While qualitative research has become increasingly popular in music education over the last decade, there is no source that explains the terms, approaches and issues associated with this method. In The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research in American Music Education, editor Colleen Conway and the contributing music educators will provide that clarification, as well as models of qualitative studies within various music education disciplines. The handbook outlines the history of qualitative research in music education and explores the contemporary use of qualitative approaches in examining issues related to music teaching and learning. It includes 32 chapters and is divided into five parts. Part I defines qualitative research and examines historical, philosophical and ethical issues associated with its use in music education. Part II discusses ways of approaching qualitative research including: case study, ethnography, phenomenology, narrative inquiry, practitioner inquiry, and mixed methods. Ways of collecting and analyzing data are examined in the third part of the text (observations, interviews, document analysis, music as data and technology).
Part IV examines various music teaching and learning contexts that have been studied using qualitative approaches including: early childhood, general, instrumental-band, instrumental-string, choral, preservice and inservice teacher education, adult and community settings, student with exceptionalities, underserved populations, and world music. The final section of the book tackles permission to conduct research, teacher qualitative research, publishing qualitative research and direction for the future. An ambitious and much-needed volume, this handbook will stand as a key resource for drawing meaning from the experiences of students and teachers in music classrooms and communities.