‘Next Dance’ participation concerns music education students

Music education students seem to be in quite a bind. Instead of worrying about tests and projects, music education majors may be concerned about participating in next year’s “Next Dance.”

Pro-chief student groups have hosted the “Next Dance” (https://www.dailyillini.com/news/campus/2010/10/27/ui-music-education-faculty-voices-concern-to-those-who-attended-the-next-danc) event where former mascot Chief Illiniwek is represented. Shortly after this year’s event, the music education faculty in an e-mail professionally scrutinized music education majors who participated in the “Next Dance.”

Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for public affairs, said the music education faculty responded to the “Next Dance” where the music students may have participated in the band.

UI music education faculty sends e-mail regarding The “Next Dance”

According to the School of Music dean, the music program’s “intent was to begin a dialogue about the use of music to represent other cultures in the music education profession,” Kaler said.

She added that the faculty involved in sending the e-mail to music education majors discussed the issue with students in class instruction. “He (the dean) is wanting to assure all the students that communication between the faculty and the students facilitates deeper understanding of the surprisingly important ways music affects society at large,” she said.

Irvin Harrison, director of the Native American House, said in an e-mail the cultural house has no comment on the issue.

“The Native American House continues to provide programming and events that educate about Native American cultures and histories,” he said.

With music impacting our larger society, decisions must be made with consequences in mind regarding the music profession after college.

Kaler said, in reference to the dean of Music, that “good intentions on both sides of these types of issues sometimes produce unintended impacts.”

Faculty of the School of Music declined to comment. (https://www.dailyillini.com/opinions/editorials/2010/11/02/music-faculty-e-mail-inappropriate)

Erin Brooker, freshman in FAA, said she did not get the e-mail from the Music faculty because she is a performance major, yet she said she thinks participation in the Next Dance should be okay for music students.

She added that all students have a right to voice their opinion, regardless of their school.

“I don’t think that the School of Music should have a different ability to voice their opinions based on what school they’re in,” Brooker said. “I guess the entire purpose was that future music education students should not be promoting what the school is doing.”

However, she said teachers have a right to voice their opinion and are allowed to protest on issues of importance.

Brooker said students should “analyze the situation better before acting.”