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As studies in sound continue to emerge in the field (Ceraso, 2018; Danforth, Stedman, & Faris, 2018; Hawk, 2018), this dissertation seeks to describe how and why writing instructors are using music in their college writing classrooms, and to assess the match between these practices and an agreed-upon standard for effective teaching in college composition, the WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition. In order to outline the relevant scholarship about the use of music in the teaching of college writing, I first show that music belongs in the category of aurality as described by Selfe (2009). Then, I use Erin Anderson’s (2014) framework to organize the relevant scholarship about music: writing instructors tend to use sound/music: “…as a subject of rhetorical analysis, a material for multimodal text production, and a methodological model for alphabetic writing practice” [emphasis mine]. Next, I use Fulkerson’s (2005) framework for understanding instructor theories of composition, which includes: the axiological question (what makes writing “good?”); the process question (how do texts come into existence?); the pedagogical question (how is composition effectively taught?); and the epistemological question (how do you know all this?). Finally, I employ Sheridan, Ridolfo, and Michel’s (2012) four-part heuristic for interrogating new rhetorical options to the possible reasons for using music in the writing classroom: Semiotic potentials; cultural position; infrastructural accessibility; and de/specialization. To conduct the study, I design a Qualtrics survey and distribute it on two national listservs, and consider case studies in the form of targeted interviews/collection of teaching materials from five different instructors. The survey includes demographic, close-ended, and open-ended questions. I outline and apply a coding scheme to the open-ended questions. I conduct interviews via phone with the five interviewees, transcribe the interviews, and share the results with the participants for correction or confirmation. Then, I describe the results of the Qualtrics survey, and report the results of the targeted interviews and collection of teaching materials. I find that instructors use music in myriad ways, but most commonly use it to analyze lyrics or as background noise in the classroom. I find that their purposes for using music often correspond, in some ways, with their understanding of the purposes of composition itself (Fulkerson, 2005). Finally, I wrestle with the main findings, and reframe them using the lenses of academic hospitality and play. Results imply that the use of music is defensible according to the WPA Outcomes Statement, depending on how it is used. Further research is called for, especially in understanding the effectiveness of music-based pedagogy in the writing class. Such research might involve student responses, as well as collection of student materials at various stages in a music-based writing course.