Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Gonzalo A Obelleiro, PhD


Research continues to document results that suggest a positive relationship between music education programs and student academic achievement. However, there are an insignificant number of studies that look at the influence music education programs have on variables such as identity development and self-concept regarding its impact on African American youth that live in economically disadvantaged communities. Seeking to ascertain the manner by which an urban multicultural choral program influences identity development, promotes cultural awareness, and combats levels of stress in youth of color, I utilized a basic interpretive qualitative study design, drawing on elements of phenomenology. In an effort to examine individuals’ perceptions of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP), I interviewed seven Chicago Children’s Choir (CCC) adult alumni participants. These participants’ gender and ethnic make-up included two African American females, four African American males, and one Caucasian female. The results of this study indicate that music has the propensity to decrease levels of stress. Six out of the seven participants discussed ways that CCC continues to make a substantial effort to understand the effects of race, ethnicity, and culture on African American youth. It appears that this organization’s mission takes into account the educational inequities which take place in Chicago Public Schools, particularly for those students who live in underprivileged communities. Their music curriculum takes into account factors that affect music teaching and music learning.