Publication Date

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Music and Dance


Diana Hollinger


Chinese Folk Music, Dong, Elementary Music, Miao, Music Education, Orff

Subject Areas

Music education


As children grow up surrounded by various ethnicities, races, and religious beliefs, we teach them music and dance to cultivate respect and empathy for the diverse people in our multicultural society. On the other side of the globe, China is also a multi-ethnic country and is home to 56 ethnic minority groups that speak multiple different languages. “Chinese music” is thus a collective term for the many disparate styles and genres of music in the country, which is especially rich in the varieties of folk music heard and played. Although Chinese folk music frequently appears in music textbooks in elementary schools, the selection of songs is often monolithic. Little effort has been made to include music from non-urban regions and non-Han traditions. The purpose of this study is to enrich the Chinese folk music resources found in elementary music education by introducing music from the Dong and Miao ethnic groups using an Orff-inspired methodology. The scope of this study is limited to child-appropriate folk music from the Dong and Miao ethnic communities of Guizhou province in China with suggestions about how to introduce these songs and dances into elementary classroom settings. Through building up cultural contexts for educators and students, this study manifests an accessible way for Dong and Miao folk music to be adapted into elementary music classrooms.