Appalachian Music Project


This project will provide quality, low-cost or free music instruction in SWVA, while creating real-world, research teaching opportunities for UVA Wise music majors and minors.

Research Interests
  • Pedagogy
  • Teacher Development
  • Community engagement
  • Music Pedagogy
  • Access

The Appalachian Music Project seeks to connect K-12 students in the Wise County, Virginia area with qualified private music instructors by minimizing the cost to the students and their families. This project will aid the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in the short- and long-term recruitment of students by bringing them to campus for their AMP instruction while also providing current music majors with the career-building opportunity to teach in the program. The project also aims to examine how teaching in this program affects outcomes for students in other areas of their lives, including other academic classes, as well as their confidence as music educators.

Wise County and surrounding areas suffer from a noticeable lack of music instruction outside of the public schools, and the instruction taking place inside of the public schools is limited. AMP will give students an opportunity to pursue individual instrumental or vocal instruction in an intensive environment that will furnish them with the tools for success. Further, these students will reap the extra cognitive benefits that music instruction provides.

By bringing students to UVA Wise’s campus for their lessons, AMP hopes to increase the long-term enrollment numbers of the college. The UVA Wise Division of Music faces a significant hurdle in its recruiting efforts due to limited music education opportunities in the surrounding area for K-12 students. Bringing these students to campus to study with UVA Wise music majors and faculty will help to address the local music education vacuum, and should ultimately result in an increase in music major enrollment.

In the short-term, the UVA Wise Division of Music will be able to offer potential music majors the ability to participate in AMP if they choose to study at UVA Wise. This will not only give these potential students the option of an extra income stream, but it will also provide them with hands-on professional experience that they can use to further their future careers.

Finally, local arts organizations such as Pro-Art will benefit from an educated younger generation who can attend and appreciate concerts and other arts activities. Recent discussions with Pro-Art have indicated a push for more arts education in the area, and we believe that the Appalachian Music Project will dovetail effectively with that goal.

Our research will focus on outcomes for participating UVA music majors and minors, and it will be gathered primarily through self-evaluation. Participating k-12 music students will also be surveyed to evaluate their experiences.

Desired outcomes

This research aims to measure outcomes for participating UVA Wise music majors and minors teaching in the Appalachian Music Project. This will be gathered primarily through self-evaluation of how teaching in AMP affected their own lessons, ensembles, music classes, and general academic classes. We will also measure their own confidence in music pedagogy and education concepts.