School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Jerry Newman


Culturally Responsive Teaching, Music, Choral


Education | Music


Culturally responsive teaching is an emerging area of education. Due to an increase of people of color in the United States, there is a greater need to incorporate culturally responsive practices in curricula. This study uncovered the perspectives of three public high school Black or African American choral students and a Black or African American high school choral teacher in the Greater Hartford Region and their experiences with culturally responsive choral music. This qualitative phenomenological study revealed new perspectives on the effects of culturally responsive choral instruction. Four themes emerged from students’ post-study interviews: knowledgeable engagement, identity, connections, and musicality. This study also examined a choral teacher's perceived level of preparedness to teach culturally responsive choral music and reflections after implementing culturally responsive teaching through a post-study survey. A researcher-developed conceptual framework was created using scholarship from researchers including Gloria Ladson-Billings and Geneva Gay. The framework addresses students’ cultures, teacher reflexivity, choosing culturally responsive music, developing critical consciousness, developing a sense of community among students, and performing culturally responsive and traditional Western classical music. Gathering information from students' perspectives was significant due to the need for more literature about culturally responsive choral music. This project exemplifies how students’ experiences with culturally responsive music in public high school choral classes affect their perception of music within the choral paradigm. Furthermore, this study could encourage researchers to examine the effects of culturally responsive teaching in other courses in music education, middle or elementary school settings, or other areas of the world.