School of Rock: The Curricular Dimensions of an All-Ages Venue

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Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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Siegel, Lesley Nora
Digital Commons @ DU
All-Ages; Curriculum; Educational Criticism; Music; Public Pedagogy; Urban
thesis / dissertation description
Schools are only one of many sites for pedagogy and curricula. Youth encounter educative experiences at many sites and in many forms. For many youth, the all-ages music scene is their most meaningful classroom with the music and the ethos of the movement serving as their teachers and other young punks their classmates.This study examined the learning experiences and the dimensions of received curricula at an established all-ages music venue in a large urban city. The Vera Project in Seattle, Washington was the subject of this qualitative study, which utilized the methodology of educational connoisseurship and criticism to describe and interpret the experiences of youth on the music scene. Four research questions guided this study: 1) What are the intentions of the Vera Project as an all-ages music and arts space in a large urban city? 2) What are the elements of implicit and null curriculum experienced at the Vera Project? 3) How do the implicit messages of the Vera Project transcend its walls? 4) What is the significance of the intentions and practices of the Vera Project for other youth music and art communities in general and curriculum matters in particular?The voices of Vera's youth and observed scenes from activities that define the Vera Project are presented as thematic vignettes followed by short interpretations. The scenes and voices of Vera shed light on multiple educative experiences that happen at the venue including: the power of safe struggle and authentic work, the natural exploration of social and cultural issues, and youth voice as equal voice. Implicit messages around inclusion, allies, validation, and representation at the venue are explored, as is the symbiotic relationship between teacher and learner as is manifested in this venue. This study brings the all-ages venue as a site of learning into the dialogue on public pedagogy and considers how the educational commonplaces manifest in this public domain.