Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music

First Advisor

Aleysia Whitmore

Second Advisor

Sarah Morelli

Third Advisor

Kelly Fayard

Fourth Advisor

Alejandro Cerón Valdes


Ethics of care, Exploitation, Labor, Marching arts, Music, Music instructors


Workers across the United States are reckoning with unfair labor conditions by unionizing and speaking out. Systemic undervaluing of many workers has created a climate of fear, hidden agendas, and pervasive labor misconduct. The pageantry/marching arts are no exception. As a cultural insider, I conducted interviews, had many informal conversations, and ran a large survey that uncovered how the marching arts exploit instructors extensively despite their experience, education, and efforts. A systematic proclivity toward late payments, abused contracts, egregiously low compensation, and free labor begs the question: how can programs continually mistreat instructors this way? I explore this question through five themes developed from my own ethnography and scholarship in ethnomusicology, labor, sociology, and cultural policy. I hope to uplift the voices of instructors fighting for their worth in an industry that rarely gives as much as it takes and propose solutions for lasting change.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Malia Odekirk


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

62 pgs


Music, Labor relations