Exploring the role of music ensemble directors in strengthening racial identity among Asian American high school students
The twofold purpose of this study was: 1. to bring awareness, and therefore an increased understanding of the complex experience of Asian Americans in music and 2. to explore the role of high school music educators in developing a positive racial identity for their Asian music ensemble members. Participants (N=62) were adult Asian Americans who had participated in a high school music ensemble. Results of the survey indicated that almost one-half of participants played in orchestra (n=30), followed closely by choir (n=28). Most participants indicated that music was an important part of their childhood and that they had relatives and close family friends who were musicians. The majority of participants also indicated that performing Asian music or music by Asian composers may have helped them feel more respected and appreciated in their high school music classrooms, and therefore helped them develop positive racial identities as Asian Americans.