Canadian Students Should Have an Informed Personal Stance on Their National Anthem, “O Canada”

By Heather J. S. Birch
View profile for: Dr. Heather Birch

Across Canada, provincial music curricula contain expectations which require students to analyze existing musical works, thereby positioning music teachers and learners to do so in the context of our national anthem. Most students experience the anthem at school, in some provinces more than others. In Ontario and British Columbia, for example, legislation requires that the anthem be played every school day, thus adding up to over 90 hours of these students' K-12 career. Music teachers can help students become aware of the anthem's origin and adoption, and encourage them to appreciate the anthem for what it was created as and intended for To provide a foundational understanding of this national symbol, this paper presents three core values which the anthem embodies, and discusses cultural practices which the anthem represents, as a framework to guide the critical reflection on and analysis of the anthem.

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This is a peer reviewed Article

Article in The Canadian Music Educator
Volume #: 63
Issue #: 3
Pages: 39 - 46
Publisher: Canadian Music Educators’ Association
Year: 2022

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