In Fall 2000, the University of Maryland School of Music voted unanimously to begin offering its Masters of Ethnomusicology program in a combined residential/online program with the goal of targeting students in Latin America and Spain through courses taught primarily in Spanish. In addition to the fact that online courses were gaining significant traction at universities during this time, an additional rationale was that, (from the project proposal), “Issues of cultural pluralism, accelerated immigration patterns, and the globalization of knowledge have created a climate wherein scholars and performers with training in ethnomusicology are beginning to play a critical role. The demographic changes affecting the US are also being felt in Spain and Latin America, where there are virtually no universities offering degrees or even basic training in ethnomusicology. Meanwhile, Spanish schools and music institutes are clamoring for help in integrating a growing gypsy and North African population, and Latin American educators are struggling with ways in which the voices of indigenous peoples can be made audible. The interdisciplinary, cross-cultural training of ethnomusicologists prepares them to build bridges and create dialogue between human populations through performance.”
Former MITH Faculty Fellow Carolina Robertson, who eventually worked on the Narratives That Heal project, collaborated with MITH on the development of the online learning environment for this Distributed Learning Masters, making Spain/Online an early “MITH Affiliate.” You can view an archived version of the website on the Wayback Machine.