DOI: 10.1177/27527646231214463 ISSN: 2752-7646

A Student-Affirming Approach to Middle School Classroom Music: Four Guiding Principles for Curriculum and Instruction

Meagan Dissinger
  • Education
  • Music

Students who enter middle school may discover few or no opportunities for music participation beyond the Western ensemble paradigm. However, the explorative experiences of elementary general music can continue to thrive in middle school classroom music. In order for middle school classroom music programs to maximize potential, they must be valued and supported equitably, and invite creativity, questioning, and co-learning. In this article, I discuss four guiding principles for a middle school general music curriculum that is culturally responsive, generationally relevant, and student-centered. When teachers adopt these values, middle school classroom music can affirm students’ musical and nonmusical identities and pave the way for growth in individuals and the music education, performance, and composition fields at large.

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