OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society

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OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 13 , No. 1

[ Article ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 1-36
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2023
Received 05 Dec 2022 Revised 09 Jan 2023 Accepted 18 Jan 2023

Embracing Society, Children, and Music: Approaches to Constructing Community-Based Educational Programs
Rayoung Ahn*
Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea

* Department of Early Childhood Education, Graduate School of Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea. Email:


With the implementation of recent immigration policies that have encouraged an influx of migrants into the peninsula, South Korea is evolving into a multiethnic state, raising the demand for discussions of how to coexist with immigrants and build a healthy multicultural society. This study focuses on ways to nurture cultural diversity within the youth education spectrum. It examines how the experience of collaborative music-making closely parallels community building practices in terms of embracing and honoring oneself and others, arguing that the implication of collective artmaking in youth education in South Korea may help children’s understanding and acceptance of multiculturalism. This study also closely investigated three methods of El Sistema, a pioneer youth orchestra program that opened the door to the possibility of pursuing orchestral education as a transformational agent for cultural improvement in society. Instead of focusing on the musical aspects of the program, it highlights the extramusical components of El Sistema’s methods that contribute to social improvement. Finally, the study suggests that South Korea may apply collaborative music-making activities and the El Sistema model as baseline data to strategically plan community-based educational programs that integrate and embrace cultural diversity.

Keywords: cultural diversity, South Korea, collaborative music-making, El sistema, community-based educational programs

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Biographical Note

Rayoung Ahn (DMA) is a visiting professor of Department of Early Childhood Education at Graduate School of Sookmyung Women’s University. Her research focuses on discovering the benefits of music in fostering healthy growth in children and developing culturally responsive arts-integrated curriculums. Email: