Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Music and Dramatic Arts

Document Type



The purpose of this ethnographic case study was to examine the lives of teachers, students, community members, and culture bearers within a musical community located in South Central Louisiana. The geographic area of focus in this research was Vermilion Parish and its surrounding area, known as Acadiana, the heart of Creole and Cajun culture where Traditional Louisiana Music finds its origins. Participants’ intrinsic cultural understandings of Louisiana’s music and impact on school music programs was examined through ethnographic interview and observation. A resource pedagogy known as funds of knowledge was used as a theoretical framework meant to maintain participants’ intrinsic cultural understandings, behavior, language, and customs throughout data collection, analysis, and presentation of findings. The findings from this study describe the perceptions and experiences of members involved in the Lâche Pas program, an after school cultural education program that immerses students of the community in the art, music, and history surrounding Creole and Cajun culture. An intangible cultural heritage was recognized where cultural knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation and recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment. Customs were seen as fluid, dynamic and dependent on the motivations and contexts of each generation. Educators, administrators, community musicians, and students were uniquely motivated to take part in preserving their endangered culture.



Committee Chair

Byo, James