(The first part of this article describes the migration 1955-2010 an the response of music pedagogy: here!)
2. The decline of the multicultural concept in the last Years
There are two reasons, why this concept was never completely accepted by music pedagogy within the actual debate on integration:
One of the results of PISA was, that German’s youth is very bad equipped for a life in the modern global world. The political debate following this result culminated in the promotion of the “hard skills” – math, language, nature science – in public schools. Therefore the “soft skills” together with art, dance and music had to legitimate their mere existence. Concerning music education, a severe struggle to survive began. This had two consequences:
In the year 2006 German media and the responsible politicians proclaimed, that integration has failed in Germany. The Federal Chancellor constituted an “Integration Summit” (Integrationsgipfel). Two causes of the proclaimed failure were discussed: first that the migrants are not willing to integrate themselves into the German society, second that the idea of multiculturalism was wrong.
Let’s have a look at the actual “Nationwide Integration Program” 2007. It is based on two pillars:
(1) The Courses of Integration cover 600 units of language-instruction and 45 units of “basic orientation”. This facts mirrors the opinion that the knowledge of the German language is the only key to integration. I doubt that this opinion is useful. The competence of acting self-determined within the society depends not only on the knowledge of German language but also on a profound cultural knowledge. As Germany still is multicultural this competence is a competence of multicultural activity just as the concept of multicultural music education says. So far there are no nationwide concepts for the inclusion of multicultural perspectives into the Courses of Integration[ 7].
The discussion on migration within the community of music educators seems to be finished: “All is said”. But still, it seems, that nothing is done.
Politicians like to support spectacular project, which win prizes and can be observed by the media. Politicians do not like to support the basic work of teachers at public schools, as this is very expensive and has little response from the media. As You might know, Germany’s financal support of the education system is on the European wide lowist possible level, and within the three last years these expenses even dropped slightly. Thus, music education in public schools plays no role within the actual discussion on integration and migration.
But let me mention an example of intercultural work, which connects the project-concept of the “Nationwide Integration Program” with basic teaching in public schools. And which shows, that still something is done. Near my town Oldenburg, there is a camp for asylum seekers. The office “IBIS” which is responsible for carrying out the integration courses also takes care of the asylum seekers and supports them on their way trough the institutions. Besides this, the office makes arrangements for – mainly African - asylum seekers to teach music and dance in public schools. And last but not least, just four weeks ago, they showed an “experimental musical”, which was performed by a group of asylum seekers, three professional Rap-Dancers and one German teacher. Here we had an ideal connection of music education in public schools, which profits from the musical abilities of migrants, and a spectacular musical project supported by the Federal integration program.
This text was the manuscript of of speech held as key note on the 18th Congress of European Association of Music at School at Bolu, Turkey, April 29, 2010. There exists an extended Multimedia-Version. Please ask, if You wish to get this DVD (5 Euro within Germany, 8 Euro within Europe including Turkey). The text was published in an extended version in the Congress Manual.
3. Migration since 2015
Since 2015 some Million refugees and asylum seekers come to Germany. First (2015) mainly from Syria, Irak, Afghanistan, later (2016-2019) mainly from African countries. For example, in 2015 more then 325 000 children of refugees and asylum seekers started to attend German schools. Thus there was a new situation for Multicultural Music Education. The new activities can be devided in three sections:
1. musical activities in refugee-camps etc.,
2. musical support of learning the German language,
3. regular music education in public schools, where refugee-children are sitting in between children of German or "older" migration background.
If You are interested in more details, please check the German pages, which describe this new tasks, present new materials etc.: go here!
6 See my workshop “Dramatic Interpretation in Multicultural Music Education!
7 At my University there are courses of integration for foreign students. We tried to integrate musical activity into these courses. The results of this experiments can be transformed into a model of general courses of integration for migrants: Their competence of multicultural activity can be trained by just accepting the diversity of the different migrant backgrounds of the people who participate in the course. If every participant just offers one music example which might be typical for him and his ethnic background, and if all the others listen to this music and ask, why this music is chosen by the one who presented it, this would be a thorough training in multicultural competence
8 If there is time left: The other examples is a Turkish or Kurdish Wedding. Such weddings are places and events of ethnic self-definition. In Germany every such event comprises at least 500 to 800 people, no matter if the parents of the couple are unemployed, on social support or are rather well-off. All the hundreds of participants together pay for the rent of the wedding-hall, the musicians and the food (Video 4a: Kurdish Wedding in Delmenhorst).