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Kenneth Elpus and Carlos R. Abril
Journal of Research in Music Education, 67(3), 323-338.
Publication year: 2019

The purpose of this study was to construct a complete demographic profile of high school music ensemble students using nationally representative data for the U.S. graduating high school class of 2013. We make use of restricted-use data from the National Center for Education Statistics High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS). Results showed that 24% of the class of 2013 enrolled in at least one year of a course in band, choir, or orchestra at some point during high school. Music students were 60% female and 40% male, and the racial/ethnic composition of music ensemble students was 58% White, 13% Black or African American, 17% Hispanic or Latino, 4% Asian or Pacific Islander, 8% two or more races, and under 1% American Indian or Alaska Native. Students from the highest socioeconomic status quintiles were overrepresented among music students. Fully 61% of music ensemble students participated in some form of arts activity outside of school, and 71% of music students attended a play, concert, or live show with their parents as ninth graders. Complete results presented in the article include disaggregated profiles by type of ensemble and a multivariate logistic regression analysis.