CASAE/
html http://www.edst.educ.ubc.ca/aerc/informat.htm

June 8 - 11, 2004 MPAMBO Multiversity: An International Conference at the Source of the Nile, Jinja, UgandaWe Are One People: Multiple Dreams Of A Different World, Transforming Thought, Learning and Action: The 2004 Afrikan World Encounter On Building New Futures. For information mpambo@yahoo.com .

July 20 - 24, 2004 The Centre for Popular Education, University of Technology, Sydney: PopEd Community Cultural Development School: Unlocking the Creativity of Communities. For more information please go to www.cpe.uts.edu.au E-mail: cpe@uts.edu.au.

December 3 - 5, 2004 Popular Education Network (PEN): The Third International Conference Of The Popular Education Network will be held at The University Of Minho (Unit For Adult Education), Braga, Portugal. For information contact jim crowther@education.ed.ac.uk or see the PEN website http://www.neskes.net/pen/

December 6 - 8, 2004 Centre for Popular Education, City Campus of University of Technology, Sydney, Australia International Conference: Education and Social Action 2004 http://www.cpe.uts.edu.au/forums/2004conference.html