Abstract 6, Volume 10, Number 2, Summer 2015

Using the Power of Music to Support Students’ Understanding of Fascism

Anthony Pellegrino

George Mason University

Joseph L. Adragna

St. Scholastica Academy

Kristien Zenkov

George Mason University


Music has been an integral part of humanity’s culture for millennia. Like many other artifacts of culture, songs have: expressed a range of feelings, informed listeners of historical and political issues, and provoked social awareness and change at every level of sophistication. In nearly all corners of the globe, music is woven deeply into the fabric of life and significantly affects and reflects the contexts in which it is written and shared Our almost universal passion for music, bolstered by its importance as an artifact of culture and history, has not resulted in the integration of musical forms and texts in our classrooms in any systematic or conspicuous way. In that context, we propose a framework for integrating music in the social studies classroom. Our example comes from two individuals who lived very different lives, yet experienced some tragic parallels confronting fascism at various points in history. The music and writing these individuals left behind enable us to explore best practices in social studies and literacy in particularly engaging ways.

Keywords: Music, Global Education, World History, Global Studies, Literacy Practices, Primary Source Analysis

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