School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Jerry Newman


Iñupiaq, Music education, Wind band, Culturally responsive pedagogy, Alaska North Slope, Equity and access to music education


Educational Methods | Music


Iñupiaq Culture and Wind Band: An Analysis of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Access to Music Education on Alaska’s North Slope is an observational ethnography examining implications for incorporating the Iñupiaq culture into the instrumental music education curriculum for the North Slope Borough School District. The North Slope Borough School District is the geographically largest and northernmost school district in the United States. The majority of the student population it serves are Iñupiaq Native Alaskans. The research interprets the Iñupiaq Iłitqusiat (cultural values), the North Slope Borough School District pedagogical frameworks, and the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools to answer the following questions. What does culturally responsive teaching through wind band music education and Iñupiaq culture look like for current and future music educators on the North Slope? How can North Slope wind band music educators implement cultural standards, in correspondence with essential music standards, into the instrumental music curriculum? What are the best options for access to instrumental music education across the North Slope? My doctoral research addresses the esprit de corps of the Iñupiaq culture and the band program’s role within this community, the absence of essential standards for instrumental music for grades six through twelve, and the inequitable access to music education within the district. The data explains the importance of lived values in creating the learning environment and provides solutions for expanding access to instrumental music education across the North Slope.