The beginning chapter sets the tone and focuses readers’ attention on the importance of the individual child rather than the labels that may be given to a child. Knowing the label given to the child or the child’s group membership based on ethnicity, culture, race, gender, native language, or any number of other factors provides precious little information about that child. Issues related to the biases in written and spoken language, attitudes, and expectations are presented, and issues related to intended and unintended outcomes of assessment and labeling are discussed. The chapter concludes with a short section on music capabilities to prepare readers for the idea that all children can develop musically and that, regardless of labels assigned to them or their group membership, the musical development for most children is dependent on their experiences in music classrooms.
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