Preservice Classroom Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Music in the Elementary Curriculum

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Publication Title

Journal of Music Teacher Education

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elementary music, preservice teachers, methods, integration


The purpose of this study is to survey preservice classroom teachers at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to determine their attitudes toward music in the elementary curriculum. Research questions examined participants’ (a) musical abilities and experience as well as beliefs regarding (b) the roles of the classroom teacher and music specialist, (c) their comfort level with teaching music as a subject and integrating music with other disciplines, (d) the importance of music in relation to other subjects, and (e) the importance of various outcomes of the general music program. A survey was administered to 116 preservice elementary classroom teachers enrolled in either student teaching or early field experience during the 2008—2009 academic year. Data indicated that most of these respondents do not feel comfortable teaching music as a subject, believe music should be taught by a specialist, and disagree that classroom teachers should be capable of teaching music. Results also suggest that participants regard music as less important than other subjects and nonmusical outcomes of music instruction as more important than musical outcomes. The majority of respondents, however, agree that music can improve achievement in other disciplines and are supportive of music integration. These findings were helpful in designing the music portion of an art and music methods course at Calvin College and may have implications for elementary music methods classes offered at other institutions.


This article was published in Journal of Music Teacher Education, Volume 19, Issue 2, September 14, 2009,