Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



This thesis explores music teaching and learning in Ghana, West Africa from a music education standpoint. Fieldwork was conducted at the Dagbe Cultural Institute, in Kopeyia, Ghana, West Africa to investigate methods of teaching and learning, the function of music within the culture, and formulate implementation strategies for elementary classrooms in the United States. Main themes on teaching and learning that emerged within the center focused on the use of strategies like drum syllables and analogy with Western students during classes. The use of learning in context through cultural outings also provided teaching opportunities for students. The overall function of music as a daily activity for all villagers provided students at the center with many opportunities for learning. Implementation of learning processes taken from the center blend well with current teaching and learning practices in the United States, allowing many strategies to be unmodified and used in classrooms. Specific differences between the two teaching environments include large teacher to student ratio, teacher-oriented environment, teaching students as children in the culture are taught, and modeling performance before learning. Each of these provided unique learning experiences for students at the center. Through these observations, connections to teaching and learning in the United States were made to provide teachers with resources for implementing Ghanaian drumming and dancing into elementary school music curriculums to provide students with a broader world view of music and culture.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Cassidy, Jane W.



Included in

Music Commons