The University of St. Thomas

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RESEARCH & ISSUES IN MUSIC EDUCATION

September 2010 : Volume 8 : No. 1

Featured Articles

Preservice Elementary Classroom Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Music in the School Curriculum and Teaching Music

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of preservice elementary education classroom teachers toward teaching music and the importance of music in the school curriculum as they prepare to enter the field in an era of high stakes testing, state standards, and accountability. More specifically, responses to twenty-nine statements were used to determine attitudes toward the following three constructs: (a) academic and social benefits of music education, (b) inclusion of music in the curriculum, and (c) comfort in teaching and leading music in the classroom.  The survey instrument was a modified version of that used by Lewis (1991); therefore the current study was a modified replication. Results were positive for all the constructs. Post hoc analyses indicated a strong relationship between prior musical experiences and the strength of positive responses.

Introduction

Research has indicated that elementary general classroom teachers have traditionally played a role in the musical education of children and have had musical training as a part of their professional preparation since the early 19th century (Birge, 1988; Gray, 2000). Elementary classroom teachers and school administrators have had extensive preparation in many areas for certification; however, their required study of music is often very limited (Stein, 2002). Their attitudes toward music in the curriculum become critical to decisions regarding the music education of elementary school students. Weller (1991) documented the subsidiary position of non-core subjects, such as music, in which informants associated non-core subjects with an attitude of devaluation. This devaluation had a considerable impact on curriculum and instruction in a junior high school setting. Similarly, elementary classroom teachers’ attitudes toward the music program may be an indicator of the value they place upon the importance of music education and the manner in which they support music education (Stein, 2002).

The responsibility for the music education of elementary school children is assigned by administrators to either (a) the music specialists or (b) classroom teachers (Byo, 1999). The support for music and other arts in the schools is a function of community values and the availability of resources. Resources have been in increasingly short supply for music programs beginning in the 1980s (Mark, 1986). A further downward trend in music funding has been documented (Bresler, 1993; Leonhard, 1991). This trend appears to be holding in that budget cuts and shifting priorities are either being enacted or pending in school systems nationwide to adjust to new accountability requirements (American Association of School Administrators, 2009; American Music Conference, 2003; Van Harken, 2003). 

Preservice and inservice elementary teachers, while pressured to meet many curricular requirements such as state content standards (Cooley, 2002; Frykholm, 1996), are potentially in a position to implement music activities in their classrooms. Research indicates that there is a correlation between the attitudes of preservice elementary teachers regarding music and their inclination to teach music (Gelineau, 1960; Kretchmer, 2002; Lewis, 1991, Siebenaler, 2006). Likewise, level of comfort in leading music activities affects inservice teachers’ attitudes toward teaching music (Colwell, 2008).

Classroom teachers have the most contact time with elementary students and may be the sole provider of music instruction or complement the instruction of a music specialist (Gold, 1973; Gray, 2000). Thus, their attitude toward music in the curriculum and teaching behavior are pivotal in supporting elementary students’ music education (Music Educators National Conference, 1986). It seems apparent that the attitudes of preservice elementary classroom teachers are an important component of supporting music education in the elementary students’ school experience. Teacher attitudes toward music education affect time spent on music and may foster a valuing rather than a devaluing of music education in the learning community (Gray, 2000; Weller, 1991).

Recent studies of attitudes of elementary teachers have focused on (a) preservice attitude change as a result of a specific methods course (Kretchmer, 2002; Siebenaler, 2006), (b) inservice elementary teachers’ attitudes toward music course content factors that affect attitude change toward elementary general music (Colwell, 2008; Stein, 2002), (c) inservice elementary teachers’ attitudes toward teaching the national standards for music (Byo, 1999, Colwell, 2008), (d) inservice elementary teachers’ attitudes toward the relationship between use of music in the classroom and music methods course content (Gray, 2000), (e) the relationship between use of music in the classroom and music methods course curriculum (Propst, 2003), and (f) musical activities used by inservice classroom teachers (Giles & Frego, 2004). The findings have indicated that methods courses may or may not have a practical impact on teachers’ infusion of music in the classroom (Kretchmer, 2002; Stein, 2002), and inservice teachers do not believe standards-based music instruction to be within their professional purview or competency (Byo, 1999).

Given the potential impact of inservice elementary classroom teachers’ attitudes toward music in the curriculum during the current era of high stakes testing, state standards, and accountability, the attitudes of preservice elementary teachers are of significant importance. The purpose of this study was to survey the attitudes of preservice elementary classroom teachers regarding music and music education as well as their perceived level of comfort in performing specific music related activities in their classroom. Additionally, the impact of prior school-based music experience on attitudes and comfort was examined.

Method

This study represents a modified replication of Lewis’ (1991) survey. The focus remained on preservice elementary classroom teachers’ attitudes toward music; however, it did not measure change during the course of a semester of instruction. Five hundred seventy-four students attending a regional public university in the southeast completed a survey as part of a senior-level elementary curriculum and instruction course containing a music methods component in the core block. The core block included content areas of language arts, science and social studies. Another component included two field experiences requiring the teaching of music lessons to elementary school students. All students had participated in a prerequisite music fundamentals course. The music fundamentals and methods courses are considered a part of a traditional model for elementary classroom teachers (Gauthier & McCrary, 1999). Two sections taught by two different teachers were surveyed during the last weeks of the semester. Data were collected over several non-consecutive semesters (1998-2003). Both instructors employed the same text (Rozmajzl & Boyer-White, 1996).

The survey that was used in this course was a modification of the one used by Lewis (1991). Three additional questions were created to address selected National Standards in Music: “1. singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. . . . 8. understanding the relationships between music, the other arts and disciplines outside the arts. 9. understanding music in relation to history and culture” (Music Educators National Conference, n.d.).  Inservice classroom teachers perceived these standards as favorable for implementation in Byo’s study (1999). Additionally, the original five-point Likert-type scale was adapted to a four-point, forced-choice Likert-type scale anchored by Agree (1) and Disagree (4). Following the recommendation by Frary (1996), the middle responses of Tend to Agree and Tend to Disagree were used. The survey consisted of 22 items related to subjects’ attitude toward music and music education, and 8 items were used to assess the subjects’ perceived level of comfort in performing specific music related activities in the classroom. For the majority of the items, an Agree (1) or Tend to Agree (2) response represented a favorable attitude. However, there were four items to which a Disagree (3) or Tend to Disagree (4) response represented a favorable attitude. For purpose of analysis, the responses to these four items were reversed so a low score represented a favorable attitude.

For this study, the items in the survey were reviewed for appropriateness, and factor analysis was used to identify the major constructs assessed in the instrument. After an initial review and analysis, 19 items representing four factors were identified for retention. Because modifications were made to the survey instrument, alpha reliabilities were calculated for the four factors/subscales. The observed reliabilities were .78, .67, .38, and .91. Due to its low reliability, the third factor was omitted from this study. The final set of items for this study consisted of 17 items representing three factors. The results of the factor analysis for the final 17 items are presented in Table 1. The first factor involves the subject’s level of comfort in teaching and leading music in the classroom; factor two related to the academic and social benefits of music instruction; and factor three addressed music and the curriculum. For purpose of analysis, a subscale score was computed for each of the three constructs that represented the average of the items composing the scale.

Table 1

Varimax rotated factor loadings for final 17 music survey items

 

Factor

Item

Comfort

Benefits

Curriculum

I would feel comfortable teaching music concepts to my students

.832

 

 

I would feel comfortable teaching music in relation to history and culture

.783

 

 

I would feel comfortable teaching a music listening lesson to my students

.779

 

 

I would feel comfortable teaching relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts

.773

 

 

I would feel comfortable teaching my students to sing a varied repertoire of music

.757

 

 

I would feel comfortable playing musical games with my students

.753

 

 

I would like to teach music in my own classroom

.740

 

 

I would feel comfortable singing with my students

.661

 

 

Students who are involved in a successful music program are more likely to succeed in academic areas

 

.833

 

Students with musical training tend to be more successful in academic courses as a result of music instruction

 

.821

 

Students who are involved in a successful school music program are less likely to be behavior problems in school

 

.722

 

Participating in musical activities in school serves an important social and cultural function

 

.617

 

Music should be limited in its role within the school curriculum*

 

 

.730

An hour a week of instruction by the music teacher is adequate to fill the basic musical needs of children*

 

 

.724

Music should be one of the first programs cut during financial crises*

 

 

.616

Public schools should be mainly responsible for academic education, not aesthetic education*

 

 

.591

Music should be included in the elementary curriculum

 

 

.477

Percent of variance explained

28.79

15.30

13.69

*These items were reverse scored

Results

Demographics

The results showed that a total of 574 surveys were completed. Ninety-eight percent of the respondents (n = 559) who indicated their gender were female, 10 (1.7%) respondents were male, and five (0.9%) respondents did not identify their gender. Three hundred sixty-one respondents (62.6%) indicated that they received music instruction in elementary school. However, participation in school-based music instruction at the middle and high school levels decreased to 45.4% (n = 262) and 30.3% (n = 175) at grades 6-8 and high school, respectively. With respect to music participation outside of school, 43.0% (n = 247) of the respondents indicated that they played or sang in a group outside of school, and 31.0% (n = 178) reported that they received music lessons outside of school.

Academic and Social Benefits of Music Education

The means and standard deviations for the academic and social benefits subscale for the total sample are contained in Table 2. For all items, a lower value suggests a more positive or favorable attitude toward music and music education. The results indicate that the respondents felt that music instruction had positive academic and social benefits. This is evidenced by a mean less than 2.00 for the scale score and 2 of the 4 items. Additionally, the means for the remaining two items was below the computational median of the scale (2.5). Further analysis revealed that each item was responded to favorably by a majority of the respondents. The rate of favorable response ranged from a low of 67.0% to a high of 98.3%.

Table 2

Means and standard deviations for the academic and social benefits scale

Scale

Mean

SD

% Expressing favorable response

 

Item

Academic and Social Benefits

1.77

.57

 

 

Students who are involved in a successful music program are more likely to succeed in academic areas

1.65

.72

90.6

 

Students with musical training tend to be more successful in academic courses as a result of music instruction.

2.01

.84

74.7

 

Students who are involved in a successful school music program are less likely to be behavior problems in school.

2.17

.82

67.0

 

Participating in musical activities in school serves an important social and cultural function

1.29

.50

98.3

Note: The scale for all items was 1 = Agree 2 = Tend to Agree 3 = Tend to Disagree 4 = Disagree

Table 3 contains results from the factorial ANOVA that examined the effects of in-school music experience and outside/private instruction on the academic and social benefit scale. A composite variable representing in-school music experience was created based on the presence of music instruction at each of the three grade levels. This resulted in four categories of in-school music experience: (a) No instruction, (b) Instruction in elementary school only (k-5), (c) Instruction in elementary and middle school (k-8), and (d) Instruction in elementary, middle, and high school (k-12). Subjects were identified has having out of school instruction in that they reported receiving outside or private music instruction.

The results indicate that the effect of out-of-school music instruction was statistically significant, F(1, 457) = 3.904, p = 049. The results indicate that respondents with outside music instruction (M = 1.713, SD = .573) had stronger beliefs regarding the academic and social benefits of music instruction than respondents with no outside music instruction (M = 1.846, SD = .571). Although the effect of out-of-school instruction was statistically significant, the associated effect size was below the level that is commonly used to identify a small effect.

Table 3

Means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results for academic and social benefits scale by in-school and out-of-school music instruction

 

Out-of-school instruction

 

Yes

 

No

In-school instruction

n

 

M (SD)

 

n

 

M (SD)

No instruction

45

 

1.61 (.55)

 

79

 

1.87(.56)

K-5

72

 

1.79 (.62)

 

64

 

1.90 (.62)

K-8

49

 

1.77 (.54)

 

54

 

1.83 (.52)

K-12

75

 

1.67 (.56)

 

27

 

1.67 (.55)

 

 

Source

df

MS

F

p

Eta-squared

In-school instruction

3

0.600

1.839

.139

.012

Out-of-school instruction

1

1.275

3.904

.049

.008

In-school x Out-of-school

3

0.329

1.009

.389

.007

Error

457

149.23

 

 

 

Music and the Curriculum

Table 4 contains the means and standard deviations for the subscale concerning music and the curriculum for the total sample. For all items, a lower value suggests a more positive or favorable attitude toward music and music education. The results indicate the respondents felt that music should be included in the curriculum. This is evidenced by a mean of 1.74 for the scale and means that are less than 2.00 on 4 of the 5 items. Additionally, the means for the remaining item was below the computational median of the scale (2.5). Further analysis revealed that each item was responded to favorably by a majority of the respondents. The rate of favorable response ranged from a low of 72.9% to a high of 99.3%.

Table 4

Means and standard deviations for the music and the curriculum scale

Scale

Mean

SD

% Expressing favorable response

 

Item

Music and the curriculum

1.74

.48

 

 

An hour a week of instruction by the music teacher is adequate to fill the basic musical needs of children.*

2.04

.86

72.9

 

Music should be limited in its role within the school curriculum*

1.99

.83

73.4

 

Music should be one of the first programs cut during financial crisis.*

1.72

.74

87.4

 

Public schools should be mainly responsible for academic education, not aesthetic education.*

1.79

.73

86.6

 

Music should be included in the elementary curriculum

1.17

.41

99.3

Note: The scale for all items was 1 = Agree 2 = Tend to Agree 3 = Tend to Disagree 4 = Disagree

* For consistency of interpretation, responses on these items were reversed.

The results from the factorial ANOVA that examined the effects of in-school music experience and outside/private instruction on the music and curriculum scale are presented in Table 5. The results indicate that out-of-school music instruction had a statistically significant effect on the scale scores, F(1, 457) = 5.517, p = 019. The results indicate that respondents with outside music instruction (M = 1.661, SD = .451) had stronger beliefs than respondents with no outside music instruction (M = 1.816, SD = .480) regarding the inclusion of music in the curriculum. Although the effect of out-of-school instruction was statistically significant, the associated effect size was below the level that is commonly used to identify a small effect.

Table 5

Means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results for the music and curriculum scale by in-school and out-of-school music instruction

 

Out-of-school instruction

 

Yes

 

No

In-school instruction

n

 

M (SD)

 

n

 

M (SD)

No instruction

45

 

1.70 (.44)

 

79

 

1.91 (.49)

K-5

72

 

1.67 (.45)

 

64

 

1.80 (.48)

K-8

49

 

1.77 (.45)

 

54

 

1.61 (.45)

K-12

75

 

1.56 (.45)

 

27

 

1.82 (.45)

 

 

Source

df

MS

F

p

Eta-squared

In-school instruction

3

0.882

4.159

.006

.027

Out-of-school instruction

1

1.170

5.517

.019

.012

In-school x Out-of-school

3

0.181

0.852

.466

.006

Error

457

0.212

 

 

 

 

The results of the factorial ANOVA also indicated a statistically significant difference among the levels of in-school music experience, F(3, 457) = 4.159, p = .006. Tukey post hoc tests indicated that respondents who had music experience in K-12 (M = 1.571, SD = .450) had more favorable attitudes toward music and the curriculum than respondents with no in-school instruction (M = 1.834, SD = .482), K-5 instruction (M = 1.732, SD = .467), and  K-8 instruction (M = 1.785, SD = .448). The post hoc results further showed no significant differences among the respondents who received no in-school instruction, K-5 instruction, and K-8 instruction. The associated effect size estimate to the effect of in-school music instruction was slightly above the criteria commonly used to identify a small effect.

Level of Comfort Teaching and Leading Music in the Classroom

Table 6 contains the means and standard deviations for the subscale concerning the level of comfort teaching music for the total sample. For all items, a lower value suggests a more positive or favorable attitude toward music and music education. The results indicate that the respondents felt comfortable teaching and leading music instruction in the classroom. This is evidenced by a mean of 1.63 for the scale and means that are less than 2.00 on all 8 items. Further analysis revealed that each item was responded to favorably by a majority of the respondents. The rate of favorable response ranged from a low of 76.6% to a high of 95.4%.

Table 6

Means and standard deviations the level of comfort scale

Scale

Mean

SD

% Expressing favorable response

 

Item

Comfort teaching music

 

 

 

 

I would like to teach music in my own classroom.

1.68

.88

84.0

 

I would feel comfortable singing with my students.

1.70

.92

82.3

 

I would feel comfortable teaching a music listening lesson to my students.

1.51

.74

90.0

 

I would feel comfortable teaching music concepts to my students.

1.74

.87

84.1

 

I would feel comfortable playing musical games with my students.

1.36

.60

95.4

 

I would feel comfortable teaching my students to sing a varied repertoire of music.

1.88

.93

76.6

 

I would feel comfortable teaching relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.

1.70

.82

84.8

 

I would feel comfortable teaching music in relation to history and culture.

1.51

.75

90.4

Note: The scale for all items was 1 = Agree 2 = Tend to Agree 3 = Tend to Disagree 4 = Disagree

The results from the factorial ANOVA that examined the effects of in-school music experience and outside/private instruction on the level of comfort teaching and leading music in the classroom are presented in Table 7. The results indicate that out-of-school music instruction had a statistically significant effect on the scale scores, F(1, 455) = 28.398, p < .001. The results indicate that respondents with outside music instruction (M = 1.455, SD = .552) felt more comfortable teaching and leading music in the classroom than respondents with no outside music instruction (M = 1.810, SD = .684). Additionally, the associated effect size estimate exceeded the value that is commonly used to identify a medium size effect.

Table 7

Means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results for the level of comfort scale by in-school and out-of-school music instruction

 

Out-of-school instruction

 

Yes

 

No

In-school instruction

n

 

M (SD)

 

n

 

M (SD)

No instruction

45

 

1.59 (.57)

 

79

 

1.86 (.74)

K-5

72

 

1.54 (.63)

 

64

 

1.86 (.69)

K-8

49

 

1.38 (.49)

 

54

 

1.75 (.61)

K-12

73

 

1.34 (.47)

 

27

 

1.66 (.63)

 

 

Source

df

MS

F

p

Eta-squared

In-school instruction

3

1.147

3.017

.030

.020

Out-of-school instruction

1

10.792

28.398

<.001

.059

In-school x Out-of-school

3

0.004

0.115

.951

.001

Error

455

0.380

 

 

 

The results of the factorial ANOVA also indicated a statistically significant difference among the levels of in-school music experience, F(3, 455) = 3.017, p = .030. Tukey post hoc tests indicated that respondents who had music instruction in K-12 (M = 1.425, SD = .534) were not more comfortable than respondents with music instruction in K-8 (M = 1.573, SD = .583). However, there was a significant difference in the comfort levels of respondents with instruction in K-12 and respondents with no in-school instruction (M = 1.761, SD = .695) or K-5 instruction (M = 1.690, SD = .677). The post hoc results further showed no significant differences among the respondents who received no in-school instruction, K-5 instruction, and K-8 instruction. The associated effect size estimate for the effect of in-school music instruction was equal to the value commonly used to identify a small effect.

Discussion

The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of preservice elementary education classroom teachers toward teaching music and the importance of music in the school curriculum as they prepare to enter the field in an era of high stakes testing, state standards, and accountability. More specifically, a modified version of a survey instrument used by Lewis (1991) was administered to students as part of a senior-level elementary curriculum and instruction course containing a music methods component in the core block. From the original 30 statements contained on the survey, 17 statements that represented three constructs were used in this study.  The three constructs that were analyzed were: (a) academic and social benefits of music instruction, (b) inclusion of music in the curriculum, and (c) level of comfort teaching and leading music in the classroom

In spite of the different political and economic climate in which preservice elementary classroom teachers surveyed were undergoing training, there are significant similarities between Lewis’ (1991) study and findings of the present study. Attitudes toward the inclusion of music in the curriculum were very positive, which was consistent with other findings (American Music Conference, 2003; Lewis, 1991; Siebenaler, 2006). The positive correlation between prior musical experience and positive attitude toward the inclusion of music was consistent as well. The current study indicated that the more extensive the prior musical experiences, the more positive the attitude toward the inclusion of music in the curriculum.  Similarly, this correlation between teaching performance and attitudes toward the subject has also been revealed by preservice teachers in mathematics (Gresham, 2008; Teague & Austin-Martin, 1981).

Subjects’ attitudes concerning the academic and social impact of music were positive. The strongest agreements with Lewis’ (1991) findings were the positive attitudes toward statements regarding music participation and positive behaviors, academic achievement, and the social and cultural function of music. Again, the current study indicated that the more extensive the prior musical experiences, the more positive the attitudes concerning the academic and social impact of music.

Preservice elementary classroom teachers’ attitudes concerning the amount of music instruction and its delivery were positive. The most prominent agreements with Lewis’ (1991) findings were the positive attitudes toward statements regarding the merits of music instruction being scheduled for more than one hour per week and the need for a music specialist. The latter finding is consistent with the acknowledgement that elementary classroom teachers’ musical training is limited (Byo, 1999; Gauthier & McCrary, 1999). The current study indicated that the more extensive the prior musical experiences, the more positive the attitudes concerning the amount of music instruction and its delivery.

Attitudes toward music appreciation were found to be positive. The agreement with Lewis’ (1991) findings was the positive attitude toward the statement regarding the receptivity to different kinds of music. This finding may be related to notions of integrating curriculum in a time in which diversity is a valued disposition of teacher candidates (National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2004).

Subjects’ attitudes concerning their desire to teach and their comfort in teaching music in the classroom were positive. The agreements with Lewis’ (1991) findings were the positive attitudes toward the statement regarding the playing of musical games, teaching music in relation to history and culture, and teaching a music listening lesson. These findings are also consistent with other recent studies regarding integrated curricula (Byo, 1999; Gray, 2000; McCarthy-Malin, 1993; Siebenaler, 2006; Stein, 2002).

Preservice elementary classroom teachers’ attitudes concerning the comfort of incorporating music in the classroom were generally positive. The agreement with Lewis’ (1991) findings was the positive attitude toward the statement regarding teaching music in their own classroom. The finding of a significant interaction between comfort items and out-of-school experiences may represent a predisposition toward seeking out musical experiences. One may also speculate that more musical (curricular and extra-curricular) experiences lead to a higher comfort level toward leading selected musical activities. While the general finding of this comfort level attitude is positive, other research indicates that, whatever teaching music may connote for these preservice elementary classroom teachers, inservice elementary classroom teachers may, in fact, teach music infrequently (Colwell, 2008; Kujawski, 1996) and rarely teach musical skills or objectives (Giles & Frego, 2004; McCarthy-Malin, 1993).

Implications

Preservice elementary classroom teachers that have had two semesters of music—music fundamentals and music methods—in their degree program, indicate positive attitudes toward music as a subject in the elementary school curriculum. However, their stronger comfort level is for integrating music into the core curriculum. Recent studies (Byo, 1999; Giles & Frego, 2006; Gray, 2000; Stein, 2002) suggest that the integration of music is more likely to be a subservient approach (Bresler, 1995), or represent a connection (Snyder, 1996) to the core content area. For example, the song, “Fifty Nifty United States,” might be used to reinforce social studies content without an associated musical objective.

A less common but more desirable type of integration favored by some music education researchers (Bresler, 1995; Colwell, 2006) would require greater understanding of the subject matter in both areas. This co-equal style of integration (Bresler) requires close cooperation of both music and classroom teachers, or an extensive background by one teacher in multiple disciplines, to achieve both music and non-music content area objectives related to state or national standards. An example might involve studying patterns that are learned in core subject areas, such as mathematics or poetry, and their relation to tonal and/or rhythmic patterns within music. However, the elementary classroom teacher’s preparation is clearly not sufficient for teaching music to the degree articulated in the national music content standards.

If preservice and inservice elementary classroom teachers are inclined to integrate music into the core curriculum but are neither sufficiently confident nor prepared for developing musical skills consistent with national and state standards in their elementary students, then an insistence that they integrate music with co-equal objectives (music and core content) may be impractical. The development of such musical skills is the role of a music specialist. A relationship of mutual benefit may be developed between the music specialist and elementary classroom teacher at a given school site with each contributing his or her respective expertise in a collaborative manner.

Music teacher educators can be effective in developing support-building skills in their teacher candidates for working cooperatively with elementary classroom teachers. Supportive relationships might be encouraged by building capacity in music teacher candidates for developing music lessons that link with thematic topics in the elementary classroom. An interdisciplinary or interdepartmental collaboration between music teacher candidates and elementary teacher candidates could be fostered within methods courses, or through professional development opportunities that guide them in making connections in planning for student learning. A survey could be administered to ascertain any changes in attitude toward integrating music into the elementary curriculum. Through such experiences, music teacher candidates may become sensitized to ways in which they can support and enrich the elementary curriculum, and increase the perceived value of music in the core curriculum among elementary teachers. Consequently, the position of music in the elementary schools may be strengthened.

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About the Authors

Christopher Della Pietra is a former associate professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and currently teaches music in Santa Cruz, California. He holds the B.M and M.A. in music education from San Francisco State University and the Ph.D. in music education from the University of Washington. He also was awarded a Dalcroze license from the Dalcroze Institute at The Julliard School.

Sara Bidner has recently retired as Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.  Her primary teaching responsibilities included elementary music methods courses for music education majors and elementary education majors, secondary music methods, fundamentals of music, and supervision of student teachers.  She holds academic degrees in music education from Louisiana State University (M.M.E. and Ph.D.) and the University of Illinois (B.S.), is a past national chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education, and currently serves as President-Elect of the Louisiana Music Educators Association.

Thomas Devaney is an Associate Professor of Educational Research at Southeastern Louisiana University. His teaching expertise is in research methodology and statistics and his research interests are in online/distance education and statistical significance testing.  He holds the B.S and M.Ed from The University of West Alabama and the Ph.D. from Mississippi State University.

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