The Boston Children's Chorus: a case study in culturally responsive teaching
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The purpose of this case study was to explore and analyze the practices of the Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) in relation to culturally responsive pedagogy. The intent was to explore how the conductor, his staff, and the support staff (including the administrative team and Board of Directors) considered the issues of cultural relevancy as they programed and rehearsed music, selected concert venues, recruited singers, and marketed the organization. The study also reflected the perspectives of the stakeholders, particularly the parents and singers. The findings reported in this chapter are in narrative form and include the results from interviews, observations, and questionnaires arranged by common themes. The approaches developed at the BCC were congruent with culturally responsive teaching and tied to the mission of social change. The overarching concept of social change mission-oriented planning shaped its curriculum, instruction, and perceptions of staff, students, and parents as well as framed the development of the community of singers at the BCC. The findings indicated that in attempting to achieve more progress with the social change mission it was critically important to further develop a detailed strategic plan for all BCC choirs and staff members. The implications of this research study are that a better understanding of the successful practices of the BCC would help to identify key factors that contribute to teachers’ willingness to implement culturally responsive teaching in music and choral education and would serve as inspiration and an outline for other music teachers and conductors by helping them to overcome problems that might prevent others from succeeding.