In the fall semester of my junior year, I had the opportunity to choose my own research topic for a final paper in one of music education courses. I chose to write on the assigned gender roles elementary band instruments are conventionally given, and the effects these conventions have on elementary instrumentalists throughout their lives, which, I found, are far-reaching. I found that, in general, in musical genres where “male-gendered” instruments are the focus (especially jazz and rock), there is a concerning absence of female musicians, and more importantly, female role models. I hope to do more research on this topic in the future, which is why the WAM project was such a great opportunity for me.
Through WAM, I have been able take part in an initiative that aims to show the general public that women have not only been involved in music making for centuries, but many were leaders and role models whose contributions have been forgotten. It is my hope that through our project, we can give these female musicians the attention and respect they deserve, and also inspire current working female musicians to take charge, and be role models for the younger generation.
Nicholas Wagner is in his 5th year at Mason Gross, studying Music Education and Jazz Studies