Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Ofelia García

Committee Members

Nicholas Michelli

Terrie Epstein

Subject Categories

Art Education | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Elementary Education | Language and Literacy Education


Musicking, Translanguaging, Bilingual Studies, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Latinx, New Literacy Studies


The music-making classroom is a space were students enact their multi-literacies. This space is especially important for Latinx bilingual students who are often labeled as struggling in school. In the music-making classroom, students reinvent their identities as integral members of a learning community, are accepted as leaders by their peers and are seen as literate in their music making practices. This habitus of success can have a durable, generative and transposable impact on the identity formation for the bilingual student that goes beyond the music classroom. This occurs because the music–making classroom acts as a third space both cognitively and physically, where students can translanguage, implementing all their ways of knowing to make meaning.

This study examines the question, How does the music-making classroom as a third space facilitate literacy acts and literacy identities for bilingual children? Field observations of students enrolled at the Corona Youth Music Program, an El Sistema inspired afterschool orchestral program, provide a thick description of student literacies as well as the various ways in which the music classroom is both a physical and cognitive third space. Student writing and interviews will reveal meta-talk and meta-thinking around music practices, the social and academic function of music in their lives, and the role that music plays in connecting to school and home literacies. Teaching artist interviews point to the culturally responsive practices that facilitate critical and creative literacy acts in the classroom. Interviews with parents uncover the ways in which music is a fund of knowledge of families’ cultural practices.