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Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Instrument Examples to Counter Stereotypes

One thing I have really focused on in recent years in my lessons on instruments of the orchestra is pushing back against common stereotypes with the examples I choose to share with my students. Any time I am teaching about an instrument, especially if it is an instrument that people tend to associate with a certain type of person, I try to find an example of an accomplished player that doesn't fit that stereotype to use as my visual / example. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite instrumentalists that I like to share in my lessons to help break down those common stereotypes!

Last year I wrote in detail about how I teach instruments of the orchestra (and beyond) in my K-6 general music classes, and I mentioned the importance of sharing instrumentalists outside the typical stereotypes. If you want to learn more about how these examples fit into my lessons and curriculum, I recommend reading this post from last year! Obviously I do change out my examples as I find new ones to share, but here are some of my favorites that I've used- I try to think about the music they are playing, and the age, gender, race, and the portrayed personality of the performers and include as much variety as possible:


(I should note my students already know Black Violin- if yours don't they are another good one to share with students)







Snare Drum: 

What are some of the favorite instrumental examples you've shared with students that help break down common stereotypes? I think it's so important for students to feel like they can choose any instrument that they want to play based on the instrument itself rather than feeling like certain instruments are "for boys" or "for quiet kids". Share other examples you've found in the comments so we can all add to our lists!

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