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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Department

School of Music

Advisor(s)

Jesse Rathgeber

Abstract

The practice of mindfulness, defined as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, p. 4), may be an effective form of self-care for music educators suffering from stress. Stressors that music educators may encounter in their professional lives include such issues as role conflict, role ambiguity, role overload, the underutilization of skills, resource inadequacy, non-participation, professional isolation, and Music Performance Anxiety (Scheib, 2003; Sindberg, 2011; Kenny, Davis, & Oates, 2004; Kenny & Osborne, 2006). The purpose of this collective case study was to explore the personal mindfulness practices of the three music educators who participated in the study and meanings they ascribe to these practices. The research questions guiding this study were as follows: What are participating music educators’ personal mindfulness practices? What meanings do participants ascribe to their personal mindfulness practices? Meanings were categorized as personal, social/relational or professional. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and observations of videos of myself and the participants collaboratively engaging in a mindfulness practice of the participant’s choosing. I transcribed interviews, wrote notes while observing video data, and analyzed data through axial coding of notes and transcriptions. Several themes emerged through this analysis: finding mindfulness through the body, personal practices, and role conflict & finding a sense of balance. This study has implications in the areas of music teacher education, music educators’ professional development, and future research in music education.

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