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Includes two audiocassettes, teacher's guide (written by Ted Dawson), Directory of Associate Composers (1989, edited by Carolyn Beatty ISBN 0-921519-08-7), and poster, $30.00.
Toronto, Canadian Music Centre, 1992
Distributed by the Canadian Music Centre, Chalmers House, 20 St. Joseph St., Toronto, Ont. M4Y 1J9.

Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up

Reviewed by Patricia L.M. Butler.

Volume 20 Number 6
1992 November

The odd title of this reasonably priced teaching kit (composer + poster = ComPoster) comes from its origins as a project of the students and teachers of Earl Haig Secondary School in North York, Ontario. The goal of the project was to produce a well-rounded introduction to Canadian music and its composers, and arose from teacher Ted Dawson's experiences showing the lack of knowledge most Canadian students have of their musical heritage.

The guide leads the class from a global view of twentieth-century music through to the growth of musical styles and influences in Canada. Within each chapter, there is a discussion of Canadian music and its application to the related arts, humanities, math and science, followed by suggested classroom projects. The kit was produced in collaboration with the Canadian Music Centre, complementing the other excellent teaching resources provided by that organ­ization.

Included in the kit is a large, attractive four-colour poster, two audiocassettes containing selected works referred to in the guide, and the Directory of Associate Composers published by the Canadian Music Centre. The musical selections on the cassette provide an excellent cross-section of Canadian musical works, both contemporary and "classical." A list of the recordings from which the examples were taken give instrumentation but not, unfortunately, performers and conductors. The directory is a good biographic and works as a resource for students but lacks continuity of style due to the fact that most entries were written by the composers themselves. There is no standard bibliography provided to supplement this resource. However, included are a glossary, a comparative listening chart, the Ontario Academic Course in music, and the resources of the Canadian Music Centre.

This is a unique program and deserves praise for its ambitious attempt to instruct secondary school students in their country's musical resources. It provides for an integrated approach, allowing the students to experience the possibilities that music holds for application in areas as diverse as math­ematics and religion. It is written in a language that encourages both staff and students to stretch their knowledge of, and experimentation with, Canada's music. In this case, familiarity breeds excitement.

Patricia L.M. Butler is a former teacher-librarian with a Masters degree in music living in West Vancouver, British Columbia.
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