Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts


Music Performance

First Advisor

Professor James B. Campbell


The arts are an essential part of any student’s well rounded education. The future of music in education will depend on its ability to deliver relevant, effective, and measurable outcomes. However, the expectations and performance nature of traditional curricula often foster a sense of musical elitism and ostracizes students that are solely interested in music as a recreational outlet. Incorporating recreational music-making into education can provide opportunities for students to experience self-expression, creativity, social connection, and enjoyment. These values will not only enhance their education, but also lead to acquired skills for use in all areas of their lives. Activities such as drum circles, for example, break down the musical elitism that has been reenforced through barriers of economy (purchasing instruments), technique (learning a required skill set), and language (learning to read music).

This document will establish a case for recreational music-making in education through examination of the role of music education, the concept of recreational musicmaking, and the numerous health and wellness benefits associated with recreational music-making. Included will be a discussion of elementary, secondary, and higher education music curricula. Additionally, the importance of using percussion instruments will be established along with explanations of basic techniques. Finally, a discourse about the language barrier in music is included. The intended results of this document include creating an educated audience for music professionals, a larger presence of music-making in society, music advocacy and support, improved creativity and self-expression for professional and amateur musicians, strengthened community connections, and an overall improvement in health and well-being for music participants.