Bridgewater professor studies gender and musical instrument choice

Christine Carrillo has helped grow the instrumental music program at Bridgewater. | File photo

Bridgewater College recently highlighted the work of director of instrumental music Christine Carrillo, including her research on gender role identity in music and how that determines which instruments student choose.

“Being a female trumpet player, I’ve always been aware of these stereotypes,” Carrillo said. “I clearly remember my mother’s reaction when I told her that I had chosen the trumpet. She said ‘Isn’t that a boy’s instrument?’ When I give lectures to teachers, I talk about how we can we alleviate that perception. How can we introduce these instruments to students in a way that isn’t going to make them hesitant to choose a particular instrument?”

In addition to her research work, Carrillo has helped grow the instrumental music program at Bridgewater, which had dwindled before she joined the faculty in 2011. She worked with local high-school band directors in her first years at Bridgewater, helping her recruit talented, passionate students.

 “I really enjoy being able to work with music on a high level,” she said. “I have students who want to be here and who want to make a career out of something I’m passionate about.”

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