Publication Date

Spring 4-23-2019


School of Education; School of Music


Music: Choral--Teacher Certification


advocacy, critical theory, race, gender, social class, music education


African American Studies | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Gender Equity in Education | Indigenous Studies | Latina/o Studies | Music Education | Music Pedagogy | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


This paper will analyze the history of music education in the United States and discuss how the music classroom can contribute to and dismantle social inequalities including social class, gender, and race. Class effects music education by creating barriers to necessary resources and opportunities as a result of economic positions.[1] Gender is the second focus because music has historically been a male-dominated profession. As a result, many textbooks and curriculum highlight the achievements of men while erasing the contributions of women which has taught women to devalue their own work.[2] The last focus is race. While the arts once served as a catalyst for community empowerment, it has become a way to control free thought and exploration of culture.[3] Thus, the purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of the social justice issues affecting our youth as a guide for creating better pedagogies for music education.