2004 Research Poster Session Abstracts

2004 MENC National Conference Research Poster Session Abstracts

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Title: The First Amendment in the Public School Music Classroom: Selecting Appropriate Musical Literature

Subject: Sacred Music in Public Schools
Author: Amanda K. Plummer, University of Illinois
This paper addresses the question: How can a democratic process that ensures maintenance of individual liberties be applied to the music literature selection process? This question is addressed in two main ways. First with a review of literature. Second by suggesting guidelines for literature selection. The review of literature takes into consideration current public policy and nationally recommended practice; the National Standards for music curricula; The First Amendment to the Constitution and its implications for the public school classroom; and related court cases, including both landmark decisions and recent decisions. Using this review of literature as a foundatoin, guidelines for literature selection are proposed, and tested with a sample list of musical literature.

Title: Effects of Instructional Approach on Preferences for Indigenous Folk Music of Ghana

Subject: Multicultural Music Education
Author: Constance L. McKoy, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Co-authors: none
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an Orff-Schulwerk-based and a traditional instructional approach on fourth-grade students’ preferences for an untaught selection of indigenous Ghanaian folk music. The effects of race and gender on preferences for this music style also were examined. Ancillary research focuses included an examination of relationships between subjects’ verbally-reported preference, and both verbally-reported behavioral intention and verbally-reported listening frequency for indigenous Ghanaian folk, Western European classical, and current American popular music styles. Subjects were 39 students in 2 intact fourth-grade classes in a public elementary school. Each class was assigned randomly to 1 of the 2 treatment groups. Verbal music preference data were collected using a preference inventory consisting of 5 bi-polar semantic differential scales with descriptive word pairs anchoring 7-point continua. Results revealed no significant main effect of instructional treatment, race, and gender on the dependent variable. A significant 2-way interaction effect was found, however, for treatment and race. Correlations between preference and both behavioral intention and listening frequency were significant across the 3 music styles featured in the preference inventory.

Title: An Analysis of Certification Practices for Music Educators in the Fifty States

Subject: Teacher Certification
Author: Dr. Michele L. Henry, Baylor University
Abstract This study collected and compared certification practices for music teachers in the fifty states, for the purpose of identifying trends in certification policy. Using Web site searches and phone interviews, data concerning age-level and categorization, certificate length and term, required tests, reciprocity between states, alternate certification programs, application fees, and on-line availability of materials were collected. Results revealed that trends identified in previous research continue to gain strength. Forty-four states offer an all-level certificate for music instruction. Thirty states offer only all-level certificates. Thirty-one states consider music a single subject area, while 15 of the remaining states differentiate between vocal and instrumental music. Thirty-four states issue provisional certification for entry-level teachers. Five states currently offer lifetime certification. Forty-three states require testing in basic skills, professional knowledge, music content, or a combination of these areas. Eleven states administer their own tests, while the remainder use PRAXIS Series tests. Most states offer some level of reciprocity to out-of-state applicants, although required testing is waived only for experienced teachers in most instances. Alternate certification programs, implemented to address increasing teacher shortages, are available in 39 states. Certification fees range from zero to $175.00 for initial certification. Sixteen states require additional fees for fingerprinting and background checks. Application materials in thirty-five states are available on line. By providing access to this information, it is hoped that music educators will not be intimidated by the task of certification, but will be encouraged to take ownership of the certification process as a result of greater understanding.

Title: Terms of Engagement: Music, Media and Middle School

Subject: Middle School General Music
Author: Gena R. Greher, Teachers College Columbia University
A study examined how the use of a prototype computer based interactive multimedia music listening environment worked in a middle school classroom of inner-city adolescents. This report’s focus is on one class of participants noted for their behavior problems, from a study that included three classes of urban middle school students from two Harlem schools. The results revealed that incorporating multimedia music strategies utilizing music and film from the youth culture, in an open-ended manner that invited students to express their own ideas, contributed to a learning environment of active participation, cooperative learning and the enhancement of listening skills. It was discovered that this approach created an environment where the students were more willing to take risks in front of their peers and share ideas with their classmates and teachers. It is suggested that since music is integral to the lives of adolescents, general music teachers and classroom teachers might benefit by incorporating interdisciplinary music strategies as a means for motivating students to become actively engaged in their own learning.

Title: Practice and Personality: An Exploratory Study of the Relationships Among Musicians’ Practice Preferences, Gender and Jung-Myers-Briggs Personality Type

Subject: Practice and Personality
Author: Nancy H. Barry, University of Oklahoma
This exploratory study investigated the relationship between musicians’ practice preferences as measured by a researcher-developed Practice Style Inventory, gender, and personality types as measured by a short on-line version of the Jung-Myers-Briggs personality type inventory. Secondary purposes included exploring relationships between personality type, practice preferences, academic status, and principal instrument. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in the music departments at a large southwestern university and a large southeastern university (N = 81) completed the Practice Style Inventory. The most pronounced trend in personality type was observed for the Judging/Perceiving dimension with 80.2% of the respondents reporting their classification as Judging in contrast to only 19.8% Perceiving. Significant differences between female and male participants were found for three of the four Jung-Myers-Briggs personality type dimensions with females more Introverted, Sensing, and Feeling than males. The only Practice Style Inventory item with a statistically significant difference between genders was “Engaging in self critique” which was rated higher by females. Though not conclusive, these results suggest that gender and personality type are related to some aspects of musicians’ perceptions of important practice activities. Music educators are advised to consider personality type and gender as well as other individual differences when interacting with students. The results of this study suggest that these differences may be particularly acute in regard to self criticism. More extensive studies with a much larger sample size are needed before definitive understanding of the complex relationships between personality type, gender, and music practice preferences can be achieved.

Title: An Examination of Parent/Caregiver Attitudes Toward Music Instruction, the Nature of the Home Musical Environment, and Their Relationship to the Developmental Music Aptitude of Preschool Children

Subject: Music in Early Childhood
Author: Dr. Catherine Mallett, University of Kansas
An Examination of Parent/Caregiver Attitudes Toward Music Instruction, the Nature of the Home Musical Environment, and Their Relationship to the Developmental Music Aptitude of Preschool Children The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the attitudes of parents or caregivers of preschool children toward music instruction and the home musical environment and to determine if selected factors (parent/caregiver attitudes, home musical environment, socioeconomic status, age of child, or gender of child) were predictive of musical potential in young children. A total of 161 preschool children ages three- and four-years-old and their parents or primary caregivers participated. The parents/caregivers received, completed, and returned a Parent/Caregiver Survey Regarding Preschool Music (PSRPM). The PSRPM elicited the following information from the subjects: demographics, the nature of the home musical environments (HOMES, Brand, 1985), whether parent/caregiver attitudes about music for preschool children were generally negative or positive (Mallett, 1998), and the children’s developing musical potential as measured by the game Audie (Gordon, 1989). The results indicated that the attitudes of the parents/caregivers toward music instruction were relatively positive. The reliability of the attitude measure as computed by the coefficient alpha was r = .86. Regarding the nature of the home musical environment as reported in the PSRPM, the analysis indicated that in general these environments represented a somewhat higher than average level of exposure and activity conducive to the musical development of the children. The reliability of the HOMES as computed by the coefficient alpha was r = .75. Of the five predictor variables, age of child and home musical environment appeared predictive of developmental music aptitude.

Title: NBC Music Appreciation Hour: Radio Broadcasts of Walter Damrosch, 1928-1942

Subject: music appreciation, radio, Walter Damrosch
Author: Sondra Wieland Howe, Independent Scholar
Walter Damrosch introduced school children to classical music through his radio broadcasts of the NBC Music Appreciation Hour (1928-1942). Damrosch, a conductor, music educator, and composer, was interested in using the new technology of radio for teaching. This paper will describe the format of the programs, sponsorship, collaboration with MENC, and instructional manuals. The Music Appreciation Hour, sponsored by RCA in 1928-29 and NBC (1929-42, broadcast four series of programs for listening during the school day. Series A (grades 3-4) emphasized instruments, Series B (grades 5-6) imagination and emotion in music, Series C (grades 7-9)form, and Series D (high school and adults) composers. Damrosch conducted the NBC house orchestra for the broadcasts. A council, including many leaders of MENC, served as advisers. Damrosch, along with Ernest La Prade, Charles H. Farnsworth, and Lawrence Abbott, prepared Instructors’ Manuals and Students’ Notebooks. The programs were promoted as a supplement (not a substitute) for school music programs and NBC received many letters of praise. The broadcasts were discontinued in 1942, mainly for financial reasons. MENC today promotes music listening in its national standards and encourages the creative use of technology in music teaching. The Music Appreciation Hour and other music education programs of the past, in which schools collaborated with the media and symphony orchestras, can be used as models for contemporary projects. Although technology changes, many of the issues of the past (audience development, repertoire selection, finances, sponsorship) are still relevant today.

Title: Mu-Yus and maracas: The Integration of Multicultral Music in Children’s Free Play

Subject: Multicultural music and free play
Author: Sara I. Stevens
The value of teaching music from different cultures is understood to be deeply necessary in bridging gaps, confronting racial issues and forming a better understanding of the people who share our world. Music teachers worldwide are just beginning to tackle the many questions and difficulties associated with presenting authentic and meaningful examples of diverse music to their students. Searching for ways to help our students assign personal meaning, and gain a more intrinsic understanding of the music they hear, we may look to the many researches of early childhood, including Piaget (1962), Vygotsky (1978), and Smilansky (1990), who have agreed that children learn best through play. When playing, children are able to draw from what they perceive, and assimilate the information to form new understandings and feelings. If we transfer this to the realm of music education, it follows that a music free-play environment, where the teacher acts as a supporting presence, and students have the freedom to make select choices about how long and in what manner to use the instruments they select, may allow for optimal musical learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate how kindergarten students play during free time in music class, after being exposed to teacher-delivered examples of music from other cultures, and to determine if free-play activities can be used as vehicles for making multicultural music more deeply understood to those students. To ensure authenticity, as suggested by Goetze (1998; 2000), the music of each culture was introduced to students by a guest teacher whose ethnicity was of the music being studied. As the students were involved in free-play, cognitive and social aspects of their play were measured both qualitatively and quantitatively, using video cameras and student questionnaires to collect data. Results of this study point to the importance of allowing children to take ownership of the music they hear, by allowing them free time to play, and to reflect on the music to which they have been exposed. As music teachers attempt to teach their students about the music of diverse cultures, allowing for free-play activities may yield higher levels of musical thinking and interest among students.

Title: Non-Readers’ Intuitions about Musical Notation

Subject: Teaching Musical Notation
Author: Dr. Siu-Lan Tan, Kalamazoo College
Thirteen college students who had never learned how to read musical notation were individually interviewed for over 10 hours, employing a method similar to Piaget’s clinical interview. The purpose of the semi-structured interviews was to determine what beginners can intuitively comprehend from a musical score. The results suggested that beginners tend to have a logical basis for their intuitions about what musical symbols mean, even when their intuitions are incorrect. Several incorrect intuitions were identified: i) the larger the size of the symbol and/or number of features, the more of a certain dimension it represents (so that a thirty-second note was assumed to have greater value than a sixteenth note; ii) symbols that always appear in the same place are not important (for instance, clefs and key signatures were often viewed as decorative; iii) notes attached by beams represent a single sound or a chord; iv) spacing of notes along the horizontal axis denotes how fast to play notes; and several others.

Title: Non-Readers’ Intuitions about Musical Notation

Subject: Teaching Musical Notation
Author: Dr. Siu-Lan Tan, Kalamazoo College
Thirteen college students who had never learned how to read musical notation were individually interviewed for over 10 hours, employing a method similar to Piaget’s clinical interview. The purpose of the semi-structured interviews was to determine what beginners can intuitively comprehend from a musical score. The results suggested that beginners tend to have a logical basis for their intuitions about what musical symbols mean, even when their intuitions are incorrect. Several incorrect intuitions were identified: i) the larger the size of the symbol and/or number of features, the more of a certain dimension it represents (so that a thirty-second note was assumed to have greater value than a sixteenth note, a sixteenth rest more than an eight rest, etc.); ii) symbols that always appear in the same place are not important (for instance, clefs and key signatures were often viewed as decorative; iii) notes attached by beams represent a single sound or a chord; iv) spacing of notes along the horizontal axis denotes how fast to play notes; and several others. Beginners tended to have correct intuitions about what the crescendo and decrescendo symbols, quarter note rest, and phrasemarks denoted.

Title: An Investigation of the Backgrounds of College Marching Band Members Abstract

Subject: College Band Students
Author: Dr. Brad Townsend, Temple University
An Investigation of the Backgrounds of College Marching Band Members Abstract The purpose of this study is to inform high school and college marching band directors about preparing and recruiting members of college marching bands by gaining insight into students’ backgrounds and reasons for participating in high school and college marching band. The research questions pursued are as follows: 1. What are the demographic, academic, and musical characteristics of students who perform in a college marching band? 2. What are the reasons students participate in high school and college marching band? 3. How can the information gathered in this study be used effectively by high school and college band directors to aid college band preparation and recruitment? The researcher-designed University Marching Band Survey was administered to all subjects at a regularly scheduled rehearsal of college marching bands during the fall semester of 1998. Participants were 784 marching band members from four universities: Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, and West Chester. Survey data were collected in four broad categories: personal information, high school experience, music study, and college music study. Recommendations include: 1. High school and college band directors should emphasize the musical aspects of marching band and spend as much time as possible teaching music. 2. Directors should assure students that college marching bands are open to music majors and non-music majors. 3. High school directors should encourage proficiency on instruments such as mellophone, trombone and tuba, which could aid students’ chances of qualifying for college bands. 4. Further studies should investigate the attrition of college marching band members.

Title: The Perceptions of Middle and Junior High School Music Students Toward Substitute Teachers

Subject: Substitute Teachers
Author: Dr. Donald L. Hamann – University of Arizona
Co-authors: Dr. Robert Frost -Smithfield, Utah 84335 & Dr. Michael Hewitt – University of Maryland
The Perceptions of Middle and Junior High School Music Students Toward Substitute Teachers Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of middle and junior high school band, choral, and orchestra students toward substitute teachers and to assess students’ perceptions of teacher responsibilities when preparing for substitute teachers. Subjects for this study were N = 1,071 middle and junior high students from the Eastern and Northwestern portions of the United States. Each subject was administered the Substitute Teacher Survey, a 28-item survey with 7 topic areas: Teacher Responsibilities, Student Accountability, Activities, Student Attitude or Beliefs, Substitute Behavior, Discipline, and Student Benefits. From student responses in this study, it was found that regular music teachers do prepare their students for substitutes. Not only were beneficial lesson plans and instructions left for the substitute, appropriate student behavior was also discussed. Students often felt substitutes were not in control of the class and felt they were not as strict, yelled less, and gave fewer office or discipline referrals than their regular teacher (44%). Consequently, even through students were found to be on task and helpful in many cases, some extraordinary disruptive behavior was also found to exist in classrooms taught by substitutes. Students indicated they were often disruptive, noisier, left the room with or without a pass more often, and/or sat in the wrong seat or played the wrong instrument when a substitute was in the class. While students reported that rehearsals were similar to those held by their regular teacher, they also felt they did not learn as much from the substitute, nor did the substitute bring new ideas or better ways of learning into the classroom. While students did not view substitutes as poor teachers and felt they knew how to teach music, many students thought substitutes were more like “babysitters” than “real” teachers.

Title: Music Classroom Teachers’ Perceptions of Substitute Teachers’ Ability and Experience

Subject: Substitute Teachers
Author: Dr. Donald L. Hamann – University of Arizona
Co-authors: Dr. Debra Gordon -University of Northern Iowa & Dr. Roy Legette – University of Georgia
Music Classroom Teachers’ Perceptions of Substitute Teachers’ Ability and Experience Abstract The purpose of this study was to assess elementary and secondary music teachers’ responses of substitute teachers’ experience and background, and music teachers’ expectations of substitute teachers. Subjects were N = 207 elementary and/or secondary music teachers from the southwestern, southeastern and north central portions of the United States. Subjects were administered a survey which contained questions concerning substitutes. It was found that far fewer requests for substitutes were made by music teachers than by other classroom teachers. Music teachers felt that substitutes lacked experience in music classroom teaching and lacked specific expertise possessed by the music teacher. While music teachers felt substitutes lacked adequate music teaching experience, they felt strongly that such experience was important. Music teachers did not have high levels of confidence in substitutes’ preparedness, experience, or ability to teach in various music classroom settings. When planning for substitutes, music teachers indicated they prepared detailed lesson plans, provided seating charts, and often created, or had available, special teaching materials. Lesson plan activities for known substitutes were often similar to those of the music teacher and more frequently included singing or playing activities, while activities for “unknown” substitutes would involve watching a music video. Music teachers not only prepared detailed lesson plans, but they expected the substitute to carry out those plans. Conversely, the vast majority of music teachers did not expect the substitute to achieve a level of learning parallel to that which they would have reached, had they been in the classroom, but they did expect the substitute to maintain a similar classroom disposition. It is suggested school districts not only be committed to hiring the best substitutes and assigning them to their appropriate areas of expertise, but also provide substitute teacher training and development programs.

Title: A Qualitative Pilot Study of Kindergarten Instruction: Applications for General Music Instruction

Subject: qualitative research and general music
Author: Diane Waibel Delaney, University of Delaware
I believe any observed phenomenon is viewed “through the eyes of the beholder.” I, as the researcher, can only describe what I observed at a point in history, at a point in a journey to become more familiar with human experience. The focus my research was to study two exemplary kindergarten teachers in the Appoquinimink School District in Middletown, Delaware and to explore qualitative research. I entered believing that I would study music integration. As my observations progressed, I began to formulate concepts concerning kindergarten education to apply to elementary general music instruction. As I completed my independent research, I was somewhat overwhelmed with the amount of data collected and representing the research concisely. Language could only partially present the essence of the magic of kindergarten curriculum and instruction. I desired to write an intriguing report that would resonate with a variety of audiences and inspire teachers across the nation with relevant educational information. This qualitative research experience has brought me further on the journey towards understanding the importance of human interaction. May the “beholders” of this report gain further knowledge useful to a view on a journey of their own.



Title: Maintaining the Vocal Health of Elementary School Music Teachers

Subject: Vocal Health
Author: Rhonda S. Hackworth, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Co-authors: none
The purpose of this study was to investigate damaging elements or behaviors in vocal production and also determine to what extent these elements or behaviors are encountered or practiced by elementary music teachers. The subjects were 24 elementary music teachers from the greater Kansas City area who responded to a survey on vocal health related to teaching practices. Teachers answered questions related to personal habits, music teaching activities, and general teaching responsibilities. Results show that several abusive behaviors occur daily (75% of these teachers engage in throat clearing and 71% drink caffeine). Subjects ranked speaking over noisy classroom conditions as one of the most vocally stressful teaching activities. Additional teaching activities that subjects reported to be vocally stressful include 1) giving verbal instructions while students play instruments and 2) demonstration solo singing. Most teachers agreed that limiting the amount of speaking and singing during the day is helpful to vocal health but not always possible, especially due to the demanding schedule of music teachers.

Title: Music Teacher Certification in the United States: Traditional and Alternative Practices for the 21st Century Traditional and Alternative Practices for the 21st Century

Subject: Music teacher certification
Author: Randall G.Pembrook – University of Missouri in Kansas City
Co-authors: Helena M. Vasconcellos
There have been two main points of assessment for those aspiring to become music teachers. The first is the initial screening for admission to teacher education programs at the undergraduate level and the second is the state licensing or certification process that follows graduation. Many states are now providing alternative procedures for certification. A review of state standards was undertaken to determine requirements for entry, traditional certification, and re-certification. A phone survey to the fifty state departments responsible for teacher certification was conducted. Results indicated that 40% of states require at least a 2.5 college GPA for admission to a teacher education program (TEP) and that over half of the states mandate some type of basic skills testing for admission to a TEP. All of the states require at least a bachelor’s degree for initial traditional certification, which typically lasts for five years. In almost three-quarters of the states, the exit GPA requirements depend on the institutions of higher education. Half of the states require successful completion of a basic skills and a subject matter test before certification while one-quarter require a basic skills test only and 9 % require subject matter testing only. Sixteen percent of the states do not require any type of testing for certification. In music, 64% of the states still use some type of multiple level-area designation such as elementary/secondary or instrumental/vocal music licensing. The most typical form of continuing education requirement is 6 semester hours of college credit every 5 years. A growing number of states (44%) mandate that beginning teachers must experience some type of mentoring/apprentice program during the first one or two years. Over three-quarters of the states now have some type of provisional/alternative certification procedures. However, in 70% of the states offering such certification, school districts must intercede to the state department of education on behalf of the candidate.

Title: The 6th Grade Singing Slump

Subject: singing
Author: Joanne Rutkowski, The Pennsylvania State University
Co-authors: Debra L. Campbell
This phase of a longitudinal study of children’s singing investigated the existence of a “6th grade slump” in singing achievement. Twenty-five children from one elementary school have been participating in this study. Each subject’s use of singing voice was assessed at the beginning and end of 1st , 3rd, and 5th grade. For this study these subject’s use of singing voice was also assessed at the end of sixth grade. A significant difference between the 5th and 6th grade singing performances was found with a higher mean for 5th grade, indicating a possible “6th grade slump”. However, 52% of these 6th graders still exhibited full use of their singing voices. All, with the exception of one boy, had use of at least a “limited” range at the end of 6th grade. No differences by gender were found although one boy scored quite low perhaps indicating the onset of voice change.

Title: The Relationship Between Selected Pre-college Music Instruction and Achievement in Undergraduate Music Theory Courses: Predictors of Achievement

Subject: Music Theory
Author: Thomas Swenson, candidate for Ph.D. in Piano Pedagogy at The University of Oklahoma
The main purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between a variety of predictors, including the incidence and amount of piano training, and achievement in undergraduate music theory courses. Sixty-eight undergraduate music majors from the sophomore and junior music theory courses in a school of music at a large southwestern university were subjects. Information was gathered from a questionnaire. Demographic data included their high school GPA, ensemble experiences, primary and secondary instruments, the amount of training on those instruments, introduction to a variety of music theory concepts, and specific experiences with a keyboard/piano. A Likert-type scale was used for three questions regarding their present attitudes towards pre-college music experiences. The students remained anonymous by completing a numbered questionnaire. A member of the music theory faculty provided each student’s previous music theory grades. A full multiple regression model included the years of piano training, years of instrumental training, and high school GPA as the independent variables. The music theory grades were averaged and used as the dependent variable. Frequencies and percentages were tabulated to reveal trends in attitudes towards pre-college training and home environment. The high school GPA had the strongest correlation with success in music theory (r=.61). Years of piano study was slightly more predictive than years of instrumental study, although neither was statistically significant. A large number of students did not feel that their pre-college music lessons had adequately prepared them for college music theory courses.

Title: Working Together: A Preliminary Look at Collaborative Learning in Two Different Settings

Subject: Collaborative Learning
Author: Diane D. Orlofsky, Troy State University
Co-authors: Robert Lyda, Jackson County Schools, FL
The literature seems to support the notion that students learn more effectively when given the opportunity to participate in shared learning experiences, allowing them to be active rather than passive participants in the learning process. In this study, two diverse age groups were observed in order to see how students responded to the collaborative process. We wanted to see whether kindergarteners were truly capable of collaboration, or if they were, as the research suggests, more responsive to cooperative learning situations. We also wanted to view how a preservice collegiate music education population would react to collaborative learning. The process of educational collaboration is explained and the data are presented in narrative, case study format. Suggestions for further exploration into collaborative learning ventures are also made.

Title: Comparisons of Higher Order Thinking Skills Among Prospective Freshman and Upper Level Pre-Service Music Education Majors

Subject: Music Teacher Education
Author: Deborah A. Sheldon University of Illinois
Co-authors: Gregory Denardo
Two groups of participants (high school students aspiring to become music educators, n = 116, and upper level music education majors, n = 130) took part in this investigation which compared higher order thinking skills demonstrated in an observation analysis task. It utilized certain procedures from a previous investigation (Standley & Madsen, 1991). Prospective freshmen demonstrated similar abilities in this task compared to those studied in the pilot (Sheldon & DeNardo, 2000) and freshmen who participated in the 1991 study. Upperclassmen demonstrated greater abilities in the observation task compared to prospective freshmen. When entrance examination variables of prospective freshmen were analyzed for relationship, few strong correlations were found. Evaluating higher order thinking skills in an observation analysis task may be a useful tool in identifying students who may tend to accelerate and flourish in music teacher training programs. These data may also serve to identify those with lower level higher order thinking skills at the outset of a teacher training program.

Title: The Current and Future Trends of the Participation of Gender and Racial/Ethnic Minorities in Band Conducting

Subject: Conductor Preparation
Author: Linda A. Hartley, University of Dayton
Co-authors: Deborah A. Sheldon, University of Illinois
This study sought to further develop data regarding the current state of gender and racial/ethnic representation among those with potential to become leaders in instrumental music education and band conducting in particular. Current doctoral candidates in wind band conducting were quantified for gender and ethnicity. Subsequently a five-year (1996-2000) gender/ethnicity pattern of wind conducting symposia participants was examined. Data indicated graduate programs in wind band conducting were predominantly populated by males (86%) and overwhelming White (90%) compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Conducting symposia participants were also chiefly male and White. It would appear prudent for those in instrumental music education and the administrators of upper level programs in conducting to take a serious look at why programs seem to attract white males almost to the exclusion of all others and how we can modify practice to increase the numbers of quality conductors who represent women and racial/ethnic minorities.

Title: Performance Evaluation in Music Research

Subject: Performance Evaluation
Author: Jennifer L. Stewart, The University of Texas at Austin
The purpose of this study was to review 30 years (1970-2000) of published, empirical literature to determine what measurements have most commonly been used to evaluate music performance. Music performance for this study was defined as any performance of extant literature, etudes, sight-reading exercises or jazz literature. This review focused on the types of measurement instruments utilized in existing music research and the elements of music most commonly measured. A manual search was performed of three sources, the Journal of Research in Music Education (volumes 18-48), the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (volumes 23-145), and the Journal of Music Therapy (volumes 8-37). Ninety-six studies were found that included one or more evaluations of music performance. The results of this investigation indicated that there were 123 evaluations in 96 studies. Of the 123 evaluations, rating scales (n = 55) and point systems (n = 43) were used most frequently. Rating scales typically assigned a number representing the degree of agreement the adjudicator felt best described the performance or the music element being measured. Point systems awarded or took away points based on correct or incorrect performance of the music elements being measured. Of the 471 music elements measured in 123 evaluations, there were 24 categories of music elements that emerged. The music element measured most frequently was rhythmic accuracy (n = 87). Other elements frequently assessed were pitch accuracy, tempo, technique and articulation. Elements that were measured less frequently were tone quality, intonation, and balance/blend. It is difficult to make generalizations about how best to measure performance. Despite the fact that music performance has been widely measured throughout the last 30 years of published research, there is little consistency in the use of the same measurement instruments.