“I Made Myself Fit In”: Johny’s Story

Tami J. Draves, Jonathan E. Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to re-story the experiences of a first-year music teacher with regard to race and class. Johny was a first-year high school guitar teacher in the southwestern United States who identified as Hispanic and was raised in a family with a lower income. He was also a first-generation college student whose path to university study was atypical because of his major instrument, musical background, little high school music class participation, and entrance to postsecondary music study at a community college. Johny’s story is a work of critical storytelling and is interpreted through an intersectional framework. His story compels us to thoughtfully attend to curriculum, musical knowledge, equity, and how music educators can serve an increasingly diverse student population in schools of music. Issues for consideration include (a) increased support of nontraditional students, including those from marginalized populations, such as students with lower incomes, first-generation students, and community college transfer students, and (b) promoting meaningful and collaborative change across multiple areas in schools of music.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-21
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • beginning teachers
  • class
  • Hispanic
  • intersectionality
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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