Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Music Education

Document Type



This dissertation uses virtue ethics theory, teacher research method, and self-study to examine how I perceive myself as contributing to cultivating virtuous persons. Virtue ethics theory, teacher research method, and self-study are empirical, using concrete methods of data generation and analysis, and conceptual, relating to studying philosophical research, ideas, and interpretations (Annas, 2007; Check & Schutt, 2012; Kemmis & McTaggart, 1988). The study aimed to discover how virtue is cultivated through music education and improve teaching practice using virtue ethics theory and empirical research to offer insight into how virtue is cultivated. The study was conducted in an elementary school in the Northeast region of the United States, where I taught K-5 music and conducted a music teacher focus group for the trustworthiness of the data analysis of multiple data sources. The study presents an alternative viewpoint to music education, bridging gaps between educational research and classroom teaching, hence my role as a teacher-researcher at an R-1 university and an elementary school. My stance is that any virtue theorist who weakens the position of practical reasoning does not understand the reason for and structure of virtue ethics theory or what would be involved in morals or intellect in terms of virtue (Annas, 2007; Foot, 1978; Hursthouse, 1999). The study contributes to researchers and teachers by integrating music education with classroom teaching and applying ethical theory to examine children’s psychology, inclusion, identity, and religious life to understand the virtue of music teaching and learning.



Committee Chair

Pike, Pamela D.