School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Betty (Mindy) Damon


popular music education, multicultural music education, professional development, ethnically diverse bands, engaging band students, world music, multiculturally diverse bands, hermeneutic phenomenological


Education | Music


Despite the increasing acceptance and enthusiasm for multicultural popular music in some high schools in the United States, traditional music teachers are often hesitant to embrace this trend. Even though the United States is responsible for creating many popular music styles, European music education philosophy is ahead with popular music education. Because of the United States' changing demographics, a new strategy must be developed to address this issue and implement it to the band director's advantage. Ethnic diversity and multiculturism have been creative factors in the United States, which explains why American culture has produced a wide variety of musical styles such as rock, jazz, blues, gospel, praise and worship music, rock, soul, hip-hop, bluegrass, and country. Most of these genres can be categorized as popular music, although there is debate about which styles should be included. With the increasing acceptance and enthusiasm of popular music in secondary schools across much of the United States, and because of the expanding diversity in ethnicity and multiculturalism, there is a need to assimilate these elements into a unified educational model. This does not mean that traditional music programs should be abandoned, or that classical music is less critical. This hermeneutic phenomenological study aimed to discover the effects of implementing a popular music repertoire to engage the multiculturally diverse secondary school band and to study how band directors oriented in traditional music can prepare themselves for this implementation.