Postcolonialism, hybridity and transferability: the contribution of Pamela O’Gorman to music education in the Caribbean

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Postcolonialism, hybridity and transferability: the contribution of Pamela O’Gorman to music education in the Caribbean

Authors
Publisher
School of Education, University of the West Indies
Keywords
  • African
  • Music Education
  • 160809 Sociology Of Education
  • 130304 Educational Administration Management And Leadership
  • Postcolonial Analysis
  • Curriculum Decolonization
  • Independent Jamaica
  • Caribbean Music
  • European Music
  • American Jazz
  • Tertiary Education In Music
  • Academic Music Analysis

Abstract

The 1970s saw the gathering of a momentum towards decolonization in culture and education in Jamaica, newly-independent after over 400 years of British imperial rule. This article discusses the contribution to curriculum decolonization made by an Australian-born music educator, Pamela O’Gorman. It explores how her work helped to move music education in Jamaica from a colonial paradigm which saw only European music as being worthy of serious study, to a postcolonial paradigm which challenged the prominence of European music and advocated a more multicultural approach. Together with Jamaican colleagues, Pamela helped to develop legitimacy for the study of Caribbean music and African-American jazz, while at the same time maintaining the tradition of European music education for individual Jamaicans. This article discusses her contribution in two spheres. One was as an innovative music educator who became director of the Music Unit of the University of the West Indies (1970-1976), then head (1976-1989) of the Jamaica School of Music, a tertiary-level institution. The second sphere is that of her work as a music journalist, using broadcasting, newspaper articles and critical academic writing to help systematize the serious analysis of Caribbean music.

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