Antiracist Representation in K-12 Music Ed.

Young boy learning cello
Credit: Michael DiVito/New York Philharmonic
Dissertation Research
People Involved: 

Clayton Dahm's research interests include musical transmission and representation. This particular project explores how musicians and musical cultures are represented in music classrooms. There is an urgent need to ensure teaching practices and curricula are antiracist and disrupt racism and other forms of marginalization including, but not limited to gender, sexuality, and ability. This research considers how multicultural music education can successfully use representation to work towards prejudice reduction.

The project is in early stages of development and will be constituted of qualitative and mixed methods studies that target specific questions within this larger research area: How should problematic archival content be engaged within classrooms? How does musical production quality and surface sounds affect student perception? Are non-Western musics and musicians included in K-12 classrooms, or do they remain merely integrated, segregated, or excluded from curricula and decor? How do epistemologies of authenticity and quality promote white supremacy? Finally, the project aims to improve music educators’ knowledge of contemporary global pop so that modern musicians and genres like K-pop, Bollywood, Psychedelic Cumbia, Afrobeats and countless others can be included as representations of contemporary sonic transnationalism.

Status of Research or Work: