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Curriculum and Instruction


The integration of music in the K-5 classroom provides valuable and age-appropriate resources for enhancing instruction, serves as an incentive for positive behavior, and nurtures creativity in the elementary classroom. Music is a natural way of learning for most children and is often used as a pedagogical tool for instruction. Recent research on the integration of music in the elementary classroom has included both self-reported music as well as field-oriented case-studies. Limited studies have combined both quantitative and qualitative data on the musical practices of elementary classroom teachers and much of the research does not reflect current teaching practices.

Two methods of data collection were employed to compare self-reported and observed music-related activities in the elementary classroom. Convenience sampling of K-5 elementary teachers at an elementary school were used for this study. There was a 48.5% response rate (N=16) to the electronic survey. Subjects reported using a variety of instruments in their classrooms as well as an assortment of digital tools for integrated music use. The most frequently integrated content connections were with Social Studies and most infrequent were Math. Teachers indicated using music most frequently for transitions and noted the use of listening and dancing as the most frequent means of engaging their students with music. Some differences between self-reported and observed music activities were documented. These results provide valuable data that inform the content of music courses for pre-service elementary teachers as well as emphasize the need for more quality pedagogical music learning opportunities for in-service elementary teachers.