From Moratorium to Auditorium: a Case Study of the Latino Immigrant/Undocumented Student in Secondary Music Education



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Globalization, climate change, and political instability are increasing migration patterns across the world with millions of people, including children, adapting to new host nations (UNHCR, 2019). Erikson and Marcia describe psychosocial adolescents, actively searching for identity with an uncertain future purpose, as “Moratoriums”(Erikson, 1968; Marcia, Waterman, Matteson, Archer, & Orlosfsky, 1993). The term “moratorium” more broadly describes a delay in activity, similar to the hopes of the undocumented youth living and working in the United States. This case study of five Latino immigrants, four being undocumented, asks adult respondents (aged 19-26) to reflect on moments of exclusion/inclusion in their music classes through a set of open-ended questions. Using Quirkos software, in vivo coding produced several themes of transcribed interviews. Additionally, Suárez-Orozco et al. (2018) Integrative Risk and Resilience Model for Understanding the Adaptation of Immigrant-Origin Children and Youth, provided the framework for deductive coding revealing similar emergent themes. A week later participants answered, via email, a short questionnaire asking for basic demographic information. Findings show respondents felt included in music classes except regarding group travel. Several emergent themes encompassed identity, milestones, language acquisition, acculturation/enculturation conflict, humiliation, and shame. Research findings shed light on a clandestine population in the context of music education, general education, social-emotional learning, immigrant-specific adaptations, undocumented student’s identity development, and meaningful music-making. This study gives some evidence secondary music education programs may provide a microsystem for “Moratoriums” to feel safe to actively explore their identity, building resilience in not only immigrants but all students.



Latino immigrant, Undocumented, Music education, Music, Moratorium, Adolescent, Scondary music education, Inclusive, Enculturate