Music Education Research

September 16, 2013

Supporting Data for “Predictors of Successful Integration of Technology into Music Teaching”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rick Dammers @ 10:26 pm

The data below accompanies an article entitled “Predictors of Successful Integration of Technology into Music Teaching”, which is under review by the Journal of Technology and Music Learning.

Appendix A – Survey

Appendix B – Survey Item 4 Responses

  Daily A Few Times a Week A Few Times a Month Less Than Once a Month Never
I use technology to prepare materials for class (away from students). 0 3 16 31 65
I use technology to communicate with parents. 2 11 30 34 38
I use technology to lead classroom activities. 5 8 20 31 51
My students use computers for musical activities. 39 29 17 19 10
My students use technology outside of class for class-related purposes. 24 30 28 21 11




November 18, 2012

Technology in Music Teacher Education- Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Rick Dammers @ 1:13 pm

At the recent 2012 ATMI/CMS Conference in San Diego, William Bauer (Case Western Reserve University) and I presented the results of a national survey (US) that explored the use of technology in music teacher education programs. This has been a fun project which I think clarifies and updates our understanding of this aspect of music teacher education. I’ll share a few highlights here, the presentation slides are available at, and a full write up will be available in the future.

Half of the NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) schools with music education programs (n=250) were randomly selected. A faculty member from each of these programs were invited to complete an online survey. We received 89 responses (36%) after four rounds of email invitations were sent. The survey addressed four research questions: 1.What curricular configurations are being used to address technology?; 2.What is technology’s role  in music education curriculums?; 3.To what extent are students prepared to integrate technology in their teaching?; and 4.What are the constraints upon teaching pre-service teachers about technology ?

Here are the highlights of what we found:

1.What curricular configurations are being used to address technology?

We found that 70% had one or more stand alone technology classes (47% music tech, 37% music ed tech, 13% ed tech) and that 77% of programs integrated technology elsewhere in the curriculum. This represents an increase from the 2002 Price and Pan study the found that 30% of music programs (in the southeastern US) required music ed tech classes.  However, Kliener et. al. found that teacher education programs (not specific to music) had both more programs with dedicated tech courses (85%) and integration (93%)

2.What is technology’s role  in music education curriculums?

Using Mishra and Kohler’s TPACK model, we found that areas involving pedagogy and content were more thoroughly addressed than areas involving technology.  The general content knowledge score was lower than might be expected, as composition and improvisation were not viewed as being thoroughly addressed. Also, technology knowledge scored higher than areas involving both technology and content and/or pedagogy.

3.To what extent are students prepared to integrate technology in their teaching?

The respondents were asked to indicate on 1-5 scale the level of preparedness of their students to integrate technology.  The mean score for integrated current technology was 3.24, indicating a intermediate level of preparation.  The score dropped a bit for future technology (2.99) and even more for teaching a technology-based music course (2.67). The last score does raise the question of who will replace the late career teachers, who have created the majority of technology-based music classes and are now nearing retirement?

4.What are the constraints upon teaching pre-service teachers about technology?

The constraints were not surprising. Two rose to the top: 1.) limitations of time and credits in the curriculum and 2.) funding.  Other constraints, mentioned to a lesser extent, included lack of faculty expertise, difficulty in keeping up with technology, and the lack of consistent tech resources/usage in field placements.

General conclusions.

The data in our study shows that while technology has been become more prevalent in the music teacher education curriculum, but not to the extent that it is in teacher education in general.  The divergent range of comments, coupled with the data shared above, seems to indicate that the music teacher education could benefit from sustained focused discussion and learning opportunities to maximize effective utilization of technology in our pedagogy.

Special thanks go to Rowan University undergraduate research assistants Matt Ercolani and Marissa Truglio for their help in developing the email contact list used in this study!


Dammers, R., and Bauer, W. (2012). Music technology in music teacher education: A national survey. Presentation at ATMI/CMS 2012, San Diego, CA.

Kleiner, B., Thomas, N., & Lewis, L. (2007). Educational technology in teacher education program for licensure (NCES 2008-040). National Center for Educational Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education: Washington, D.C.

Price, H. and Pan, K. (2002). A survey of music education technology at colleges in the southeastern USA. Journal of Technology in Music Learning, (1). 55-66.

October 21, 2009

Music Education and Boys

Filed under: Technology Based Music Instruction, Uncategorized — Rick Dammers @ 4:48 pm

Power, A. (2008). What motivates and engages boys in music education? Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (175), 85-102.
This article, part of larger study of at-risk boys in Australian schools, provides an interesting window into schools from another part of the world. Male-only music classes from two schools (one primary, one secondary) are profiled. In both cases, these gender specific classes were found to be effective in allowing at-risk boys to engage in music activities, as well as improving their overall engagement and belonging in their school.

This finding raises interesting questions for technology-based music classes designed to reach non-traditional music students in the United States. First, is ‘the other 80%’ (students not in band, choir, or orchestra) evenly split split by gender? Even if it is evenly balanced, is it possible that high level of male enrollment in the typical music technology class could be a benefit in reaching ‘the other 80%’? I’ve always considered the gender gap in music technology as a concern, and I still do. However, it is interesting to consider the issue as a strength for technology-based music classes.

August 20, 2009

Teacher Retention

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rick Dammers @ 1:46 pm

Hancock, C. B. (2009). National estimates of retention, migration and attrition: A multi-year comparison of music and non-music teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 57(2), 92-107.

In this study, Carl Hancock examines data on teacher retention between 1988 and 2001 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). He found that  during this time period, 84% of music teachers remained  in their positions after any particular year.  Of those who left their positions, 10% moved to another school, while 6% left the profession. These results were similar to the results for the teaching profession in general.

This information is of particular interest to pre-service teachers about to enter the field (and those of us who are anxious for them to be hired!)  Based on my limited experience with the music teacher market in New Jersey, I strongly suspect that the retention rate was abnormally high this year, as mid-career teachers opted not to move (especially if it involved a home sale) and late-career teachers delayed retirement in order to boost their retirement savings. Since these moves are presumably only deferred, it stands to reason that this trend will reverse itself and we may see a year or two with retention below 84% and a very active job market.  Whether the trend reverses itself in time for next year’s hiring season remains to be seen.

May 12, 2009

Comprehensive Music Education, 40 years later….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rick Dammers @ 8:14 pm

Reimer, B. (2007). Comprehensive education, comprehensive music education: A new vision. Music Education Research International. 1(1).Retrieved May 9, 2009 from

Bennett Reimer addresses the ongoing need for a more comprehensive approach to music education. He begins with a brief history of the CMP movement, and the conclusion (which I share) that we haven’t come very far. As I have reflected on this failure, I remember a conversation with Eunice Boardman, in which she pondered whether this was a result of the  movement not having a specific methodology. I tend to think that it is, but I wonder more broadly if the problem isn’t the lack of a community of practice that flourishes in the school setting. (The Wisconsin CMP project would be a contrasting but supporting example, where progress as been made through the establishment of a community of teachers). I think the issues are also structural. Performing ensembles, by nature, are not fertile ground for comprehensive, constructivist learning. The student to teacher ratio, interactions of sounds in the learning space, and performance expectations are just a few factors that limit the inclusion of many of the national standards.

As Dr. Reimer notes, there is much good in our performance-based ensembles. While we need to continue to work to make these ensembles more comprehensive, I think the past 40 years indicate that we should have modest expectations. Instead, our focus should be to create a community of practice that can mirror the resiliency of our performance ensembles and stand along side them. I am becoming increasingly convinced that technology-based music classes can (and are) becoming the focus point for this movement. While we are just starting (much like the band movement in the 1930s- see previous post on Joseph Maddy), it seems that this movement is already underway.  A potential anchor point for these classes could be Dr. Reimer’s definition of intelligence: “Intelligence consists of the ability to make increasingly acute discriminations, as related to increasingly wide connections, in contexts provided by culturally devised role expectations.” (p.5)

April 13, 2009

Opening Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rick Dammers @ 2:25 am

This blog has a personal and a public purpose. For myself, I plan to use this as a way to process my readings in the music education research literature.  Hopefully, this blog will also spark discussion and help to connect research to practice in the classroom.  I welcome your thoughts and comments as this project moves forward.

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