Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.M. Ed.


Music Education

Committee Chair

Amchin, Robert A.

Author's Keywords

Music education; Elementary education; General music; Career choice; Teacher training; Early childhood


Music teachers--Kentucky; Vocational guidance; School music--Instruction and study--Kentucky


This phenomenological study examines the experiences of current music teachers to determine what influences them to pursue a career teaching at the elementary level. Eight elementary music teachers from rural counties in Kentucky were interviewed during a two month period using open-response questions designed by the researcher. Participants recalled experiences from their childhood, collegiate career, and teaching career that influenced them prior to accepting positions in elementary general music. Results show that half of the participants decided to pursue elementary teaching during college and the other half decided they preferred elementary as a result of positive experiences while teaching in an elementary position. Nearly all the participants described negative experiences as a child in elementary music. All valued their field experience during college but wished they had more time in the classroom before entering the profession as elementary educators. Most participants enjoyed the creative freedom in teaching elementary and enjoyed working with younger children and often mention the teaching approaches of Orff and Kodaly. Many of the participants' most memorable experiences as teachers were of performances, noting that they enjoyed seeing students demonstrate what they have learned. The information gathered from this study resulted in recommendations for music education students, college professors teaching elementary music methods, and current elementary music teachers to pursue careers in elementary general music teaching.