Toward a “Culturally Responsive Music Curriculum”

Harnessing the Power of Ghanaian Popular Music in Ghana’s Public Education Sector

Eric Otchere


The extent to which education is successful in any setting depends largely on the extent to which it is able to capture and develop the core values of that culture. Music is, undoubtedly, one of the most cherished values within Ghanaian society. In spite of the plurality of musical forms that exist concurrently, popular music genres have continuously emerged as the most preferred in weekly charts and in studies on music preference(s). Popular music in Ghana has been explored for political, religious, social, emotional, and other significant purposes. It stands to reason that such a pervasive art would form a core part of Ghanaian popular education in terms of training people to become aesthetically, cognitively, and emotionally responsive to it. But is this really the case? In this paper, I engage in a critical reflection on this question. I examine the place of popular music at various levels of public education and recommend, based on its marginalized status, that much should be done to improve popular music studies in order to better satisfy the value it holds in the society.

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