Change Movers & Shakers, & Music Makers: Assessing the Feasibility of Introducing a Course on Music, the Environment, and Changemaking at Dalhousie University
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Music, the environment, and changemaking are intrinsically linked. With anthropogenic climate change posing one of society’s most pressing issues, can this connection be used to inspire and inform a new generation of activism? This paper explores the feasibility of introducing Change Movers & Shakers, & Music Makers to Dalhousie University’s curriculum; a new undergraduate course that focuses on music, the environment, and changemaking. Using a pen and paper survey (See Appendix C) and interviews with Dalhousie faculty and researchers, this study measured the desire of the undergraduate population to enrol in such a course and the perceptions of faculty on the course concepts and implementation. Survey responses demonstrated that while many students experienced a variety of personal or institutional barriers, such as program requirements, the majority of students would consider enrolling in the course or at least responded positively to the course being offered at Dalhousie University. Stakeholder interviews addressed issues of introducing courses to the University, experience in creating and teaching post-secondary courses, and the format and content of the course. Responses from surveys and interviews were overwhelmingly positive towards the possibility of this course. Through combining survey and interview data, our results show that with further work, Change Movers & Shakers, & Music Makers, is realistic given the positive response of current undergraduate students and Dalhousie faculty and researchers. Future recommendations for this study include elaboration on the academic facets of the course, including further development of course modules and the academic base for the course, based on current scientific literature. We also recommend that this study be expanded to include a larger representative sample size to confirm the trends of the initial surveys and interviews. Change Movers & Shakers, & Music Makers will be submitted to the Dalhousie College of Sustainability as a course concept for assessment and implementation by the Registrar’s Office.