|Music Director Hanna Khoury teaches Arabic/Music educators
“Nassam Alayna-l Hawa,” composed by Rahbani Brothers
As for these teacher’s intention, there are nearly endless possibilities, many of which are contradictory. Take this group for instance, some teachers want to emphasize Modern Stand Arabic and traditional Arab music, and others focus on dialects and the current mainstream music. For example, if someone falls into the former group, they should pick a song that contains fusha and has non-electronic instruments. All the intention directive asks is that teachers are conscious and deliberate when they pick a song for their curriculum.
Perhaps more important than all of this is that, if possible, the Arabic teacher coordinates with their fellow teachers to include the song in classes that aren’t their own. Personally, I wish my school had done something like this when I attended. To illustrate what I am talking about, when there is a unit on the Arab world in school, the music class, history class, and English literature class would all work together to educate holistically. History class could speak to the historical context, music might do a crash course on Arabic rhythm, literature could analyze the poetry for its rhyme and meter, while Arabic class would explain the meaning of the words and their correct pronunciation. This sort of structure allows teachers to broaden students’ understanding of a single piece of Arab culture.