Our Musical School: Ethnographic Methods and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in Elementary General Music
Strab, Emily Theresa
Witzleben, John Lawrence
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The current study has uncovered the complexities of childhood musical culture in a rural public school in Maryland with a diverse student population. Through daily interaction with her students, the researcher learned about their particular culture, including musical preferences, practices of music consumption and expression, and how students conceptualize music. The breadth and depth of knowledge the investigator was able to discover through participant observation during teaching duties demonstrates the usefulness of ethnographic methods in learning about students' musical culture for classroom music teachers. The use of this information proved to be productive in developing culturally relevant lessons that students responded to positively. In conclusion, the researcher found that pursuing an ethnographic project in order to create a culturally relevant pedagogy for her students was a worthwhile undertaking as an elementary general music educator.