Perspectives on Student Empowerment in Music Education 

In Episode 59, Kathryn and Theresa engage in a conversation exploring the intersection of music education, student empowerment, and research! Theresa, a PhD student at Arizona State University, delves into her research project that analyzes themes from the Pass the Baton podcast, particularly focusing on secondary music education. 

The discussion reveals key findings: music teachers strive for their students to become independent musicians and learners by focusing on individual needs and creating a nurturing classroom environment. This encompasses fostering lifelong musicianship, encouraging creative thinking, and developing critical life skills. The conversation also touches on the nuanced use of language in education, the evolution of teaching practices, and the importance of creating conditions for student empowerment rather than merely bestowing it. Theresa’s research underscores the significance of student agency and personalized learning, providing valuable perspectives for anyone involved in educational practices.

They wanted students to be independent musicians and independent learners. And they achieved it by focusing on the individual students’ needs and then focusing on the environment of the classroom.

Here are some key takeaways from Theresa’s interview:

  • Theresa’s research project at ASU focuses on analyzing themes from interviews conducted in the “Pass the Baton” podcast, specifically in the context of secondary music education.
  • When talking about student empowerment, music teachers share how they want students to be independent musicians and independent learners. 
  • Music teachers focus on individual student needs and the creation of a safe and inclusive classroom environment, highlighting the shift towards more student-centered teaching approaches in music education.
  • Theresa hopes her research could serve as a framework for educators to evaluate and enhance their teaching strategies, contributing to the evolution of more effective and empowering music education practices.

Connect with Theresa to learn more about her work:

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