NCCO believes that singing together in post-secondary spaces can be a vital force for culturally responsive teaching and learning, one that connects us with each other, builds empathy, and inspires joy.
We believe that the choral field and the act of singing communally can have transformative effects on society.
- Therefore, we help our students build a lifelong connection to singing and other forms of artistic expression. We aspire toward a collaborative choral community that models the world we wish to see.
We recognize that the choral field has historically created divides between choral performance and education, between pre-professional and avocational choral study, and between types of post-secondary spaces.
- Therefore, we assert that all conductors are teachers, and we recognize that the choices we make in our post-secondary choral programs have the potential to influence the perspectives and practices of future generations of educators and singers.
- We commit to serving all educators and students engaged in the choral arts, whether they envision careers in music performance, music education, or wish to cultivate a lifelong connection with music.
- We embrace all post-secondary spaces, including research institutions, conservatories, liberal arts colleges, two-year and community colleges, and all organizations that foster continuing growth of students who wish to further their musical education.
We acknowledge that our profession has been a site of harm for many through our colonial ideals of repertoire, pedagogy, aesthetics, and perspectives, and we envision and promote practices that foster the ongoing growth and transformation of our field.
- Therefore, we will work to uncover and understand the ways in which the post-secondary choral field has perpetuated harm.
- We will form and seek right-relationships with all members in the building of beloved community.
- We support the development of pedagogical strategies and curricula that respond to students’ own cultural ways of knowing and doing.
- We provide resources for educators to program repertoire and cultivate aesthetics that reflect diverse cultures and lived experiences.
- We provide ongoing development for educators to focus on cultural consciousness through examining one’s own cultural beliefs/perspectives, recognizing students for who they are and their cultural identity/assets, and building a capacity for cultural resilience in our spaces so that all singers are seen.
We celebrate an expansive and ever-evolving vision of choral excellence.
- Therefore, we cultivate repertoire, pedagogy, aesthetics, and perspectives that reflect our world and serve all students.
Approved by the National Board and effective May 26, 2021.
Right-relationships: An intercultural Quaker and Native/Indigenous belief that that our well-being is connected to the care and protection of others and the earth
Beloved Community: Popularized by Dr. Martin Luther King, beloved community is an ideation of a community in which everyone is cared for. A community absent of racism and poverty. (Grace Tatter, Harvard Graduate School of Education)
Cultural Consciousness: A process in developing an awareness of one’s own culture that scaffolds to an expansion in understanding of cultural knowledge about other individuals and contexts. (James Banks, University of Washington College of Education)
Cultural Resilience: A culture’s capacity to maintain and develop cultural identity, knowledge, and practice despite challenges in colonization, white supremacy, and erasure.
Culturally responsive teaching/learning: A framework that uses the cultural knowledge of ethnically diverse students as a foundation for holistic teaching and learning. It is based on the idea that when the academy is situated within the lived experiences of our students, our learning environments have more meaning and impact. (Geneva Gay, University of Washington)