Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Ron Roach

Committee Members

Marie Tedesco, Nathaniel Olson


The study focuses on connections between the Progressive era educational theories of John Dewey and present-day bluegrass and traditional music programs in higher education in order to explore a pedagogical basis for such programs. The research specifically examines Dewey’s beliefs in experiential learning, individualization, and vocational education and their current applications in traditional music education. The study included two major components: historical research into Dewey’s writings and primary and secondary sources regarding traditional music education in the United States, and interviews of faculty members in college and university bluegrass and traditional music programs. The thesis of this study is that experiential learning historically has been part of traditional music education and that it is an essential aspect of bluegrass and traditional music programs in higher education in the present day, leading to students taking part in meaningful learning experiences that contribute to their occupational goals.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.