Survey and analysis of undergraduate music education percussion methods courses in relation to the practical needs of secondary music educators in American public schools
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Date of Graduation
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
School of Music
The majority of Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education require students to enroll in a series of instrumental methods or techniques courses. These courses cover fundamental techniques and pedagogical approaches that prepare students for their future careers as music educators. Due to the percussion instrument family having a large scope of material that needs to be covered, it is commonly perceived by those who teach the classes, that Percussion Methods classes within an undergraduate Music Education degree operate on time frames that make equal coverage of all instruments and topics a pedagogical challenge within a standard academic semester.
The purpose of this study was three-fold. Firstly, to examine the syllabi of current Percussion Methods instructors at the university level from throughout the United States, with an eye toward comparing the curriculum content of each, and identifying which major textbooks are used for these courses. Secondly, to investigate the perceptions of public school music educators in the United States in regards to how well they felt their undergraduate Percussion Methods courses had prepared them to teach K-12 music in the schools. And finally, to gain deeper insight into the beliefs of those involved in both sides of the process of teacher preparation as related to the topic through case study interviews with current music educators and percussion methods instructors.
The results of this study include an evaluation of the scope and sequence of each major pedagogical topic explored within the scope of the methods course syllabi reviewed in relation to the self-reported practical needs of current public school music educators. While the results of this study suggest that while the majority of methods class content specific to percussion instruments does seem to be aimed toward addressing the practical needs of music educators, there are some topics that survey respondents who have taken the classes before may perceive as being inadequate or impractical. This study highlights such potential issues and aims to provide Percussion Methods class instructors with suggestions for possible course alterations and adjustments by illuminating common course issues, and providing information to better serve future music educators who teach instrumental music.
Pickering, Bryan C., "Survey and analysis of undergraduate music education percussion methods courses in relation to the practical needs of secondary music educators in American public schools" (2020). Dissertations, 2020-current. 13.
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