School of Music


Master of Arts in Music and Worship (MA)


Katherine Morehouse


Music Education [0522] - Primary, Multicultural Education [0455], Bilingual Education [0282]


Ethnomusicology | Music | Music Education | Music Pedagogy | Music Theory | Other Music


This study explores the development of “bimusicality” in adolescent and adult music learners to discover correlations between this experience and second language acquisition processes. North American music educators need to be equipped to help their students grow in their understanding of diverse musical styles, genres, and traditions, and the ethnomusicological concept of bimusicality, in connection with existing research on second-language acquisition as a sociocultural phenomenon, offers a new frame of reference for understanding how music learners may interact with distinct musical styles. Survey research with a group of 98 adult musicians, followed by ethnographic interviews of 16 of these survey respondents who developed music performance proficiency post-childhood in at least one “second music” style, focused on individual perspectives on developing bimusicality across a variety of musical-cultural settings. Findings suggest a set of nine guiding values that direct music students toward successful and lasting engagement with a new musical tradition, as well as specific pedagogical approaches for music educators seeking to help their students cultivate bimusicality. Finally, these learning values and teaching strategies are synthesized into sample resources for music educators seeking to prepare their music students for productive and satisfying second-music learning.