Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


School of Music


The purpose of this study was to identify roles that music education plays in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) music majors. Using a collective case study design, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with five undergraduate LGBTQ music majors. Participants spoke about their experiences in music education settings, the social atmosphere associated with such settings and their identities as LGBTQ persons and musicians. Music education settings may include high school and college ensembles as well as extracurricular ensembles and private lessons. The researcher sought to explore: a) ways in which peers and teachers in music ensembles create a social climate for LGBTQ students, b) effects of such climates on LGBTQ students, c) developing musical and sexual identities of LGBTQ college music majors and d) possible interaction or disconnection of those identities. Results show that participants negotiated musical and sexual identities in order to reflect the social values of their music ensemble. They described ways in which peers and teachers created climates of acceptance, silence or homonegativity. Overall, participants viewed high schools as places of varying levels of acceptance, while college musical environments were seen as welcoming places for LGBTQ people. Participants drew connections between their developing sexual identities and quality of musicianship, especially in regard to musical expression.

Included in

Music Commons



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