Date of Completion

Spring 4-25-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Joseph Abramo

Honors Major

Music Education

Second Honors Major



Music Education


Contemporary research has shown that school music programs have increasingly struggled with relevancy in recent years (Boon, 2014; Green, 2006; Woody, 2007) as students primarily experience music outside of school through informal practices of popular music and culture. It is therefore extremely important for music educators to better understand the perceptions their students have of music in both of these settings. In this study, students were asked via survey and interview about their perceptions of the music they make in school and in other settings, such as at home, with friends, or as a part of a religious activity. Findings included a wide range of statements and numerical data from students about preferences and perceived differences between in school and out of school music, suggesting that a mixture of informal and formal classroom practices are needed in all music classrooms in order to better reach students with diverse musical experiences outside of school.