This study explored preservice music teachers' perspectives of and beliefs about elementary general music (EGM), perceptions of preparation to teach EGM, and career goals. Participants were 99 undergraduate preservice music teachers (41% response rate) from one university in the Northeastern United States. Survey questions focused on memories of experiences with general music during elementary school, beliefs about EGM, perceptions of preparation and confidence to teach EGM, preferred specialization (general or ensemble), reasons for specialization preference, and influences on choice. Findings suggest preservice music teachers preferred ensemble specialization and secondary settings over EGM. Choral/vocal music education majors were more likely to choose general music specialization than instrumental music education majors. Gender emerged as a highly influential factor in relation to specialization choice and seemed to overlap with perceptions of preparation, confidence, and memories of EGM. Overall, preservice music teachers reported a strong belief that coursework prepared them to teach EGM, and they identified EGM methods courses and authentic context learning experiences with young children as highly influential. Feelings of preparation and interest in teaching EGM seemed related. Reasons for EGM specialization preference included strong beliefs in efficacy, fit for personality, and opportunity for more variety than in ensemble-based positions.
"Elementary General Music:
Music Education Majors’ Beliefs and Perceptions,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 34, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol34/iss1/7