Internationalization and Undergraduate Music Programs: Navigating Soundscapes of Identities in Hong Kong
Tu, Derrick Michael
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Some research stresses the importance of intercultural learning in undergraduate ethnomusicology courses for dialogue and cultural understanding in an increasingly globalized world but limited changes have been made to Eurocentric approaches in music programs because of a lack of resources and general interest from students (Joseph, 2012; Klocko, 1989; Sakata, 1983; Willinsky, 1998; Young, 2001). This may suggest that the content of undergraduate music curricula continue to marginalize knowledge and identities of non-European students (Alexander, 1999; Altbach, 2007; Heug, 2009; VanWyk & Yeld, 2013) but is this actually happening? Are the lack of resources and interest for ethnomusicology courses related to previous colonial agendas (Willinsky, 1998; Young, 2001)? The purpose of my dissertation is to examine how British colonial legacies in Hong Kong manifest themselves in intercultural dialogues between British and Chinese cultures. This project will use higher education as a mirror of society (Bereday, 1964) to critically engage with local aspects of colonialism (Rong, 2002; Sweeting, 1990) and the internationalization of undergraduate music programs. Using identity as a theoretical framework (Holvino, 2012; Laadegard &Cheng, 2014; Nash, 2008; Ryan & Louie, 2007), I conducted an arts-based case study of an undergraduate music program in Hong Kong (Eisner, 2006; Gerring, 2007; Yin, 2003). Based on data from semi-structured interviews and originally created music compositions by undergraduate students, my participants described intercultural learning as interactions in coursework and ensemble performances. Although my participants suggest that Hong Kongs identity can be adaptive to externalinfluences of internationalization and globalization (Bhabha, 2004; Marginson, 2011a; Rong, 2002; Smith, 2008), they also mentioned that undergraduate music programs should still be mindful of Westernization because of concerns about losing the unique, local identity.