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Initial Research Goals

So, I have recently been scouring academic journals for articles connected to my interest in cultural differentiation in beginning method book repertoire. Today, I used differing keyword searches to scour Music Educators Journal listings available on the GMU library database and surprisingly enough, I did not find any articles published there specifically related to my research interest. I did find 14 articles to review for relevance and citation in my future writings which is wonderful, but it is simultaneously refreshing and scary to see a lack of scholarly attention to this important aspect of beginning instrumental music instruction.

I am interested to investigate the small volume of cultures represented in beginning strings method books. I have surveyed the exercises presented in the following beginning method books for the attributed cultural origin, or nationalities of attributed composers:

Essential Elements

String Explorer

Sound Innovations

All for Strings

String Basics

New Directions for Strings

Measures of Success

Next, I will be organizing my data in excel to produce visuals demonstrating exactly how poor the cultural differentiation is in each book. My suspicion is that the report will not be favorable concerning diversity.

I also intend to compare this data with the student demographics or Fairfax County Public Schools and perhaps additional urban and suburban populations. Ultimately, I hope that my research can influence publishers to ensure that the method books being sold to school systems reflect the student populations utilizing them in the classroom.

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