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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Thomas Nelson

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Ruth Brittin

Third Committee Member

David Wolfe


The watershed of music education in the United States originated with tributaries from Puritan families, churches and communities of the 1630s. For more than three hundred years, Dickinson family members have been influenced by music educators. In turn, the Dickinsons, as ministers, educators and music educators, influenced innumerable students and communities. The purpose of this narrative case study was to describe the influence of music educators on students' lifelong learning and musicianship. Utilizing a nested case study approach focusing on two individual cases within a larger family case, this inquiry examined the ways music educators addressed critical issues in music education in Dickinson communities prior to 1860. Further, this study investigated the ways music educators influenced the lives and relationships of Martha Dickinson Bond and Clarence Dickinson and the ways the Dickinsons were influential in their students' lives. Sources of data were drawn from the Clarence Dickinson Collection of Sacred Music at William Carey College; private collections from the estate of Martha Dickinson Bond; and collections from libraries, churches, historical societies, and archives in former Dickinson communities. Data sources included interviews with students of the Dickinsons, artifacts, records, diaries, letters, recorded and written music, photographs, participant-observations, and direct observations. Content analysis involved developing chronologies and case profiles; identifying and coding patterns from data; utilizing matrix displays for within-case and between-case analysis; synthesizing emergent constructs and themes; and illustrating themes with examples from data. Data analysis revealed themes about the influence of music educators holistically over three centuries (1630s-1930s): Religion; Relationships; Character Development; Literacy; Musical Development; Community Contributions; and Inspiration . Recommendations for music educators, music therapists, and teacher educators were organized by five identified stages of musical development over the human lifespan. Recommendations for further study corresponded to guiding research questions.





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