American Elementary Music Programs: Current Instructional Methods, Goals, Resources, and Content Standards by Geographic Region and Grade Level
AdvisorHamann, Donald L
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this investigation was to identify current instructional practices, goals, and content standards addressed in American elementary music programs. Participants (N = 963) were sampled from elementary music teachers across the United States and administered a survey addressing music classes offered to each elementary grade level, average music instructional time, use of state standards and district music curricula, use of published materials, music integration, program goals, and perceived importance of various content standards by grade level. The three most frequently indicated music classes offered to elementary students were general music (84.57%), Orff (5.36%), and band (3.12%). Instrumental options and choir were typically only offered to older elementary students. Most elementary students received music instruction for an average of 31 to 60 minutes per week. Older students, however, tended to receive longer amounts of music instructional time. Over 81% of teachers regularly used their states’ standards when developing lessons. Slightly over two-thirds of all participants were provided a music curriculum to follow, although only 38.53% of total participants almost always followed it. Almost 48% sometimes used and over 36% almost always used published materials; Silver Burdett/Ginn and MacMillan/McGraw-Hill published the most popular series among elementary music teachers. Participants primarily used Essential Elements 2000 for band and orchestra. Nationally, 82.24% of participants indicated they regularly integrated music with other academic areas during lessons. On average, elementary music teachers integrated between three and four different subjects with music. Among the prominent areas reinforced through music were language arts (77.31%), mathematics (66.03%), social studies (55.77%), science (39.87%), and history (33.21%). The most commonly indicated music program goals were to foster students’: lifelong love of music; music appreciation; music foundation skills; and music reading skills. Participants also rated by grade level the perceived importance of various behavioral objectives separated into three content areas: pitch, rhythm, and musicality/history/timbre. After collecting all data and evaluating national trends, the researcher compared responses by geographic region - divided into the six MENC regions - and grade level, when appropriate. In each survey item where the researcher conducted tests of significance, significant (p ≤ .05) main effect differences were found.