Music Education Professors’ Beliefs Regarding Essential Musical, Academic, and Emotional Skills in Undergraduate Music Education
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Undergraduate music education majors sometimes lack the musical, academic, or emotional skills needed to successfully complete the degree program. Improvement in academic and emotional skills has been shown to have a positive effect on cognitive skill development, ease college transition, improve college retention, contribute to physical and mental health, and impact job success (Cunha & Heckman, 2010; Davidson, 2015; Kautz & Zanoni, 2014). Furthermore, past research indicates these skills are malleable into adulthood and can be effectively taught at the collegiate level (Cunha & Heckman, 2010; Davidson, 2015; Kautz, Heckman, Diris, ter Weel, & Borghans, 2014). The present study collected responses from music education professors to determine (1) Beliefs regarding essential musical, academic, and emotional skills needed for undergraduate music education majors to complete the degree successfully, (2) Beliefs about the teachability of these skills and whether they are taught at participants’ institutions, and (3) Strategies and learning activities to help students develop these skills. Professors (n = 287) who teach undergraduate music education courses were surveyed to discover what they believed to be the most essential skill in each of three areas: musical, academic, and emotional. They indicated whether they believed these skills are teachable and whether they are taught at their institutions, then provided an example of how one of their cited skills is taught. The following skills were most frequently cited: aural skills, musicality/musicianship, literacy (reading and writing), empathy, and perseverance. Musical skills were believed to be the most teachable and most frequently taught, followed by academic skills, then emotional skills. Some commonalities among teaching strategies emerged, as well as some unique examples. These findings are relevant to music education professors when considering curricular strategies that may best help their students successfully complete the degree program. The findings may also benefit current and prospective music education majors as they examine, develop, and refine the particular skills necessary to be a successful music education major.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Survey -- Appendix B. Emails to participants