#hiphopmusiced today is dedicated to learning more about the future of hip-hop. In the featured picture, you will see the tremendous variety of great emcees (musicians/lyricist) in whose hands lay the future of the culture. As a music educator, I am always looking to be able to recognize the contemporary in art. I endeavor to know the most I can about the current trends and artist of the culture. These are but a few of the great new update hip-hop artist shaping the direction of, and voicing the issues of the American experience. #kendricklamar #dejloaf #bigkrit #joeybadass #actionbronson #frankocean #jcole #hiphopfuture #hiphop 


Teacher Orientation to Popular Music #HipHopMusicEd


Music educators your lack of experience w/ and/or interest in popular American music limits not only your experience, but that of your students in the musicking classroom.

As I get older I am starting to understand that the only limits that exist in my classroom are those that I and my students create. I am currently researching the preferences and dispositions of preservice teachers and the education programs they are involved in. It’s important that we all understand that teacher orientation is typically dictated by teacher pedagogy and methods courses they are engaged during study. This is sets the foundation for what many teachers (professionals) will use as their teaching premise for the rest of their careers. The more limited, or shallow, these types of musical experiences that student-teachers have, the more likely they are to replicate them in their future teaching. This is evident in the limited selection of performance formats found throughout American music classrooms.

Teaching programs should in theory, be a place where student-teachers muddle through diverse experiences that are suppose (purposed) to help bring the unknown into the space of the known (Dewey). We have to stop replicating what we think is unequivocal permanent fact, and start trying to meet our students where they are and engage in relevant learning activities. Critical Hip-Hop Pedagogies are a wonderful set of approaches to bringing in relevance into the music classroom. Let’s help children find relevance in our classrooms by we ourselves, as teachers, tackling difficult topics with hip-hop pedagogies (practice, lens, bridge). Most teachers only replicate the experiences they have had in their learning experiences and rarely move outside of this paradigm. So, how do we repair this rigid range (limited) of experiences?

Let’s take the clarion call of such educators, ethnomusicologists and scholars like Adam Kruse, Barbara Lindquist, Randall Allsup, Lucy Green, and many others that ask us to question the familiar, and engage in a search of the practices of popular music and musicians. There is so much rich, diverse and important topics that can be uncovered in working with popular music. The first step is that teachers con not simply stay in the lane of practitioners, but have to also move into the lane of researcher. Practicing these popular forms of music can have deep benefits, and can help us gain so much through critical reflection. Students are worried about you being cool because you are authentic, they are in your class to learn and grow. They relate to you because of the level of honesty and how you share the ways in which you came to understand the topic. Reading a chapter and simply sharing this isn’t enough. Popular music forms have to be taught in various formats in undergraduate programs in order for change to happen. Let’s start now, to honor the great music of America. Let’s celebrate the J-Dilla’s, Stevie Wonder’s, Stephen Foster’s, Irving Berlin’s, Kanye West’s, Eminem’s, Katie Perry’s, James Brown’s, Johnny Cash’s, Wille Nelson’s, Louis Jordan’s, Miles Davis’, Wynton Marsalis’, Pete Seegers, and Kendrick Lamar’s of the music world. If we start with our teachers we can open up spaces of inquiry in our music classrooms that have never really existed before. Let’s tackle these forms, genres and topics.


SOCIAL MUSIC… (Jazz Music)

Miles Horn



So, recently I saw the indiegogo video for the Don Cheadle produced homage the great Miles Dewey Davis. On a sidenote… please support this effort by Don Cheadle to honor this great American through this¬†film project “Miles Straight Ahead”. Miles Davis was and is a great American, how do I know this? He was an interesting musician, artist, business persona, personality. He helped music change about five or six times during his lifetime by leading the charge in experimenting with sounds and textures. I would argue that he is our Stravinsky, he is our Schoenberg. How does that make him a great American you may ask? Well … it doesn’t.

Your artistic output shouldn’t solely be able to place you in the category of great citizen or member of the republic. However, your public and private acts of questioning and speaking out aloud for or against topics does. Miles was an asshole to some and a savior to many. He helped change many lives through his playing and compositions. BUT,…but… what really placed an inedible mark in the column of great American for him was his ideas about race, color and above all the place that music should have in our community. As I watch the indiegogo campaign video, I was reminded that Miles like other great “jazz” artist had disdain for the term “JAZZ”.

He and Duke Ellington, as well as many other jazz musicians were documented¬†throughout the history of the music disagreeing with the term. Nicholas Payton and many other new musicians involved in crafting the new directions and paths of this great American music that most people call “jazz” have lead the charge to call it by the bigger distinction of Black American Music (#BAM). It is true that the music came out of the black community in New Orleans, as many other American folk musics i.e. Blues, R&B, Hip-Hop, etc. However, if we zoom out even more.. we can see what Duke and Miles were talking about. We can see the music as being social.

“Jazz” for the lack of a better term, is social music. Socializing is the main function of all art, and most specifically music. Performances are no good with audiences of at least one other person. All music serves the same functions and directions as life. To serve the function of communicating our emotions and feelings, our desires and expectations, the good and the bad in life. So, as I was reminded today through watching this video asking for support of Miles Davis bio-pic, all Black American Music forms are social music.

I will explore this more in coming months… but I had to jot this down before I forgot. Read ya later.


Jarritt A Sheel