Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Transformative Education and Social Change

Committee Chairperson

John Elmore, Ph. D.

Committee Member

Jason Wozniak, Ph. D.

Committee Member

Dana Morrison, Ph. D.


An overview of the history of music education illustrates a number of traditions and norms established in its earliest days that continue to be practiced in present day classrooms. Historical events and societal influences through the twentieth century have impacted curricular and pedagogical practices in school music. These range from the attempts to boost national morale using song during World War II to the influences of late twentieth century neoliberalism and standardization on program valuation. As future music educators work through university teacher preparation programs, their experiences are largely based in training and often lack opportunities for critical reflection of the systems and traditions of music education from which they and their future students could benefit. Studying the concepts of critical pedagogy would provide these educators an opportunity for that reflection and adjustment of practice that could result in more meaningful and relevant musical experiences for their students and communities. A symposium for developing music educators that offers sessions focused on the intersections of critical pedagogy and music education is proposed as an intervention to the outlined concerns and as a tool for reframing educational experiences for students in music classrooms.