The purpose of this study was to examine music education undergraduate students’ expectations of and preferences for their music education faculty members’ personal and professional backgrounds and compare them to the actual backgrounds of current music teacher educators. Participants (N = 293) from 55 randomly-selected NASM-accredited institutions completed a researcher-created questionnaire. Participants expected and preferred their music education faculty members to have approximately nine years of PreK–12 teaching experience, which is approximately three times the amount posted in faculty searches and doctoral program entrance requirements. Participants most valued their music education professors’ experiences in assessment and classroom management and least valued experiences in rural area teaching and success at achieving high festival ratings for ensembles. For professors’ current skills and abilities, participants most valued verbal communication, rehearsal techniques, and teaching pedagogy while least valuing skills in music composition, music history, and non-Western musics. Participants preferred their professors to be kind, flexible, and empathetic, while least preferring them to be serious, humorous, and sympathetic.



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