As a primary piano teacher, I have encountered many pedagogical repertoire books with a broad range of pieces and approaches, some inspiring, some disarming. I am dismayed by a particularly pervasive trend of an “Indian drum” piece, with a pounding left hand and brutish lyrics, often accompanied by a crude cartoon. When I first encountered a piece like this, I wanted to brush it off as something from the past, a relic from an ignorant time, but it is not. Many of these books are still being used as teaching materials now. Many were published within the last 20 years. You can easily find copies of Boom Boom Indian Drum online and see little children playing this piece in youtube videos. These pieces are a colonial concoction that by no means reflect the rich music of this continent's many varied Indigenous communities, yet they remain a fixture in the canon of piano pedagogy with a sad label of “Indian Song”. We need to eliminate these offensive works from future publication and the teaching canon, and move towards respect for true Indigenous music.
For more info on the artist, click here: Meghan Bunce