School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Rebecca Watson


Community, Music-Making, Advocacy, Awareness, Relationship, Partnership


Education | Music | Music Education


This study intends to discover and evaluate positive and negative relationships that music educators experience while teaching in rural educational settings and to discover if broader community involvement can help mitigate resource reductions. Influences such as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) have accelerated reductions in music programs. The purpose of the investigation is to recognize the feasibility of rural music educators leveraging increased support through community involvement to benefit their local music programs and students. The study's focus is twofold: first, to discover and examine what causes rural music educators to not participate in building community musical opportunities; and second, to uncover whether music education parental support and student interest can be bolstered through community participation. The methodology utilized for the study was the phenomenological qualitative approach to collect data relevant for this study to test the research questions from a convenience sampling (N=11) of music educators. Results show that there were several negative influences that contributed to music teachers not engaging or leading community music opportunities.