Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.M. Ed.


Music Education

Degree Program

Music Education, MME

Committee Chair

Amchin, Robert

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Acklin, Amy

Committee Member

Acklin, Amy

Committee Member

Land, Reese

Author's Keywords

breathing; marching band; pedagogy; fundamentals; techniques; exercises


The breath is considered one of the most important factors of playing a wind instrument because it affects nearly every aspect of playing. The purpose of this study was to examine the breathing instruction of successful high school marching band directors. The researcher sought to learn about how often proper breathing is taught, what methods are most commonly used, perceived benefits for the marching members, and potential negative aspects or consequences of breathing instruction. Two-hundred-and-thirteen successful marching band directors were invited to complete a survey consisting of multiple choice, Likert scale, and open-ended questions. Seventy-six directors completed the survey. It was found that at least a quarter of the qualifying directors teach about proper breathing in every marching band rehearsal, usually in small increments of time (5-10 minutes). The Breathing Gym is by far the most popular resource for instructional techniques. Directors that utilize breathing instruction do so because they see a large variety of potential benefits for their students, and there seem to be few challenges/drawbacks commonly recognized among the surveyed directors.