Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Karen Miller

Subject Categories

Community-Based Learning | Early Childhood Education | Educational Sociology | Inequality and Stratification | Music Education


music education, New York, civil right, education, music teacher, music specialist, classroom teacher, teacher training program, professional development, educational policy, perception, cultural belief


According to music educators and proponents of arts education, music education in U.S. public schools seems to be in jeopardy. This thesis brings attention to several issues in current music education. It is a case study of music education in New York City public elementary schools. First, it shows that music education is not equally distributed to all students in the public-school system and is especially unequal among elementary schools. Next, it investigates possible causes for this inequality, from the current system’s limitations to more fundamental causes including the cultural perception of music among the U.S. public. The consequences of these limitations and broader causes are examined. Finally, suggestions for addressing these issues within the given constraints of the school and institutional system are offered.