Located in upstate New York, Johnson City Central School District is experiencing a cultural shift whereby a once predominantly white student and faculty population has transformed into a school community with increased racial and ethnic diversity. In spite of this diversity within the stakeholders, the music curriculum, like most traditional school music programs, continues to favor white western European musical traditions. And while many students of color participate early on in school music ensembles, a disproportionate number of these students choose to leave the school music program prior to graduation. Matthew Clauhs, the coordinator of the music program at Johnson City School District partnered with Radio Cremata and Baruch Whitehead of Ithaca College to apply for a NYSSMA-sponsored action research grant for the 2014-2015 school year to examine why students choose to participate, or not participate, in school music in the Johnson City School District, through the lens of a culturally responsive pedagogy framework.
Co-Constructing a Culturally Responsive Music Program by Matthew Clauhs, Radio Cremata, and Baruch Whitehead