Creating culturally responsive ensemble instruction: A beginning music educator’s story

Margaret Emily Schmidt, Michael Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This case study explores Michael’s experiences as a first-semester beginning strings teacher. Michael, a classically trained violinist and professional mariachi, was concurrently enrolled in a master’s degree program, where he found support for his ideas about challenging traditional approaches to ensemble instruction. Together, Michael and Marg, a music teacher educator, examine his instructional goals and the ways he sought to implement them. Michael wanted to offer musical experiences to promote the students’ musical interests within the skill limitations of young string students. Institutional structures that supported and hindered Michael in accomplishing his goals are identified as well as the trade-offs Michael made in dealing with impediments he encountered. Questions are raised for music teacher educators regarding preparation of culturally responsive music educators whose musical and teacher identities extend beyond the Western classical tradition.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-79
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education
StatePublished - 2017


  • teacher education
  • culturally responsive teaching
  • music teaching
  • mariachi
  • string teacher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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