The University of St. Thomas


Sumsky, Evonne

Sumsky, Evonne

Using Ojibwe Music and Culture in the Elementary Classroom: A Resource for the Music Educator
Evonne K. Sumsky

The purpose of this project was to provide information about the music and culture of the Ojibwe people that could be easily assimilated by the music educator and could be used to teach musical concepts. Music educators have always known of the value of including world music in their curriculums, but in order to do so it can take much effort on the part of the teacher to research and learn the music of these cultures.

Traditionally the music of the Ojibwe is not written down. this makes it difficult to find authentic sources that are easily used by the educator. Recent publications of Native American music have improved, but most collection lack songs of the Ojibwe culture. The research for this project did not collect song material from any primary sources but focused on what was available through written works, audio-visuals, and audio recordings.

This project provides a review of research about Ojibwe musical culture spanning the years from 1850 to the present. Included is specific information about Ojibwe music, its functions and cultural context. Different chapters cover the culture and way of life, musical practices, song and dance styles, and suggestions for teaching this information to elementary level students. Annotated reference lists are provided for the educator to easily find resource material along with sample lessons to help the teacher get started. the lesson material provided covers the culture of the Ojibwe while teaching to musical skills or concepts.

Capstone Advisor
Dr. Patrick Riley