Towards cultural responsiveness in music instruction with black detained youth: An analytic autoethnography

Jason D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


There is an increased interest in music instruction and research with incarcerated populations. Amid this attention is a need to learn more about how music teachers develop competencies for working with juvenile offenders and navigate this unfamiliar context, how they come to learn more about culturally diverse music, and how they become aware of cultural influences. Although the body of literature on music instruction within correctional settings continues to grow, more examples of a teacher's personal journey towards cultural responsiveness in correctional facilities is warranted. Using a framework for cultural responsiveness attributed to Ladson-Billings, this analytic autoethnographic research highlights the author's personal journey towards becoming culturally responsive to Black youth detained in the criminal court system in Chicago, IL. Qualitative data collected for two years were analysed for emergent themes related to achieving musical success, validating cultural competence, and developing critical consciousness. Findings support previous research about the influence that culture may have on music teaching and learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-436
Number of pages16
JournalMusic Education Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015


  • culturally responsive teaching
  • hip-hop music
  • juvenile offenders
  • music composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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