Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.M. Ed.


Music Education

Degree Program

Music Education, MME

Committee Chair

Amchin, Robert

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Tolson, Jerry

Committee Member

Tolson, Jerry

Committee Member

Segall, Lorna

Author's Keywords

culturally responsive; cultural sensitivity; inclusive; diversity


As America sees an increase in minority groups, providing an education that is beneficial and responsive to all cultures is a growing focus in the education system. One of the many roles of a music educator is to expose students to allmusic and music that is most meaningful to the students. Music educators are charged with providing students with musical instruction that is well rounded, and that will aid in the personal and educational growth of learners. Through culturally responsive teaching, defined as “a research-based approach towards teaching that connects students’ cultures, languages, and life experiences with that they learn in school” students are given an individualized instruction as well as the opportunity to learn more about their heritage and cultures outside of their own.[i] This approach towards teaching requires an in-depth understanding of the relationship between human culture and music, how culture influences one's learning, as well as knowing culturally responsive teaching extends far beyond the classroom. This is achieved first by developing an understanding of the cultures of students and then implementing this knowledge in the curriculum. This thesis offers a framework for designing a music classroom that includes African American culture. Included are interviews of three teachers who have been recognized for successfully creating a music classroom that reflects and respects diverse groups and various ideas that can be used to improve the music classroom. Examples of culturally responsive lessons are offered. J[i] Understood at Understood, Educators Team at. “What Is Culturally Responsive Teaching?” Understood, Understood, 28 May 2021,