School of Music


Master of Arts in Music and Worship (MA)


Mindy Damon


Classical Music, Collegiate Non-Music Major, Generation Z, Music Appreciation, Music Education


Arts and Humanities | Music | Music Education | Music Theory | Other Music


Today’s music educators stand in a strategic position in the history of classical music in America. At a time when symphony orchestras are struggling to survive due to an aging and declining customer base, a generation of musical omnivores are ripe for a connection to the world of classical music. Generation Z has a vast, eclectic musical appetite, choosing to listen to a variety of genres and styles of music instead of adopting a generational style. However, they have limited interaction with classical music due to certain non-musical attitudes and values. It is possible the disconnect between Generation Z and classical music can be bridged with an innovative approach to music appreciation courses in higher education. This study examined existing literature concerning the non-music major student’s interaction with classical music in an effort to determine factors that influence Generation Z’s attitudes and exposure to classical music. The research revealed that the attitudes, behaviors, and values of Generation Z are influential factors in the interaction and enjoyment of classical music. These factors informed the creation of a curricular framework that facilitates engaging popular music to make connections with other genres in a music appreciation course for non-music majors.