John Perkins is the Associate Director of Choral Activities at Butler University (Indianapolis, USA) and previously began the first college choral program in the United Arab Emirates at the American University of Sharjah. There, John developed Nassim Al Saba, a choir whose repertoire centered on Arabic music, and performed internationally. His research focuses on expanding traditional choral goals and decolonizing music education. At Butler University, critical dialogue in John’s daily ensemble work and in courses such as “Peacebuilding through Choral Singing” and “Musicking Futures in Malaysia” informs his research.
Choral Dialoguing in the Face of Privileged Fragility
Traditionally, choral pedagogy has largely valued conductors who economize verbal communication and expect little speaking from singers during rehearsal. However, without critical discourse in the choral space, students may adopt group or conductor ideologies without question (Bradley, 2009). The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine the reasons in which university students resist or accept critical dialogue within traditional choral spaces. Through the lenses of critical race theory and transformative learning theory, this paper presentation explores privileged singers’ receptivity towards critical dialogue and anti-oppressive world views.