Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Klinger, Rita

Subject Headings

School music -- Instruction and study -- Ohio -- Cleveland -- Case studies, Multicultural education -- Ohio -- Cleveland -- Case studies, Multicultural music, Multiethnic music, Non-Western music, Music education


The purpose of this study is to investigate students' grouping and responses to unfamiliar non-Western musics. Eighty-five second-grade student participants from nine intact classrooms in an elementary school in rural Ohio received four consecutive 35-minute lessons over a two-week period on Japanese Gagaku ensemble. The four lessons included guided listening, performing kakko drum patterns, moving appropriately to music, and participating in discussions about Japanese culture. Following four lessons on Japanese Gagaku ensemble, students spent two weeks (four lessons) developing singing and rhythm skills in western music. After the four western music lessons were completed, the students listened to a recording of Ghanaian Adowe drumming. Students were asked to write a response: "Describe this music in the best way you can." The majority of students refrained from labeling the music as coming from a specific culture. Students who did label the music as belonging to a particular culture, named cultures to which they had recent exposure. The results of this study suggest that second-graders apply knowledge of a familiar culture to a music culture that is unfamiliar. Music educators can use this information to promote student understanding of and differentiation between musics of Western and non-Western cultures

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