School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Nathan L. Street


adjudication, administrative support, pull-out lessons, sight-singing, socioeconomic status, NYSSMA


Education | Music


Achieving equal opportunity in vocal music instruction for middle school students in their classrooms is possible. Unequal practices can occur for middle school choral students who live in low socioeconomic areas. Students in middle or high socioeconomic areas can frequently take private music instruction and receive instruction from their public-school music teacher. Students with private music instruction may be selected for the All-County festival selections over students who cannot afford private music instruction. Student selections for all-county are based on ranking according to NYSSMA scores. Therefore, students from middle and high socioeconomic areas can rank higher than those who do not have additional vocal instruction. Also, students in a low socioeconomic district can emphasize core subjects over chorus classes that administrators only acknowledge satisfying state requirements. Music education researchers determined that middle school vocal students who live in high or middle-socioeconomic areas might take private vocal lessons over those in lower socioeconomic areas. Receiving private vocal lessons can improve their musical experience resulting in a higher NYSSMA score. In addition, there is more substantial support for music in the classroom. Depending on the rating, students are considered by a selection committee to participate in an all-county festival. Administrative support in music education may be more prevalent in affluent districts, allowing students to have pull-out lessons. Pull-out lessons enable music educators to work with students on a one-one-to-one small group ensemble rather than with the general classroom population.