National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Spring 2021


Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2021), pp. 135-167


Copyright © 2021 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Inquiry in Global Studies: Music and Politics is a regular course offering in which first-year honors students examine the social and cultural import of music in a global context. This qualitative study examines the practical and pedagogical implications of teaching music and politics during the coronavirus crisis. In a thematic, five-part series analyzing non-Western music both in service to the government and as protest against it, the author describes how students perceived the commonalities and diversities in global culture, history, politics, and society through music while at the same time demonstrating growth in music-making processes and confronting a remote learning paradigm. In a curriculum spanning North Korea, China, Russia, Cuba, and Iran, the author considers the impact of music instruction in cultivating an understanding of transnational community. The paper concludes with selections from the final student showcase and a review of learning outcomes, prompting honors practitioners to consider how high-impact practices in the arts can empower students, cultivate community, and give rise to new multicultural competencies. Changes driven by COVID-19 (course content, delivery, and assessment measures) are presented.