Date of Award

Summer 2018


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM) in Music Education


Despite laws protecting employees and the prevalence of Title IX training for administrators, staff, and faculty at many institutions, LGBTQ music teachers may still face difficulties in the workplace based on their identity. This investigation involves two case studies exploring the perceptions of music teachers in the USA regarding the challenges faced in the workplace pertaining to their sexual orientation. This empirical, descriptive study used interview technique, with the report written in a narrative style. Both teachers reported discrimination from administrators in the early stages of their careers. The first was bullied by a student spreading rumors, despite not being open about his status. Being at a Catholic school that used behavioral contracts to justify dismissals, he experienced “fear, loneliness, anger, and frustration.” Following this, both participants chose career paths in more liberal parts of the country, minimizing possibilities of discrimination. The one who had hidden his status came “out” and both reported mostly positive experiences over the course of their careers. The second faced vocal protest by a student in the classroom and used the experience to hold discussions in the class about acceptance. Both participants still find a need to guard their conversations in the workplace, based on the professional colleagues with whom they’re interacting. By giving voice to LGBTQ music teaches through this study, it is anticipated that greater awareness might lead to increased sensitivity and eradication of practices and attitudes that compromise the experience of music teachers based on their sexual orientation.