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on the use of music in Holocaust education:

Teaching the Holocaust

Through Music

Types of music used and rationales for use of music in Holocaust education

Links to Web Curricula and Lesson Plans utilizing music to teach the Holocaust

From the Individual to the Universal

The data show that approximately 4 in 10 lessons/curricula utilize music as a lens through which students can learn about the Holocaust.

On a “Holocaust-specific” level, music is most often used to demonstrate how victims expressed defiance in the face of their Nazi oppressors, to present or reinforce historical information about the Holocaust, and to foster an emotional connection between students and victims.

On a global level, music is frequently used to help students understand and formulate social justice values relative to their own lives, to challenge students to confront issues such as persecution of minorities and racism, and to foster an appreciation for diversity and tolerance beyond the specific context of the Holocaust.

Using Music to Teach the Holocaust

This study explores the question to what extent and in what manner is music used in secondary school Holocaust education. Data from over 100 Holocaust lesson plans and curricula were collected and analyzed through a search of online Holocaust education sites, and survey questions distributed to Holocaust educators in both Jewish and non-Jewish environments. To establish a common set of data results, internet and survey results were both tested against the survey questions regarding genres of music used and the purposes for its use.

The data show that approximately 4 in 10 lessons/curricula utilize music as a lens through which students can learn about the Holocaust. On a “Holocaust-specific” level, music is most often used to demonstrate how victims expressed defiance in the face of their Nazi oppressors, to present or reinforce historical information about the Holocaust, and to foster an emotional connection between students and victims. On a global level, music is frequently used to help students understand and formulate social justice values relative to their own lives, to challenge students to confront issues such as persecution of minorities and racism, and to foster an appreciation for diversity and tolerance beyond the specific context of the Holocaust.

Database of Lesson Plans and Curricula

These resources are listed and linked above. Notes are included for each web resource indicating the type of music used and the purpose for including music in the lesson/curricula.

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“Not because it is an obligation to cry, but because it is a duty to sing.”                                                                                    Elie Wiesel

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