Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Sarah Noonan, Doug Orzolek, Karen Howard



This qualitative case study explored the lived experience of various forms of endemic, community-based, Brazilian musics in remote, rural communities. Detailed interviews with 22 Subaltern and Indigenous Brazilian musicians, community members, and leaders prioritized local knowledge and perspectives across age groups, genders, walks of life, and musical rhythms. Working alongside community members produced a vibrant picture of community music and musicians, revealing meaningful themes and connections about music in everyday social structures. A model of Community Music Pedagogy emerged, including four flexible phases: Initial Music Encounters, Emergent Learning Processes, Developing Musical Craft, and Create, Perform, and Share. Central findings reframed ideas of "classroom," "teacher," "musicianship," and "voice." As mestres (directors), caciques and cacicas (Indigenous chiefs), elders, teachers, and performers supported ensembles, programs, and events, a profile of Community Music Learning emerged from local knowledge experts on the nature, value, purpose, and ways of music within their original cultural context and space. Here, I faced some of the limits of my own U.S. system-based approach to music education. Culture theory (Douglas, 2003; Thompson, 2018) became an overarching frame to contextualize and analyze the pedagogical data. A combination of culturally responsive teaching (Ladson-Billings, 2014; Lind & McKoy, 2016) and culturally sustaining pedagogy (Paris & Alim, 2017) frameworks provided pathways for analyzing the phases of community music learning and development. Cross-cultural knowledge exchange expanded possibilities of reframing and reconnecting a more sustainable, equitable approach to music learning, teaching, and sharing within life experience.

Key words: community music pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching, culturally sustaining pedagogy, Brazilian community music, Indigenous community music, SubAltern community music.


Community music pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching, culturally sustaining pedagogy, SubAltern community music, Indigenous community music, Brazilian community music

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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