Music Education Research

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.


November 1, 2012

Technology in Music Teacher Education

Filed under: Teacher Education, Technology Based Music Instruction — Tags: , — Rick Dammers @ 11:39 am

It feels good to be returning to this blog!  The arrival of twin daughters and assuming the post of department chair put new demands on my schedule. However, I’ve found that I’ve missed this process of reflecting on research through blogging and I’ve been pleased to see that this blog still attracts regular traffic, so I’m adding blogging back to my schedule.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the role of  technology in music teacher education. I’m working with Bill Bauer of Case Western Reserve University on a national survey on this subject. We’ll be presenting the results of our survey at the ATMI/CMS conference later this month.

So prior to our current study, what do we know about the role of technology in music teacher education?  This topic received a flurry of attention just over a decade ago, when the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) added a technology standard.  In perhaps the most direct published study, Price and Pan (2002) surveyed  69 music education programs in the southeastern United States. They found that 39% of these programs had a music technology class for music education majors, and that 30% had a required music education technology course. With the benefit of a historical perspective, it is fun to see that the top topics taught in these courses were 1. notation, 2. MIDI, 3. Internet, 4. sequencer, 5. hardware, and 6. software.  At that time 63% of these schools were planning on expanding the role of music technology in their curriculum. However, 55% cited lack of personnel and financial resources and 40% cited lack of training as inhibiting their efforts.

Looking at the role of technology in teacher education in general also provides helpful information.  Kliener et. al. (2007) conducted a survey of all of the initial teacher licensure programs in the United States through the National Center for Education Statistics – NCES. (It turns out that being associated with Title IV funding really boosts your survey response rate – they received 95% back!)  Fifty-one percent of the responding schools had three or four credit stand alone technology courses, while 34% had one or two credit courses. Ninety three percent of the respondents reported addressing technology in methods courses, 79% reported addressing technology in field experiences, and 71% reported addressing technology in content courses.  When addressing outcomes, 67% agreed strongly, and 32% agreed somewhat that their graduates possessed the needed to skills to integrate technology into their classroom instruction.

Kleiner et. al.  found that all programs addressed technology to some extent, and that 88% taught using technology to assess student achievement regarding state standards,  82% addressed using technology for digital portfolios, 79% addressed using technology to assess and evaluation student progress, and 52% addressed the use of technology for distance learning.

The recent removal of the NASM music technology standard has sparked a number of  recent studies and discussions.  At the 2011 ATMI/CMS, David B. Williams and Peter Webster presented the results of survey which focused on identifying music technology competencies in music programs (not specific to music education) based upon music faculty responses.  The top eight competencies were: 1. Use a notation program; 2. Record and mix a performance with digital audio; 3. Understand copyright and fair use; 4. Burn a CD or DVD; 5. Edit digital audio; 6. Basic understanding of acoustics and audiology; 7. Use presentation software and connect to projector or smartboard; 8. Set up a computer music workstation and troubleshoot problems. It is interesting to note that more competencies were rated highly for music education/therapy majors than any other music major. I’m looking forward to hearing the results of David and Peter’s follow-up survey at ATMI/CMS, which will examine at how these competencies are being addressed in the music curriculum.

Based on these studies, and your knowledge of technology in music teacher education, what do you think that we will find in our study?  I’d be curious to hear your predictions!

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.

Williams, D. and Webster, P. (2011). Music Technology Skills and Conceptual Understanding for Undergraduate Music Students: A National Survey. Presentation at ATMI/CMS 2011, Richmond, VA.

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