Music Education by Any Objective dissertation

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Studies here included in this set are evaluations of large multisite and single site after school programs; evaluations of school- and community-based models; evaluations assessing a narrow to a broad range of outcomes; key developmental research studies; and key meta-analyses and research syntheses (Little, Wimer, and Weiss, 2007, 3).

In Music for Citizenship, David J. Elliott, he elaborates upon the vision of Paul Woodford in Democracy and Music Education who lays out a vision for music education to take a "radical liberal" turn in order to "prepare [music] students to participate in democratic society and thereby contribute to the common good" (Elliott, 2008, 45). Such a vision is in keeping with the traditions of John Dewey who held that critical thinking was a moral and political kind of thinking. He wants the profession to reclaim a democratic purpose for music education by contributing to intellectual and political conversations about the nature and significance of music education (ibid.) This type of philosophy is directly opposed to No Child Left Behind. Elliott feels that this vision could provide the organizational energy to oppose the degradation of music education in America, at least partially. While it is not a panacea, it is a start (ibid., 70). While this may seem preachy, there are times when things become desperate, an ideological vision and mission is necessary to organize and rally around. Unfortunately, Elliott writing in 2008 at the start of the present economic downturn gives no concrete political or policy moves to make the vision a reality.

In an article in the Journal of School Choice, an article on charter schools suggested that this type of public school may provide a way for music education to get a toehold to necessary funding and latitude to reconfigure curricula for special programs such as music education. Charter schools are popular with parents because public pressure can be applied directly upon school-based educators in charter schools to manage, grow and improve th equality of their schools. This is a radical change from traditional public schools which are not so user friendly. Typically, district administrators decide where the students will attend school and satisfying the "customer" has not been much of a priority in field of public education in the past. This article reports upon both the different process of development and the information gained from a field test of a parent stakeholder driven satisfaction survey for charter schools (and other schools of choice). The survey has been designed to assist schools with the recruitment and retention of educational student consumers by providing information both for external accountability and internal accountability. Findings from the first stakeholder group surveyed, that is parents, suggested positive levels of satisfaction overall with the quality of the charter schools (Wohlstetter, Nayfack & Mora-Flores, 2008, 66). It seems as though administrators are not as likely to throw away all of their arts education programs when they have to deal directly with complaining parents.

The parents probably know by direct experience what educators are just finding out. Arts education programs like music enhance the overall academic experience for a child as well as in some specific target areas. In a dissertation study by Juanita J. Huber, she found a correlation between music instruction and reading scores for public middle school students. Overall, the findings revealed a significant positive relationship between the study of music and reading development among public middle school students. In a comparison of test scores level to music instruction programs lasting longer than two years, performance with a brass or woodwind instrument and an active participation in band and chorus reflected similar results to the benefits of general music appreciation studies (Huber, 2009, 89).

In a dissertation by Christopher J. Heffner, he found high-stakes testing involved with the NCLB Act has negatively impacted upon the number and variety of music classes, public funding for music programs, the amount of instructional time that is allotted for music programs and upon the number of students participating in music classes. Specifically, students were offered a higher number and variety of music classes before the enactment of the NCLB Act. Since the enactment of the act, a majority of public school music programs have experienced a decrease in funding nationwide since 2001. In the Heffner study, it was found that there was more instructional time spent in music classes in 2001 than in 2007 as a result of NCLB. More students participated in public school music classes in 2001 than did in 2007 due to the enacting of NCLB (Heffner, 2007, 78).

Unfortunately, the negative impact of the NCLB has found its way down into specialty music programs in the selection of music directors. According to the findings of a dissertation by Jonathan R. Hinkle, it was revealed that many Florida public high school music programs (38.5%) do not offer their students opportunities in jazz music. Also these programs parallel the deficiencies found in public high schools in other states. The data was gathered from Florida high school directors suggest that a teacher's actual or perceived level of training in jazz music (e.g., performance experience) is the greatest factor in the retainment of jazz-related courses in high school music curricula. Additionally, the teachers' degree of jazz performance experience/training may have a considerable impact upon their level of comfort or anxiety and with jazz music. A music directors' lack of background in jazz inhibits the potential for jazz-related courses to be included in high school programs. Thus, these directors limited the musical experiences of the students. The data also suggests that music teachers may be more willing to initiate courses in jazz music if they were required to or were offered opportunities to participate in jazz ensembles during their teacher preparation programs. To facilitate such program participation, college-level jazz ensembles that are specifically designed for the experiences and pedagogical needs of future music teachers may be helpful to prepare music education majors for teaching in the field. Also, jazz could be more widely appreciated and understood if the current and future public school instrumentation music teachers strive to provide equal opportunities in jazz instruction and performance to as many students as they can. Such efforts can be accomplished by the incorporation of appropriate balances of different types of ensembles and the requisite courses in these programs (Hinkle, 2011, 102).

Sometimes, we also need to consider foreign examples find solutions to our contemporary music education problems. Eun Jew Kim did just this in a dissertation which considered the inclusion of students with disabilities in public school music programs. The current curriculum requirements of university of education programs with regard to general education music instruction and special education are very limited. Furthermore, the South Korean government-mandated "Seventh Music Curriculum" (used in every ROK public primary school) indicated no accommodations for use students who have disabilities. As a result, the primary school general educators are expected to provide inclusive general music instruction. They have little preparation or resources available to them to assist them in making the appropriate curricula modifications. Because of the limited research or pedagogical information available within South Korea, the additional information regarding the school's accommodation of students with disabilities was obtained from the special education and music education resources in the U.S. These resources provided the instructional basis for sound pedagogical strategies developed for adapted lesson plans for grades three through six (Kim, 2009, 1-2).

As the above findings suggest, such initiatives as improved preservice and in-service training are needed in order to prepare general educators in the effective instructional methods and accommodations necessary for inclusive music education. In-service training for such general education teachers could possibly be provided by music therapists. This could work if the therapists are fully conversant with the instructional difficulties the teachers face. With the current development of the Eighth Curriculum by the ROK government, there is provides is an excellent opportunity to include the necessary information on students with disabilities in the teacher's manuals when are written. Additional resource materials for the teachers also would be beneficial. Future studies are needed with regard to teacher competencies, preservice preparation, in-service training, and needs assessment regarding inclusive music education (ibid.).

Could economies in lower level functions in the music curricula be found (such as in music appreciation courses) be redirected to other music programs? Bill Tucker has suggested just this in a report by the education think tank Education Sector. New online music venues such as iTunes, Apple Computer's immensely popular music software, for example, has radically changed the way people collect, listen to, and share music. With its online store and management system for listening to music and watching videos, consumers (music enthusiasts or just casual listeners) no longer are confined to the selections in stores. Nor does a consumer have to purchase an artist's predetermined collection of songs…[continue]

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