What is it about?

Postsecondary music, and in particular music education, has long been plagued by systemic racism, lack of equity, and loss of access, preventing people of color from pursuing the highest levels of study. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of Black doctoral students in music education in terms of their motivations to pursue doctoral studies, educational and social experiences while enrolled, and emerging information literacy.

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Why is it important?

Findings revealed commonalities in participants’ lived experiences that could inform efforts to recruit and retain Black doctoral students, develop curricula that takes into account their experiences and goals, and stem systemic racism and promote equity and inclusion in the academy.


The inspiration for the current study came from our teaching activities at the University of Memphis. The realization that many doctoral music education classes at our university were made up solely of Black students inspired a fundamental question: How can we best meet the needs of this population of students? We learned a lot from this study and feel we gained a better understanding of how to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students.

Josef Hanson
University of Memphis

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Perspectives of Black Students in Music Education Doctoral Programs: Motivations, Experiences, and Information Literacy, Journal of Music Teacher Education, June 2023, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/10570837231177988.
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