Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Music Education

Major Professor

C. Victor Fung, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David A. Williams, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carolyn Stuart, D.M.A.

Committee Member

Stephen Turner, Ph.D.


postmodernism, multiculturalism, value, diversity, education, Western, aesthetic, quality, inclusion


The selection of musical materials for use in the classroom is problematic. Since music educators have limited time with students, the inclusion of musical materials necessitates the perceived exclusion of other musical materials. This perception is due in part to the increasing diversity of students represented in the classroom, the cultural labeling of musical materials, the influence of multiculturalism on music education, and the influence of the Western aesthetic in music education. Since diverse groups can and do propose socially perceived valuations of these materials as critical for the inclusion of specific musical materials for use in the classroom, this inquiry examines some of the problems associated with the perceived valuations of musical materials for students. As multiple musical materials are used toward similar educational outcomes, or a single musical material is used toward diverse educational outcomes, the value of musical materials is determined by their perceived function for the individual, the group, and the universal human. These valuations are connected to ideologies that sometimes conflict with one another. Numerous solutions to these conflicts in diverse student populations are not perfect, but necessary. Considerations of similar characteristics of perceived musical quality within and across cultures provide an approach to one possible solution. Music educators should be better equipped to make appropriate decisions as they choose musical materials for use in the classroom when consideration is given to the diverse perceptions of these materials around the world and the historical and socio-political frameworks that describe what music education should be.