Abstract

The purpose of this narrative study was to examine the experiences of Melanie, a music educator who identifies as transgender (MtF), as she navigated her preservice teacher preparation and entered the field. Ten 90-minute interviews were conducted over the course of 3 years spanning Melanie’s senior year of college and the 2 years following her graduation. Additional field texts included Melanie’s personal blog, reflective writings associated with music education courses, and observations of Melanie during practicum teaching, student teaching, and her first year of full-time teaching. A narrative account of Melanie’s experiences is presented, detailing her youth and adolescence as Matthew, a teenager struggling with gender identity, her first 3 years of college as she began transitioning to Melanie, her senior year of college negotiating her developing teacher and gender identities, and her eventual entry into the field as Miss Stanford, a confident young music educator. Melanie’s story highlights the particular challenges facing transgender music educators and illuminates considerations for music educators at all levels endeavoring to cultivate safe learning environments for students of diverse gender identities.

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