Educators across the country are working to make sure their curricula are culturally responsive. Music teachers and scholars are working to uncover songs with racist or derogatory terms, questionable meanings, and questionable origin. The problematic histories of these piece have educators questioning their place in our teaching. Music educators are putting these songs to the side, in favor of songs that do not have problematic backgrounds. Below are helpful questions to consider when deciding whether or not to remove songs from use:

  • How is this song culturally inclusive?
  • How does it foster community?
  • What culturally relevant values does it discuss?
  • What musical or technical concepts will you teach that are found in this work? Are there other, more-suitable pieces that teach the same thing just as well.

Problematic pieces in the P-H accordion repertoire include, but not limited to:

  • Jingle Bells
  • Indian Song
  • Golden Slippers
  • Dixie Land

This list is being updated as new problematic pieces are discovered.

Dr. Berlin considers numerous pieces in the instrumental repertoire lists to be culturally problematic. Some of these songs are no longer being taught, while others merit discussion with students and parents about their appropriateness. Additionally, the repertoire lists of some instruments may under-represent certain cultures and female composers. We can all be a part of the ongoing education process as it relates to culturally appropriate musical material. Let’s challenge ourselves to keep learning more about the materials and traditions we take for granted.