Thousands of music teachers in North America still teach in a diverse array of rural settings. Many find lifelong fulfillment in these positions, but there are also many who move on to metropolitan places as soon as possible. In this paper, I explore how urbanormativity— ideologies that privilege metropolitan places and values—can frame rural music teaching from a deficit perspective, rather than acknowledging the many assets of teaching music in rural settings. I discuss five suggestions for rural music teachers, administrators, policy-makers, and teacher educators. First, embrace the benefits of smallness. Second, honor local musical preferences and traditions. Third, shape the program to the needs of the community. Fourth, teach for eco-literacy or, in other words, help maintain and preserve the natural environment within which rural schools and communities are situated. Fifth, recruit rural students to become music teachers. Ultimately, rural music programs can be sites for innovation and transformation in music education.
Bates, Vincent C.
"Thinking Critically about Rural Music Education,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 32, Article 3.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol32/iss1/3