Music programs in performing arts high schools


Material Information

Music programs in performing arts high schools current status and implications for future development
Physical Description:
viii, 159 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Goffe, Jerri, 1955-
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
School music -- Instruction and study   ( lcsh )
High schools -- Curricula   ( lcsh )
Music thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Music -- UF
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1991.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 154-158).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jerri Goffe.
General Note:
General Note:

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001694767
oclc - 25248341
notis - AJA6872
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Full Text







Copyright 1991


Jerri Goffe


The author wishes to thank the members of the committee

for their advice, encouragement, and patience. Without

their support, this project would not have been possible.

This project was also dependent upon the participation

of music department chairpersons in performing arts high

schools for its success. I wish to express my sincere

appreciation for their sacrifice of time in completing the


I also wish to thank the Palm Beach District Schools

for allowing me to take a leave of absence in order to

pursue the doctoral degree. I thank my students, both

former and present, for their support and sacrifice while I

completed this project.

Most of all, I thank my family. The emotional and

financial support of my parents was crucial in the success

of this project. I also thank my husband, Scott, and my

daughter, Ashley, for their unending patience and assistance

in the completion of this dissertation.




ACKNOWLEDGMENTS........................................ iii

LIST OF TABLES.......................................... vi

ABSTRACT ...........................******........ ..... vii


Statement of the Problem.....
Definitions..... .... ........

II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ....................

Historical Overview..........
Educational Rationale for the

Related Studies..........
Philosophical Bases......
Operational Issues.......


Arts School...
... .........*as
... ... ...... ..
... ....oe e o...o

Introduction .............
Survey Research..........
Sample......... ........
Data Collection..........
Data Analysis............

IV PRESENTATION OF THE DATA ....................

Introduction .... .... ... ....... .
Type of School..............................
Purpose..... .. .. .. ........ .................
Admission.............. ........ .............
Curriculum ....................... ...........
Equipment and Support Materials.............

I INTRODUCTION...................... .........


III METHODOLOGY......................... ......



Relationship with Professional Music
Community.......... ................ ...... 77
Policies.................................. 78
Advantages.................................. 81
Problems........ ........ .................... 82


Conclusions.......... ................... .... 85
Proposed Standards for Performing Arts
School Music Programs..................... 88
Type of School................... ........ 88
Philosophy.............................. 90
Admission..... ...... ....... .... ..... 91
Curriculum ...... ........................ 92
Staffing................................ 100
Facilities ........ .... ......... ....... 101
Equipment and Support Materials......... 102
Budget..... ......................... 103
Relationship With Professional Music
Community............................. 104
Policies ................................ 105
Recommendations for Future Research......... 107


A COVER LETTER................................ 110

B SURVEY......... ... ... ............ ... ........ 112

C FOLLOW-UP 1................................. 126

D FOLLOW-UP 2................................. 128




H MUSIC THEORY TEXTBOOKS..................... 147

I COMPOSITION TEXTBOOKS....................... 149

J KEYBOARD TEXTBOOKS.......................... 151

K OTHER TEXTBOOKS............................. 153

REFERENCES ..................... ................ ... ... 154

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............... .................... 159


1. Type of School .................................... 53

2. Magnet School......... .......... ........ ........ .. 53

3. School Size....................................... 55

4. Out-of-district Students.......................... .. 60

5. Music Class Schedule.............................. 61

6. Music Curriculum.................. ............... 62

7. Applied Music Offered............................. 63

8. Applied Music Instruction......................... 64

9. Music Staff Selection............................. 67

10. Artist-teacher Responsibilities.................... 69

11. Artist-teacher Length of Service .................. 70

12. Physical Plant .................................... 72

13. Large Rehearsal Rooms ............................. 73

14. Practice Room Availability........................ 74

15. Adequate Auditorium............................... 74

16. Equipment and Support Materials................... 75

17. Booster Organization.. ........... ....... .......... 77

18. Professional Musician Involvement................. 77

19. Minimum GPA Requirement........................... 78

20. Contests and Festivals............................ 79

21. Student Professional Work Policy.................. 80

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Jerri Goffe

August 1991

Chairman: Dr. Charles R. Hoffer
Major Department: Music

The purpose of this study was to obtain information

about music programs in performing arts high schools. A

survey of forty-one performing arts high schools in the

United States provided the data. Topic areas included type

of school, philosophy, admission, curriculum, staffing,

facilities, equipment and support materials, budget,

relationship with professional music community, policies,

additional information, advantages, and problems.

Responses indicated that the majority of performing

arts high schools are magnet schools (80.5%) with 500 or

fewer students (58.5%), are housed in renovated traditional

school buildings (61%) that lack adequate space and

performing facilities, and are staffed by a combination of

full-time certified teachers and part-time artist-teachers.

All schools indicated a multi-faceted student selection

process, and the majority indicated audition as the primary



A review of the philosophies of performing arts high

schools revealed a variety of philosophies. Although a

majority of schools stress arts and academics equally to

prepare students for arts and non-arts career options,

others admit and train students solely based upon potential

as career performing artists.

Goal statements provided by the majority of music

departments indicated commitment to the training of the

total musician through the offering of in-depth training

usually not available in traditional high school music

programs. Statements also revealed a commitment to prepare

students for lifelong participation and enjoyment of music

as a vocation or an avocation.

Identification of advantages of specialized arts school

music programs revealed the special quality of the learning

environment. Respondents reported that the community of

talented individuals gathered in the performing arts schools

serves as inspiration to both students and staff.

Major problems revealed by respondents included lack of

funds and lack of support from school boards and colleagues.

Music department chairpersons noted the difficulty of

explaining the high cost of specialized music instruction to

financially restricted school systems. They also reported a

continuing problem with obtaining the support of music

educators in traditional high schools with regard to

recruiting qualified students to arts school music programs.



Because the educational system serves such a varied

student population, it has grown increasingly difficult for

the musical needs of all students to be met in the

traditional high school music program, and the population

served has become increasingly diverse. Music is recognized

as an important part of the general education of every

student (College Board, 1983), and is included in the

curriculum in a more systematic way in the early grades. As

a result of the broader base of music education now taking

place in the elementary and middle schools, there is a

greater diversity of interest and ability in music as

students reach the high school level. Students who show a

special interest and ability may not be able to realize

their full musical potential without specialized training.

The need for alternative music education has led to the

development of many performing arts high schools throughout

the United States. In fact, the number of specialized

schools for the arts, both elementary and secondary, has

grown from only five in 1970 (Curtis, 1986) to over one

hundred today (Wucher, 1991).

Two educational reforms of the seventies, desegregation

and education for the gifted, are largely responsible for


recent growth in the number of performing arts schools.

Desegregation provided the impetus for many innovative

educational programs implemented during the past two decades

(Curtis, 1986). The magnet school movement is one such

program. These schools are designed to draw students to the

school center by offering specialized or innovative

educational programs. Magnet schools may be developed

around the performing arts, academics, sports, or other

special areas. They can promote desegregation, as well as

appropriate educational services for the uniquely talented


Magnet schools offer a choice to parents and students.

Much has been written about alternative schools and the

choice movement (Pipho, 1986). The choice factor empowers

students and parents in a way usually reserved only for the

rich. When allowed to choose the appropriate educational

program to suit their needs, motivation and achievement seem

to be heightened, according to Pipho. Magnet schools are

closely linked to this philosophy, while at the same time

providing a means to facilitate desegregation. Schools with

particular curricular emphases such as the performing arts

allow faculty and students to focus on areas in which the

student is already motivated to succeed (Roth, 1981). This

often leads to greater achievement and satisfaction.

Goodstein, Hasselbring, Hawley, and Rosenholtz (1984) have

indicated that teachers and students who feel greater

effectiveness take on more responsibility for effective

teaching and learning.

Gifted and talented education has become an important

concern in education. Educators have come to realize that

there is great diversity among the student population, and

that the same educational program is not best for every

child. As a result, more attention is now given to the

development of programs for the special learner. However,

until recently the umbrella of exceptionality did not cover

musically gifted and talented students. Since the advent of

special "gifted" programs in the 1970s, increased interest

has been shown in the development of programs to benefit

these students. Performing arts schools have been developed

and, in many situations, have demonstrated excellent results

(Galbraith, 1985; Glick, 1985).

As with any new endeavor, the development of arts

schools by primarily traditional school systems has not been

without problems. Although necessary to the development of

any new program, risk, experimentation, and invention are

activities least encouraged by many administrators

(Undercofler, 1985). Along with the promises of specialized

musical training, there are many practical difficulties to

be overcome. Some studies have attempted to gather

information about aspects of the performing arts school

movement (Curtis, 1986; Daniel, 1985; Feller, 1982; Goodman,

1987; Gray, 1981, Wucher, 1991). However, a review of the

literature has revealed no study or dissertation limited to

the music program in these schools.

Statement of the Problem

Because of the growing number of performing arts high

schools, an in-depth study and analysis of existing music

programs in such schools is needed. Access to this

information will allow for informed decision making on the

part of arts school administrators and music educators, thus

facilitating more effective teaching and learning. This

study of the problem first gathered information about the

current status of existing performing arts school music

programs, and then synthesized the data and developed model

curricula for new performing arts schools.

The purpose of this study was to investigate, describe,

and provide data and replications with regard to the music

program in performing arts high schools. A number of

central issues have been identified in existing literature,

but the findings are mostly general in nature and offer

little specific information about the mechanics of

establishing and operating successful music programs in

performing arts high schools.

A fundamental issue concerns the purposes of performing

arts schools (Levin, 1985). These purposes, whether stated

or unstated, guide educational decision making. Purposes

may include the need for pupil desegregation, enrichment,

preprofessional training in the arts, and public relations

for the school system.

An additional area for investigation was the audition

and admission procedures employed by the various performing

arts schools. The possible linkage between the purpose of

the school and type of admission/audition procedures

revealed some useful information. Some arts schools, for

example, utilize outreach programs to recruit and prepare

students for the auditions themselves (Roth, 1981).

Perhaps the most important problem of the performing

arts schools music programs is the curriculum. Much

diversity was found in established programs offered to

educate the gifted and talented (Cox, Daniel, & Boston,

1985). Often the only commonality was in the fulfillment of

academic requirements for graduation. Course offerings vary

greatly, with some schools employing college course

descriptions and scheduling (Muller, 1988).

Another important aspect of the music curriculum in

performing arts high schools is the issue of private

lessons. There is little coverage of this topic other than

its relationship to the employment of the artist-teacher.

In addition, the use of performing artists as teachers

in arts school music programs was studied. Aspects of this

issue included the following: (a) selection of

artist-teachers, (b) percentage of artist-teachers and

school system certified full-time teachers on the staff,

(c) working relationships and team teaching between artist

and regular teachers, and (d) employment patterns of


The study of music curricula also included an analysis

of courses offered to determine content with regard to

preprofessional technical training and creativity/discovery

learning. If arts high schools are to aid in the training

of innovators and new composers in music, then the

curriculum should provide adequate avenues for such

experiences (Sgorbati, 1985).

Additionally, the investigation gathered information

regarding measurement and evaluation in music as it is

practiced in performing arts high schools. Grading in the

arts continues to be a difficult and controversial area

(Stiggins, 1985). The information gathered from arts

schools may serve to illuminate more objective ways of

dealing with evaluation in music.

The relationship between arts high schools and

traditional high schools often involves personal and

professional dynamics between music educators (Galbraith,

1985; Graham, 1983). The effects of arts school music

programs on the quantity and quality of traditional arts

programs in the rest of the school district, as well as its

budgetary impact, were investigated.

Other important support systems for the music program

in performing arts schools include (a) facilities,


(b) equipment, (c) financial support from school system and

outside sources, and (d) relationship with professional

music community. Detailed information about these aspects

was also gathered.

Finally, the study attempted to gather information

regarding the policies of arts school music programs in

areas of concern to all music educators. They are

(a) requirement of minimum grade point averages to

participate in performances and/or continue in the school,

(b)) participation in contests and adjudication festivals,

and (c) students working professionally as musicians while

in school.


Although some performing arts schools encompass the

middle school and elementary grades, the majority focus only

on the high school years. Therefore, to investigate that

area involving the most activity, the performing arts high

schools (9-12) were the population from which the sample for

this study was drawn. The study was also limited to

performing arts high schools in the United States. The

findings of the study were not generalized to elementary or

middle schools specializing in the performing arts nor to

performing arts high schools outside of the United States.

Although many traditional schools consider their arts

programs to be superior or innovative in some way, the study

was limited to those schools officially and formally

designated as arts schools.

A questionnaire, self-administered by music department

chairpersons in performing arts high schools, was utilized

for data collection. The survey or questionnaire method as

a means of data gathering limited the generalizability of

the findings to only those factors within the area of study.

Further, since the study focuses on music programs, the

findings were not generalized to other areas within the

performing arts school.


The following definitions of terms pertain to this


The arts are the four traditional fine arts areas -

dance, music, theater, and the visual arts.

The resident school for the arts is a full-time

boarding school offering a complete arts and academic

program. Such schools may also enroll day students from the

local area. These may be public or private (Galbraith,


The nonresident full-day school for the arts is a

school with no provision for boarding students. Usually it

is located in a metropolitan area. The school generally

offers a complete arts and academic program. (See magnet


The nonresident half-day school for the arts is the

school that typically offers a half-day program in the arts

only. Students remain members of their host school student

body and often travel to the arts center each day.

The arts school-within-a-school is an arts specialty

program within a larger comprehensive high school. These

programs often exist side-by-side with a traditional arts

program and share the academic program of the regular


The magnet school is designed to draw students through

the offering of specialized or innovative educational

programs. This allows choice or alternative education and

promotes desegregation.

Applied music is the instruction of students in the

technical and musical skills of instrumental or vocal

performance. It is directed toward the acquisition of

skills in solo performance. It may be taught privately or

in small groups.

Artist-teachers are those individuals on the arts

school staff that are primarily performing artists. Usually

they do not hold degrees or certification in education,

although they may hold certification from other

organizations such as Music Teachers National Association

(MTNA) or National Association of Teachers of Singing


Pull-out programs are special educational programs

which offer small group or individualized training such as

applied music instruction. The student is removed

periodically from another class in order to receive this


Fake books are collections of popular and jazz melodies

with chord symbols and words. Such collections are

frequently utilized by musicians in restaurants and

nightclubs as a basis from which to improvise their own




This chapter contains an overview of the existing

research on the performing arts schools in the United

States. It is organized as follows: historical overview,

educational rationale for the performing arts school, and

review of contemporary related studies.

In an attempt to gather all of the pertinent data

existing on this topic, many sources and methods for

gathering information were utilized. Computer searches of

Educational Resources Information Center, Dissertation

Abstracts International, and Current Index to Journals in

Education, as well as manual searches of The Education Index

and The Music Index were completed. These searches covered

a ten-year period. In addition, personal interviews with

arts school music department chairpersons were utilized as

research sources.

The Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools was

particularly helpful in supplying historical information and

lists of current performing arts schools. The history of

this organization will be presented during the discussion of

the historical overview of performing arts schools.

Historical Overview

Galbraith (1985) is an excellent source of information

in the history of the arts school movement in the United

States. He has recently served as president of the Network

of Performing and Visual Arts Schools, an organization which

supports this educational concept. The Network is

responsible for the dissemination of much of the information

on current trends in the field, and since 1984 has published

a newsletter three times annually. It contains timely

information of interest to all arts educators.

The arts school idea is not a new one but has had most

of its major growth since the 1970s (Eddy, 1984). Schools

like the Interlochen Arts Academy, New York's LaGuardia High

School for the Visual and Performing Arts, and North

Carolina School of the Arts have long and successful

histories. However, until recently, performing arts schools

were considered prototypes that were not possible for most

public school systems. According to Curtis (1987), there

were only five arts high schools in the United States in

1970. By 1983, the number had risen to over eighty (Daniel,

1985). Today, Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools

claims over one hundred fifty individual and institutional

members, with membership increasing each year (Carter &

Jenkins, 1990).

These schools generally fall into five broad

categories: (a) resident schools for the arts--full-time

boarding schools that often enroll day students as well,

(b) nonresident schools of the arts--usually located in

metropolitan areas and often referred to as magnet schools,

(c) nonresident arts only schools--typically offer a

half-day program in the arts only for students who remain

members of the host school student body, (d) arts schools

within-a-school subgroup within a larger comprehensive high

school, and (e) summer schools of the arts, which are

generally arts only and usually state supported, and may be

resident or nonresident. There are many variations on these

basic types, such as schools that stress only one art area

or those that include high school and college on one campus.

For the purpose of this study, all but the last type were


In surveying existing arts schools Levin (1985) found

that most were nonresident arts schools, and a great

majority of these were originally created as a result of the

magnet school approach. This approach was first designed to

facilitate court ordered or voluntary desegregation efforts.

In offering specialized or innovative training in the arts,

these magnet schools were able to draw students to different

school centers. This assisted in achieving a better racial

balance, while at the same time fulfilling the needs of

students to have an opportunity for training in a more

artistic setting.

Levin also investigated the grade spans of existing

arts schools. She found that they were nearly equally

divided into the following groups: 4-12, 7-12, 9-12. The

grades occurring most frequently were 9-12.

Curtis (1986) also surveyed the status of performing

arts schools. He asked respondents to express concerns

about the present or future of the arts schools.

Respondents frequently cited the question of whether seventh

and eighth grade students should be in a performing arts

setting or the more traditional middle school setting. From

the review of literature, it appears that this issue still

merits further study, for little has been written about it

since the study by Curtis.

Levin's survey (1985) also examined the expenditures

per pupil in the arts school. According to the respondents,

those expenditures ranged from $2,000 to $5,000 per pupil.

Nonprofit organizations were frequently formed to assist in

acquiring adequate funds, with over half of the

well-established schools employing the services of such

organizations. According to Dickinson (1987), the financial

support of a nonprofit organization is central to the

development and continuation of programs in many performing

arts schools.

Additional research by Levin and others (Feller, 1982;

Gray, 1981; Curtis, 1986) discovered historical trends in

the structure and development of the performing arts


schools. In the study of curriculum, it was found that most

schools offered studies in music, dance, theater, and visual

arts. However, only about half of the schools offered

creative writing. Arts schools were usually staffed by

full-time certified teachers, with many part-time

artist-teachers to augment the regular staff.

Most of the arts schools considered their educational

function to be preprofessional training rather than the

general arts education or enrichment approach that is found

in most comprehensive high schools (Eddy, 1984). Students

select the arts schools in order to focus and train in

specific areas, and the preprofessional approach offers

training at a pace equal to conservatory or professional


Although many arts school graduates receive generous

scholarship assistance to continue their study at the

college level, it appears that no long-range study of the

career direction of these graduates has been conducted.

However, arts school administrators proudly point out the

successful careers of their graduates such as John Cheek and

Ransom Wilson from the North Carolina School of the Arts and

Pinchas Zukerman from the New York School of Music and Art

(now merged with Performing Arts to form LaGuardia High

School of Music and the Arts). Because of the successful

employment and scholarship assistance that many arts school

graduates receive, the performing arts school education is


seen as an excellent avenue of training for the young artist

(Carpenter, 1987; Nelson, 1987).

The Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools was

established in 1983 to facilitate communication and improve

the quality of arts schools in the United States. It began

in 1981 as an outgrowth of a meeting of consultants who were

assisting in the planning of a new arts high school in Los

Angeles School District. During the meetings, the ten

arts-school administrators who had been invited to

participate realized that perhaps the greatest benefit of

the meeting was the communication that took place between

leaders in the field of arts-school education. They

organized other meetings, and in 1983 bylaws were formulated

and the Network was incorporated.

The purposes of the Network are as follows:

(a) exchange ideas and solve common problems, (b) identify

sources of funding, (c) facilitate exchange of faculty and

students, (d) develop guidelines and standards for new and

emerging schools, (e) serve as a liaison with accrediting

agencies and associations of all arts disciplines,

(f) advocate quality arts education, (g) identify the

nature and needs of member schools, and (h) collect and

disseminate research results regarding successful practices.

The organization disseminates information through its

newsletter Network News, which is published three times a

year. The Network also hosts an annual conference devoted

to current practices and future directions of arts schools.

The standing committees include membership and nominating,

communications, advocacy, and liaison and development.

Current and future research projects sponsored by the

organization include program and accreditation standards.

The Network has been and continues to be a major force in

the development and quality of performing arts school

programs (Galbraith, 1985).

Educational Rationale for the Arts School

There is much literature in the field of music and in

general education to support the vocational/professional

training idea inherent in the development of arts schools.

It has been shown that these schools benefit the individual

student, the school system, and the community (Gear, 1984;

Glick, 1985; Johnston, 1986).

The National Education Association is a supporter of

this concept, and it has produced many publications which

cite the advantages of such a program. One such

publication, authored by Tuttle and Becker (1980),

delineates the following perceived needs of gifted and

talented students that influence educational program

development: (a) the need to use, develop, and understand

higher mental processes, (b) the need to interchange and

dialogue with their intellectual peers (this also applies to

interests, talents, etc.), (c) the need for adequate space

to develop their outstanding abilities, (d) the need to

develop life styles commensurate with their particular

profile of abilities and talents, and (e) the need for the

opportunity to assess their unique talent and interests. In

addition, the characteristics of talented individuals do not

always conform to the mold of other personality types

(Bloom, 1985), and it is believed that these students can

benefit from the special environment of the arts school.

They often have different learning styles that can be

efficiently utilized when the program is tailored to their

special characteristics and abilities.

To investigate these special characteristics, Kemp

(1981a, 1981b, 1982) completed a series of studies to

examine the characteristic profiles of musical performers

and composers. The final installment of the series

culminates in the incorporation of the group profiles into a

comprehensive model. Kemp concludes that all musicians

share a common core of characteristics, which he calls

"musicianship-linked." Some of these traits, such as

introversion and intelligence, were found to be stable from

childhood to professional life. However, other traits were

found to be changing and reflective of temporary needs and

demands. Kemp notes the importance of these traits as

associated with musical development. Ego strength, personal

control, and anxiety are among these important "unstable"

traits that require careful nurturing. The performing arts

school environment may provide an atmosphere conducive to

correct interpretation and development of the

"musicianship-linked" characteristics.

The benefits of the arts school are not limited to its

students. Many of those who oppose the arts school concept

level charges of special privilege or elitism against it,

arguing that such schools are not cost effective and

therefore unfair to students in traditional comprehensive

high schools (Levin, 1985). However, the arts schools

concept can benefit traditional comprehensive high schools

by helping both teachers and students (Graham, 1983). The

presence of the extremely gifted and talented students can

often present frustration for teachers and students in

traditional schools. Teachers often cannot provide

sufficient stimulating educational activity for the talented

students. With gifted students removed to a special school,

teachers can devote more time to the general school

population and create programs that may better develop their

musicality, according to Graham. The removal of the gifted

and talented may help the general students to realize their

own potential. They may be willing to play more active

roles, rather than relying on the gifted and talented for


According to Glick (1985), the specialized arts schools

provide a structure for ensuring that a quality arts

education is provided to those students who need it. The

community and society at large also receive benefits from

the arts schools. In the general educational system, too

little attention has been paid to those professions whose

work helps to enrich human existence. Glick indicates that

recent studies on excellence in education have recognized

the importance of arts education for all students (Adler,

1982; Boyer, 1983; College Board, 1983). She delineates a

number of ways in which the arts schools can impact the

community and the traditional school. For example, they

allow the community to see the quality and value of the

arts. Further, the staff and administrators may plan

programs that reach beyond the confines of the arts schools.

These programs may include outreach programs, touring

performing groups, and arts-school staff providing inservice

training for regular schools' arts teachers.

Related Studies

It is the purpose of this section to review related

studies dealing with performing arts schools. Rather than

merely presenting each study, this section is organized by

issues encountered in the planning, initiation, and

operation of performing arts school programs. Through this

review it is possible to determine the general issues facing

music educators in performing arts high schools. This

information was subsequently used to assist in formulating

the survey instrument.

It was found that most of the topics discussed in the

literature relating to performing arts schools can be

categorized into two areas. First, there are those issues

dealing with the philosophical bases of the performing arts

school. These include need, function, and impact on

comprehensive school programs. The second area deals with

the operational issues of arts schools. This area contains

many topics such as admission, recruitment, staffing,

facilities, curriculum, and evaluation. While none of the

studies dealt specifically with the music program alone, the

findings were of much value in structuring the investigative

instrument for use in the present study.

Philosophical Bases

According to Graham (1983), three of the most

frequently cited problems in the literature deal with

philosophical issues that should be resolved prior to the

opening of arts schools. One of the first questions to

arise in the planning stages of the arts schools is, "Should

the public schools fulfill this need?" Often there are many

after-school and community resources offering specialized

training in the arts. Administrators may not see the need

for performing arts schools when opportunities are being

offered elsewhere in the community. It should be noted,

however, that outside resources do not necessarily provide

equality of opportunity for all students. Although the

public schools can help to provide equality of opportunity,

this depends on the selection procedures employed in

admitting students to the arts schools, a topic that is


discussed in a later section. It is important, however, to

establish during the planning stages that selection

procedures will be designed to discover aptitude and

potential rather than merely achievement (Castiglione,

1985). This is essential if the purpose and philosophy of

the arts school is to meet the educational needs of all


Although most educators agree that the public school

system has a responsibility to respond to the need for equal

educational opportunity, the way in which this need

manifests itself in the performing arts schools varies

greatly. In many school systems, performing arts schools

can only be established as magnet schools. These schools

allow the school system to offer performing arts training at

a more concentrated level than the enrichment program in the

traditional school program. Nelson (1985) cautions against

the use of arts programs for achieving social situations,

such as desegregation. He says that the arts have served,

and continue to serve the purposes of social engineering

through the embodiment of ideals such as tolerance,

understanding, and brotherhood. According to Nelson, "The

greatest unfair burden placed on arts in education is the

application of admission standards that have nothing to do

with the arts. Talent and motivation do not come in

quotas" (p. 38). He further states that selection of

appropriate admission procedures is vitally connected to the


philosophical issues of need and function of performing arts


The second philosophical concern, that of school

function, is usually discussed once the need for performing

arts schools has been established. Although it may seem

simple, the function of performing arts schools can often be

a difficult area in which to reach agreement. Various

administrators, arts educators, and committee members often

have distinctly different views about the primary function

of such schools. Some of the functions most often cited are

the following: (a) preprofessional training for future

artists, (b) tool for pupil desegregation, and

(c) promotional showcase for the school system (Cox, Daniel,

& Boston, 1985). Although it can be argued that all of

these areas have merit, planning committees need to come to

some agreement about their relative importance. It is

crucial to the success of performing arts schools that

adequate attention be given to the definition of mission and

goals, both prior to the establishment of the schools and

during their ongoing operation (Undercofler, 1988). As in

any organization, communication is fundamental to the

success of performing arts schools.

The third philosophical concern to be dealt with during

the planning stages deals with the impact of performing arts

schools upon arts programs in the regular or comprehensive

schools that serve the same population. Many arts teachers


in traditional schools fear that performing art schools will

take the most talented students from programs where they

serve as inspiration for other students. The teachers also

fear that administrators may see the arts programs in the

regular schools as unnecessary once specialized programs for

the arts are offered for the talented. This appears to be a

legitimate fear. According to Graham (1983), "Assuming

that the individual student receives a superior education,

which better meets his or her needs and desires in the

special grouping of the school for the arts, is the

benefit the individual receives in such an environment worth

the loss of his or her example and leadership to the

students in the mainstream high school?" (p. 26). Arts

school administrators may find themselves faced with this

question. Further research in this area may provide the

basis for discussions and reasoned decisions.

Although the arts have been acknowledged during the

past decade as a basic subject (Adler, 1982; Boyer, 1983;

College Board, 1983; Goodlad, 1984), this still remains to

be translated into real support and dollars for the arts in

the education of every child. Regular arts teachers and

school administrators should be encouraged to view

performing arts schools as an addition to the system's arts

education, not as a replacement for the arts programs in the

comprehensive schools (George, 1985). The removal of the

talented student from the traditional school's arts program

may actually provide additional opportunity for others to

shine as performers. In addition, the range of talents will

not be as wide in regular schools, thereby making the

planning of instruction and activities more serviceable for

regular arts teachers. Further, performing arts schools may

serve as a resource of staff and students within the system

to provide leadership and inspiration (Johnston, 1986).

Operational Issues

There are many other problems of a practical nature

that concern performing arts schools. One of the first to

be encountered is the student admission and selection


As previously stated, it is important that the

admission policy reflect the mission and philosophy of arts

schools. For example, if the school system is committed to

equal educational opportunity for all students, it would not

be consistent to rely upon selection procedures that are

based solely on achievement in the specific arts area. On

the other hand, it would be unfair to the student to

encourage an arts career based only on expressed interest.

Therefore, the burden is placed upon the faculty and

administration of the arts schools to devise a selection

procedure that is designed to discover potential rather than

achievement alone (Castiglione, 1985).

Audition and admission committees must consider the

many elements that influence the quality of performance, for

a complex support system underlies any performance. Care

must be taken to not penalize the student who has innate

ability but has not had the benefit of formal training,

social support, or opportunities to express artistry.

Castiglione (1985) illustrates the impact of various support

systems in Figure 1. The use of the multi-faceted selection

procedure gives consideration to this area.

ITraits, Skills. and Learning) (Environment)

r Intelligence tSi --p Social Support
e r orm aFamilial and Cultural
|Talent Encouragement in a
SNurturing Environment
SCreativity 40 bareSN.W

SOpportunities to Laam
s Knowledge Base a (Formal and Informal)

Opportunitieas to Express
Motivation Abilities. Skills. and


Figure 1. Factors Influencing Observable Behavior.

From "Selection procedures in the performing arts:
Performance, practice, and policy considerations" by
L.V. Castiglione, 1985, Design for Arts in Education,
87(1), p. 32. Reprinted with permission of the
Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation. Published by
Heldref Publications, 4000 Albemarle St., N. W.,
Washington, DC. 20016. Copyright (c) 1985.

Nelson (1985) suggests that the best admission

standards are those that are "empirically derived and

subjectively applied" (p. 38). He also suggests that

allowances be made for differing levels of prior training.

Therefore, the use of the classic audition should be

expanded to include interviews with the candidate,

recommendations from outside sources, and the use (where

available) of aptitude measures to determine potential for

future achievement. Although this may complicate and

lengthen the admission process, selection decisions concern

people, and so they should not be considered trivial or

taken lightly.

It is difficult to recruit the "best and brightest" in

the performing arts areas without creating resentment among

other arts educators. This can have a devastating effect on

the recruitment efforts. For example, jealous teachers may

discourage talented students from attending the arts school

or may lobby to cut funds for the arts school (Daniel,

1984). The support of traditional school personnel is vital

to the success of arts schools, and it can often be assured

only if certain steps are taken. These steps may include

public acknowledgement of their support, as well as sharing

the many special programs and activities that are a part of

the arts school program.

An additional area to be considered in recruiting is the

importance of emphasizing the quality of the academic

program in arts schools. Some parents are wary of an arts

education, fearing that it will not prepare students

academically for college. Most arts schools do have full

academic programs and prepare students adequately for

college majors in any field (Featherstone-Witty, 1988;

Harris, 1985). It is often helpful to cite successful

graduates, including those who have gone on to arts careers

as well as those who have succeeded in other disciplines.

Daniel (1985) also emphasizes that arts schools must

increase visibility throughout the school system and the

community through communications and public relations. Arts

performances should be shared with the community whenever

possible. In addition, a cooperative relationship with the

local press, television, and radio will lead to increased

opportunities for public service announcements. Such

activities are a central part of the overall publicity and

recruiting effort.

Outreach programs can be an important part of

recruiting, especially when established with the younger

grades rather than those grades from which the arts school

directly draw students (Daniel, 1984). The advantages are

twofold: first, students are encouraged to enjoy success in

the arts at a younger age; second, regular school arts

teachers do not feel that arts schools are "stealing" their

artistically talented students.

It appears that recruitment is central to the success

of arts schools. Daniel (1985) recommends that arts school

administrators establish a department of recruiting that

would asses the school's needs, determine recruitment goals,

and coordinate activities to accomplish those goals.


The practice of employing artists as teachers is often

cited in the existing literature on the status of performing

arts schools (Curtis, 1986; Daniel, 1984). The most

detailed discussion of this issue may be found in an article

written by Undercofler (1985) in Design for Arts in

Education. He cites the following questions that are most

often raised when dealing with artist-teachers: (a) Do

practicing artists have the training necessary to work with

students in a school setting? (b) How can practicing

artists with no prior experience in schools be sensitive to

school problems? (c) What sort of "baggage" will artists

bring to an educational setting? (d) Will practicing

performers eventually supplant certified teachers in local

school districts?

A review of various articles dealing with the topic

suggest that a mixture of certified teachers and

artist-teachers can facilitate effective and exciting

learning in performing arts schools. The recurring idea is

that role clarification is essential before the artist

enters the classroom (West, 1985). Feller (1982) cautions

that it is important to look within the system to find

teachers already working in the schools who, when freed from

the constraints of the system, would be able to create a

unique artistic product built on educational understanding.

Both certified teacher and artist-teacher must maintain the

proper balance of knowledge of specific discipline and the

ability to communicate to students.

Practicing performers bring a perspective to their

instructional duties, but it is important to remember that

they are performers first, not teachers (Clark & Gipe,

1989). This fact can present a number of problems that need

to be dealt with by the administrator to assure that

students receive the best possible educational experience.

For example, artist-teachers will have professional

engagements that may take them away unexpectedly and for

extended periods of time during crucial periods of the

instructional year. These absences may leave the student

without adequate instruction at the time of a recital,

adjudication festival, or other public performance. It is

essential to protect the continuity of the program. This

may be accomplished through the use of contracts, team

teaching, and meetings to ensure communication between

faculty members. These extra measures are well worth the

effort, as artist-teachers may be a means of attracting

talented students to the school (Curtis, 1987).

When seeking an artist-teacher, administrators may look

for certain characteristics that help in determining the

performer's potential for success in the school setting.

Among these are openness to new ideas, prior positive

experience either as a teacher or a student, and personal

flexibility. Experience in working in group situations like

chamber music ensembles also indicates potential as a

teacher. West (1985) cautions against the sense of snobbery

that is often found among teachers of the arts. He states

that teachers, whether they are outstanding performers or

not, have an obligation to understand the principles of how

children learn and to apply that understanding to their

music. The characteristics outlined above may help

administrators recognize artists who are genuinely

interested in teaching others.

Artist-teachers often have unconventional ways of

communicating the principles and concepts of music.

Administrators need to anticipate these potential problems

and find creative ways to deal with them, for incidents in

this area can create difficulties with parents or school

officials. Although not a music episode, the following

excerpt is enlightening with regard to the nontraditional

approaches sometimes employed by artist-teachers.

Undercofler (1985) relates the following personal


At the beginning of the second quarter of the 74-75
school year, I walked into the men's room near the
visual arts studios and saw the painting teacher
standing in the nude. When asked what he was doing
in this state, he replied that he was introducing
figure drawing to his class that day by teaching in the
nude. Needless to say, he found another way to present
the topic, but the episode demonstrated the need for
artists to comply with standard public school practice.
(p. 25)


Students might better obtain such instruction on a voluntary

basis outside of the school day in cooperation with a local

college or university. Therefore, the decision for

students' maturity and readiness to be involved in the

activity rests with the parents. Handling such situations in

this way takes the responsibility, and thus the liability,

away from the school and places it with the individual

student and his family.

Research suggests that it is not the methods but the

teachers that bring success to the curriculum (Janowski &

Janowski, 1976). The selection of a balanced instructional

team is the responsibility of arts school administrators. To

further enhance and facilitate the employment of artists and

teachers, performing arts school administrators need to

encourage collegiality between certified and non-certified

teachers to ensure that the needs of the student are being

met (Goodman, 1987). The faculty must be committed to

academic success, artistic excellence, and the development

of the whole human being. A thorough understanding of the

specific arts area, human development, and standard public

school practice assists teachers in fulfilling these

commitments with intuition and good judgment. To achieve

the proper balance of instruction, both regular and

artist-teachers are needed in the performing arts school

setting (Undercofler, 1985).


Facilities and equipment are areas most often cited by

students and faculty of performing arts schools as

inadequate (Curtis, 1987; Gray, 1981; Raivetz, 1980).

Whether the facilities for performing arts schools are

originally built as arts schools or renovated from existing

buildings, careful planning prior to construction or

renovation is vital. Administrators concerned with planning

such facilities should consult with other arts schools, as

well as several other sources that will be briefly discussed


Based on in-depth surveys and interviews, Gray (1987)

offers a thorough discussion of the special needs for

facilities and equipment for each arts area in performing

arts schools. The music area has a number of special

factors that need to be taken into consideration when

planning the facilities for music learning and performance.

Music teachers are in a position to be aware of these needs,

and they should be included in the planning of the music

facilities. During the planning stages, Gray cautions that

the philosophy of arts schools must be kept in mind, for its

implications for instruction will affect the specific needs

in terms of rehearsal rooms, practice rooms, and performance

facilities. He also stresses the need to plan for future

growth of arts schools based on population growth trends and

planned expansion of the programs.

A detailed discussion of every aspect of the music

facility follows, including location and size of rooms,

acoustics and insulation, special built-in storage for

instruments and equipment, lighting, heating and

air-conditioning, and music library and office space. In

each area, attention has been given to the special needs of

the music teaching and learning atmosphere. Gray's study is

an excellent source for the planning of arts schools


The School Music Program: Descriptions and Standards

(MENC, 1986) is also a useful source of information with

regard to the facilities and equipment needed in the music

area. Although not designed specifically for use in special

schools for the arts, the document does delineate the needs

of basic and quality music programs. It is published by

Music Educators National Conference, and represents a

consensus of the profession regarding physical facilities

and other aspects of the music program. The stated

standards for quality programs provide an excellent

foundation for music programs in performing arts schools.

One of the notable features of the MENC document

concerns size and number of specific rooms, temperature,

humidity, air exchange rate, noise criterion, and sound

transmission classification. In addition, sound equipment

and music library standards are discussed and

recommendations made.


As the major thrust of most performing arts schools is

preprofessional training, the music curriculum involves the

inclusion of courses leading to an understanding of all

aspects of music. The curriculum should, according to Gray

(1980), include courses in applied music technique, music

theory and literature, performance, and production courses

such as instrument care and recording techniques. For those

students in related disciplines, such as musical theater,

other non-musical courses are required.

Research results indicate that many arts school

graduates pursue careers outside of the arts area (Carlisle,

1981; Curtis, 1986). Thus, the music curriculum must serve

not only the students who will pursue music as a

professional career, but also those who desire to become

intelligent and perceptive music listeners (Mitchell, 1985).

Courses should be designed to teach skills such as musical

problem solving and critical thinking, as well as

performance (DeTurk, 1989). All parts of the curriculum may

not be in place initially, for the building of curriculum is

like fitting together the pieces of a puzzle (Cox, Daniel, &

Boston, 1985).

The lack of emphasis on personal creative expression,

although not a unique problem to arts training, is an area

of particular concern to musicians, because this is

purported to be an important aspect of musical training

(Sgorbati, 1985). Often a rote approach is employed in


music teaching that does not allow for or encourage musical

creativity. Instead, the instruction focuses on recreating,

not creating, although leading writers in the field of music

education have stressed the need for the inclusion of

creative activities in the music curriculum at all levels

(Leonard & House, 1972; Hoffer, 1983).

The study of fine musical models from the past has many

educational benefits. However, it should not, according to

Sgorbati, exclude the development of personal creativity

that is essential in true valuing of an art form (1985). In

addition to a solid foundation in the technical skills

needed to create music, the curriculum should allow the

students to discover and explore their own potential and

look at what makes their talent unique and special.

Sgorbati also notes that, in experiencing personal creative

expression, students will discover what additional technical

training is needed to allow them to communicate their ideas

fully, and they will seek that training. The motivation to

seek that training comes from the students' desire to

express their own musical ideas. In this way, the training

becomes the servant of the creativity, rather than the other

way around.

Sgorbati (1985) poses this question: "Where are the

new composers, choreographers, and innovators in the fine

arts?" (p. 47). It is essential that the curriculum of an

arts school provide opportunity and encouragement for

personal expression. Through this approach creative and

critical thinking and organizational skills are developed

through awareness and artistic conception, as well as

traditional training. Two purposes are served: added

emphasis is given to the development of creative and

critical thinking, and encouragement and opportunity are

given to the composers and other creative artists of the


Undercofler (1988) states:

The curriculum in arts high schools must reflect a
complete arts education, one that provides learning
experiences according to what the schools want the
students to be able to do, what they want them to know,
what they want them to value, and what they want them
to be able to create. (p. 43)

A curriculum of this type in the performing arts high school

will prepare students for further training at the college

and professional levels, as well as a lifetime of perceptive

music listening and enjoyment (Mitchell, 1985).

When designing the music curriculum in performing arts

schools, it is also necessary to have a thorough

understanding of the academic curriculum's standards and

requirements for graduation. These requirements will impact

significantly on the student's time and concentration in the

arts area (George, 1985; Curtis, 1987). In addition, it is

important to establish communication between arts and

academic areas to ensure a continuity of purpose and

curricular design (Undercofler, 1985). Students need to

experience a continuum of learning rather than a series of

detached experiences. This continuity contributes to

greater understanding of the commonalities between

disciplines, and may help to eliminate the narrowness of the

"performance career only" attitude toward professional

involvement in the arts.

Gray (1980) stresses the importance of training in

rhetoric for musicians. He notes that many artists "tend to

be somewhat inarticulate in presenting and explaining their

works orally or in written form" (p. 141). He suggests that

elective courses in English composition, speech, and world

history tailored to the needs of each arts area be offered

to assist in the development of these skills.

Gray also emphasizes the importance of foreign language

study for musicians. Courses in French, German, and Italian

will be helpful to all musicians, as they will provide a

command of the terms found in various music. In addition,

courses in foreign language diction for singers are needed

to provide the skills necessary to perform the solo and

choral repertoire.

The expertise of the music educators is needed in the

design of the music curriculum. However, the responsibility

for facilitating the needed communication between areas, as

well as a unified vision of the entire program, lies largely

with administrators. Administrators plan and maintain a

full, balanced program of arts and academics for the

students. It has been found that many students who are

talented in the arts may also be gifted academically (Kemp,

1981a, 1981b, 1982), and should be challenged in every

course. A carefully planned curriculum allows students to

develop their talents without limiting their options for

success outside of the field of music (Gray, 1980).


Evaluation is necessary to determine the success and

cost effectiveness of any program. However, evaluation of

student progress in the arts is a complex and controversial

educational issue (Daniel, 1984). Performance assessment in

the arts is often seen as subjective and less rigorous than

paper and pencil tests used in the other academic areas.

Thus, assessment in the arts often commands less respect

than that afforded to other forms of measurement. An

examination of national assessment environment by Stiggins

(1985) offers the following characteristics of testing that

may serve as the basis for attitude toward assessment in the

arts. Testing is seen as (a) a competitive enterprise--its

purpose is to rank order students, (b) quantitative rather

than qualitative--scores are necessary to rank order

students, (c) single test scores are used to communicate

complex human characteristics--efficiency, (d) objective

and precise, and (e) easy to conduct and inexpensive.

The challenge for arts educators is to develop

performance assessment based on systematic observation that


contains the characteristics previously cited as closely as

possible without compromising the nature of the arts

(Daniel, 1984). Systematic observation is a respected index

of student achievement, and it usually results in clear

goals and challenges for students of the arts, as well as

increased respect for the evaluation methods in the arts.

Through clarification of techniques and methods used to

evaluate performance, useful studies may be conducted to

evaluate teaching methods and procedures. Such studies may

lead to more effective teaching and learning in the

performing arts.

Although performance assessment in the arts has some of

the same characteristics and procedures as paper and pencil

assessment, there are some special qualities that should be

noted when dealing with the measurement of artistic

performance (Stiqgins, 1985). Evaluation of artistic

performance is necessarily judgmental in nature.

Subjectivity is a source of potential bias that may be

controlled through the use of experienced evaluators who are

trained to apply a common standard or set of criteria for

judging the performance (Castiglione, 1985). This process

requires clear delineation of standards and criteria.

Although many aspects of the artistic performance cannot be

quantified, efforts may be made to verbalize qualitative

expectations and standards that may be understood and

appreciated by those expected to perform these standards.

Another point to consider in the evaluation of arts

performance is the importance of supplying useful feedback

to students on a daily basis in the classroom (Cox, Daniel,

& Boston, 1985). Much attention and concern is given to the

selection of judges for important competitions and

festivals, but adequate attention should also be given to

performance evaluation in the daily progress of the student.

Arts school educators should have the ability to offer

valid, sensitive criticism that is age and developmentally

appropriate. They should be practiced performers in the

area to be evaluated, and should be connoisseurs as well as

critics (Eisner, 1983).

Evaluation in the arts faces not only the elusive

nature of performance, but also the labor-intensive

qualities inherent in the process (Stiggins, 1985). These

considerations are related, in that differences in quality

of performance may be a momentary phenomenon that can be

recognized only by expert judges. This causes arts

performance evaluation to be an expensive endeavor. For

this reason, there is a great need to determine which areas

of performance can only be evaluated through special

procedures. In this way, funds may be properly applied so

that invalid or unnecessary measures are not used merely

because of a lack of understanding and poor use of

resources. In the arts, as in many other curricular areas,

there is no one best way to measure performance. According


to Castiglione (1985), "Nothing uniquely human is simple

when examined carefully" (p. 32).



A description of the design of the study and a

discussion of survey research are presented in this chapter.

Criteria for selection of the sample used in this study, the

development of the survey instrument, and the statistical

analyses used are included in the description.

Survey Research

A survey is a type of study designed to determine the

nature of what exists in a given state of affairs. A survey

may be used for descriptive, explanatory, or exploratory

purposes (Babbie, 1983). It is useful for collection of

original data in order to describe a population too large

for direct observation.

Fuqua, Hartman, and Brown (1982) report that survey

research accounts for much of the literature in education.

They also studied the depth and breadth of discussion of the

survey technique in educational research textbooks and found

that only scant attention was given to the topic. However,

in actual practice surveys are used often in education.

Fuqua et al. (1982) conclude that more thorough coverage in

the methods and proper uses of survey methodology is needed.


Survey research may also be appropriate to collection

and sharing of information about new programs. One of the

major advantages of the survey is its capacity for

collecting information on a national level. In addition,

survey research is valuable, not only for what it tells

directly, but also for the implication for further research

that it suggests. This second characteristic is often seen

as the primary purpose of survey research (Trow, 1967).

Although survey research is useful for answering

research questions in education, it is not infallible. Some

of the most frequently cited problems are misuse and poor

design (Babbie, 1983). As noted above, educational

researchers may find poor discussion of the method in

educational research textbooks, and need to look to other

sources for complete instructions. Thorough discussions may

be found in literature in the field of sociology (Babbie,

1983; Fink and Kosekoff; Fowler, 1988).

The primary problem with survey research is

nonresponse, which may be a possible source of invalidity.

A number of studies have addressed the problem of improving

response rate. An overview and synthesis of related studies

were presented by Fuqua, Hartman, and Brown (1982) to

determine effective incentives for response. Follow-ups,

preliminary contact, and money were the only incentives

found to produce significant improvements in response rate.


Adams and Gale (1982) studied the relationship between

length of the survey instrument and response rate, and found

a nonlinear relationship. This result encourages that a

researcher proceed with efforts to procure in-depth

information through the survey. The additional information

it provides usually makes the survey more useful, and has

not been shown to have adverse effects on the response rate.

Survey research has been shown to be an effective means

of collecting useful information about activities in

education, and thus has been chosen for this study. Survey

design must be planned carefully, based on clear, specific

goals and a knowledge of the subjects to be surveyed.

Information may be used to plan programs, improve

instruction, and suggest avenues for future research.


In 1990 the membership of Network of Performing and

Visual Arts Schools consisted of over 150 institutions and

individuals. To obtain membership lists and information,

this investigator joined Network as an individual member.

This membership allowed access to both current and expired

membership lists, and made it possible to identify the

population for this study. After perusal of the lists, it

appeared that approximately 76 institutional members were

high schools for the performing arts. The remainder of the

membership consisted of individual members and schools that

did not have grades 9-12.


These 76 schools represent 34 states and are located in

all geographic areas of the United States except Alaska and

Hawaii. Although these latter states have individual

members, it appears that no high schools for the performing

arts currently exist there. The schools in the population

represent both urban and rural states, and include the

oldest and newest performing arts schools in the country.

Because of the small total population, the entire

roster of performing arts high schools was surveyed. This

procedure allowed the maximum amount of information to be

gathered, and it involved the entire population rather than

merely a representative sample. In addition, it was found

that some of the schools in the population did not, in fact,

meet the criteria for this study. Participating schools had

to be high schools for the arts (9-12) with functioning

music programs. The schools that did not meet these

criteria were dropped from the data analysis. Of the

original 76 schools in the population, 17 had to be dropped

because they did not meet the criteria.


This study focused on music programs in performing arts

high schools. Respondents were the music department

chairpersons in performing arts high schools. A number of

central issues, identified through the review of literature,

were included in the survey. Respondents were asked to

respond to questions with information about the current

status of music programs in performing arts high schools.

They were also asked to identify additional areas of

concern, including advantages and disadvantages of

performing arts schools.

Formal and informal interviews were also conducted in

person and by telephone with arts schools administrators and

music educators during spring and summer of 1990 to help

identify pertinent issues for investigation. These persons

included five arts school music educators known personally

to this investigator, as well as the Executive Secretary of

the Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools. In

addition, a review of the literature was conducted to

determine the central issues to be investigated in this

study. Respondents were asked to provide information with

regard to the following topics: (a) type of school,

(b) philosophy, (c) admission, (d) curriculum,

(e) staffing, (f) facilities, (g) equipment and support

materials, (h) budget, (i) relationship with professional

music community, (j) policies, (k) additional information,

(m) advantages, and (n) problems. Respondents were also

asked to supply any additional information that they

believed would clarify the description of music programs at

their schools.

The survey instrument was field tested prior to the

actual mailing. The researcher introduced the survey to

three performing arts school music department chairpersons

for the purpose of administering the questions and

discussing the instrument. Following this procedure, final

adjustments were made to the instrument to ensure maximum

possible clarity for the respondents.

Data Collection

The survey instrument was mailed to all of the 76

schools in the population. The mailing included a cover

letter (see Appendix A) outlining the purposes of the study

and an offer to share the results of the study with

participants. In addition to the cover letter and survey

instrument (see Appendix R), the mailing also included a

postage-paid return envelope. Follow-up procedures included

a reminder card sent two weeks after the original survey

(see Appendix C), a second complete mailing two weeks after

the reminder card (see Appendix D), and contact by phone to

nonrespondents. These phone calls were conducted over a

period of weeks during November and December, 1990. As of

December 31, 1990, nonrespondents had been contacted at

least twice by phone. In January and February, 1991,

nonrespondents were asked to complete the survey over the

phone, with this investigator recording the answers. One of

the difficulties encountered in the phone calling was the

inability to speak directly with music department

chairpersons who were involved in student instruction. It

was necessary, in many cases, to leave a message regarding

the purpose of the phone call and to invite music department


chairpersons to call this investigator at a more convenient

time. In each case, respondents were invited to reverse the

charges, to avoid expense to respondents or schools.


The survey instrument used in this study utilized both

closed and open ended format. This combination was used to

elicit the most information possible and yet facilitate

tabulation and data analysis. The survey instrument (see

Appendix B) consists of 13 categories of questions. These

categories cover the central issues identified in the review

of literature that are of concern to performing arts school


The majority of questions are in the closed format.

However, if the respondents' music programs do not fit into

the prescribed categories, they may choose the "other"

category and offer an explanation. Categories that rely

mainly on open ended responses are as follows:

(a) philosophy, (b) advantages, and (c) concerns. In

addition, respondents were asked to list the courses and

course materials used in curricular offerings of their music


A category for additional information was included and

provided an opportunity for respondents to send brochures,

publicity, programs, applications, or any other material

that they thought would be helpful to the researcher.

Although these data were cumbersome to synthesize, the

resulting information offered insights that could not be

obtained through the more succinct methods of data


Data Analysis

The raw data of each returned survey instrument were

processed by hand. The small number of respondents, as well

as the design of the survey instrument and the subject to be

studied, necessitated this approach. Raw scores,

percentages, and means were calculated by hand, calculator,

or computer for use on the closed format questions. Data

from each category of the survey instrument will be

discussed in the following chapter, along with

recommendations for arts school music programs, and areas

for further research.


This chapter presents and analyzes the responses of

music department chairpersons of performing and visual arts

high schools in the United States. The responses obtained

from these individuals were acquired through a questionnaire

that solicited information about the following topics:

(a) type of school, (b) philosophy, (c) admission,

(d) curriculum, (e) staffing, (f) facilities,

(q) equipment and support materials, (h) budget,

(i) relationship with professional music community,

(j) policies, (k) additional information, (1) advantages,

and (m) problems.

A total of 76 questionnaires were mailed to music

department chairpersons in performing and visual arts high

schools. Through written responses and information gathered

by telephone, it was determined that 17 of the original

group were not qualified to participate in the study. The

reasons included: (a) school identified was not a high

school (9-12), (b) school identified was not an academic

year school (summer only, or special one-week program),

(c) school identified had no functioning music program, and

(d) school identified was no longer operating. When these

schools were deleted from the roster, the total number of

possible responses was reduced to 59.



A total of 41 completed responses were received. Thus,

the response rate was 69 percent. A list of schools

completing the survey may be found in Appendix F. It should

be noted that, although music department chairpersons

endeavored to complete the questionnaire, some areas were

omitted due to school policy about the disclosure of certain

information. In spite of the investigator's assurance that

no response would be identified at the school level, some

respondents did not feel that they were able to provide

information in selected areas. The sample size for each

table is 41 schools (n=41).

Type of School

Information regarding the type of school revealed that

great diversity exists in the complexion of music

departments within performing arts high schools. Table 1

reflects the data relating to the above topic, and indicates

that of the responding 41 schools, 4 are resident schools of

the arts, 18 are nonresident full-day schools of the arts, 5

are nonresident half-day schools of the arts, 13 are

schools-within-schools, and 1 school indicated an

orientation not included in the questionnaire. This school

indicated that the emphasis and structure of its program was

to offer accelerated experiences and opportunities in both

the arts and academics in a full-time setting.

Table 1

Type of School





School within-a-school


Percent of Responses






It was revealed that the majority of performing arts

high schools responding to the survey were considered to be

magnet schools. Of the 41 respondents, 33 indicated that

their schools were magnet schools, while only 8 responded

that their programs were not classified as magnets. Table 2

depicts these data.

Table 2

Magnet School

Percent of Responses



Information collected rewarding the number of music

students in performing arts high schools varied greatly.

The music department chairpersons were asked to indicate the




number of music students by vocal or instrumental

orientation. It was found that the number of vocal students

ranged from 0 to 200, with an average of 77 students. The

number of instrumental students ranged from 16 to 250, with

an average of 87 students. Composition students were

indicated in only 12 of the 41 responding schools. The

number of students ranged from 1 to 15, with an average of

only 7 students.

The total school size was also an area of great

diversity, which may be attributed mainly to the existence

of schools-within-schools. The total school size ranged

from 110 to over 3000. The average school population was

586, but this figure is skewed considerably by the one

school that indicated a population of over 3000 students. A

more accurate indication of total school population may be

seen in Table 3, which divides the schools into four

population groupings: (a) 500 or less students,

(b) 501-1000 students, (c) 1001-1500 students, and

(d) 1501 or more students.

Table 3

School Size

Size Percent of Responses

0-500 students 58.5%

501-1000 students 26.8%

1001-1500 students 7.3%

1501 or more students 4.9%

No response 2.4%


The majority of music department chairpersons

responding to the survey indicated that preprofessional

training was the primary purpose of the school. When asked

to rank order four choices of purpose preprofessionall,

enrichment, desegregation, and public relations), 22 of the

41 respondents (53.7%) indicated preprofessional training as

the first and main goal of the school. Enrichment received

the next largest number of votes, with ten respondents

(24.4%) indicating it as the primary purpose of the school.

Desegregation received eight votes (19.5%) as the main

purpose of the school. Public relations received no

responses as the primary purpose of the school.

The majority of schools (26 of the 41 respondents)

reported that a combination of purposes constituted the aoal

of the program. Only 15 of the respondents indicated a

single area as the main purpose of the school. These

responses were divided between preprofessional training (8),

desegregation (4), and enrichment (3).

In response to the open-ended question regarding

philosophy of performing arts schools, information gathered

reveals the deep commitment of arts school educators to the

development and training of the performing artist as a whole

human being. The majority of responses indicate an equal

commitment to the arts and academics to afford the student

the greatest number of career options. A number of schools

noted the importance of providing high quality arts training

while at the same time allowing the opportunity to enhance

non-arts options. Whether students plan to make the arts a

vocation or an avocation, performing arts schools employ a

philosophy designed to allow them to take that next logical

step after high school graduation.

The following are excerpts from performing arts high

schools' philosophies:

To help students develop artistically, whether they
plan to pursue a career within the arts field or not.
One of our goals is to equip the student to be an

The school aims to develop in students the value of
their maximum academic and artistic potential through
the rudiments of discipline, cooperation, and hard work
which are necessary for success in academic and
professional pursuits.

Through staff dedication, student commitment, parental
involvement, and community support, we challenge
students to make arts and academics share center stage.

The objective of the school is to offer professional
preparation to exceptionally talented students planning
to pursue a performing career.

Students will best achieve the refinement and
development of inherent talents and skills in a center
designed for learning and performing these abilities.

To bring students from varied racial backgrounds with a
common bond of the performing arts. To upgrade and
polish their talents and prepare them for a career in
the arts.

A review of excerpts of the philosophies of performing

arts high schools responding to the questionnaire revealed

the variety of philosophies existing among the schools.

Although the majority of schools stress arts and academics

equally in order to prepare students for arts and non-arts

career options, others admit and train students solely based

upon potential as career performing artists.

Respondents were also asked to delineate the specific

goals of the music departments in performing arts high

schools in an open-ended question. The majority of

respondents indicated that the goal of music departments in

performing arts high schools was to make available

opportunities for study and performance that are not

available in the traditional high school setting. The

majority of respondents also noted the need for

comprehensive musicianship training. Through the offerings

in these two areas, music departments believe that

performing arts school programs can enable students to

achieve the highest possible level of success in music. The

following are excerpts from music department chairpersons'

statements on goals of music programs in performing arts

high schools:

To achieve the highest level of performance possible
for high school age students. To foster a sense of
community in and out of the school.

To achieve the highest possible skill on their
instrument and to provide job counseling and assistance
in pursuing higher education.

To provide in-depth course offerings, a schedule which
affords more time in music than usual, and musical
performance experiences beyond what are normally
offered at the high school level. Interdisciplinary
projects enable students to broaden their perspective
to the entire arts program. To offer a comprehensive
musicianship approach, the development of
self-discipline through time management, the
development of a sense of responsibility and value
toward academic subject matter, the development of
sensitivity and respect toward other people and the
cultural diversity in our society.

To understand and perform music at the highest possible
level through in-depth training.

To provide excellent individual training in instrument
or voice. Performing groups are not the primary point
of teaching. Performing groups are where students
bring together their collective knowledge and training
to produce music.

To develop the student as a total musician and a
functioning personality in society. The curriculum
prepares the student for a vocation or avocation in the

To provide intensive training in all facets of music.
To emphasize the individual.

To develop and train musicians who are above all
sensitive human beings.

A review of excerpts of goal statements provided by

music department chairpersons of performing arts high


schools indicated the commitment toward the training of the

total musician through the offering of in-depth training.

Statements also revealed a commitment on the part of the

arts school music staff to prepare students for lifelong

participation and enjoyment of music, whether as a vocation

or an avocation.


With regard to admission criteria, 32 of 41 music

department chairpersons indicated that auditions were the

primary consideration in selecting students for the arts

school music program. In 4 of the schools surveyed,

admission was open and students were selected primarily on

the basis of interest. Only 1 school indicated that

previous training was the first consideration in admitting

students. Additionally, 1 school indicated that grade point

average was the primary criterion. Further, 1 school

reported that racial balance was the primary goal in

selecting students for the arts school music program.

Finally, 1 school indicated that interview and musical

aptitude test constituted the basis for admitting students.

It was found that all schools employ a multi-faceted

approach for selecting and admitting students to the arts

school music program. Although the first priority varied

among schools, the use of several areas for determining

potential success was a common bond among schools. Many

schools mentioned the attempt, through the multi-faceted

approach, to discover undeveloped as well as previously

trained talent. A number of schools indicated the use of

criteria other than audition, open, previous training, and

grade point average. These included (a) racial balance,

(b) references, (c) interview, (d) good attendance,

(e) creative assignment, (f) placement test in music

theory, and (g) musical aptitude test.

The data (Table 4) reveal that the majority of schools

accept students from outside of the school district in which

the particular arts school is located. Of the 41 responding

schools, 34 reported acceptance of outside students, while

only 7 indicated that students outside the school district

were not accepted. The responding schools provided

additional information that revealed that some schools

charge a fee for out-of-district students. Further, some

schools will only admit such students to remaining openings

after all qualified students from within the school district

have been admitted.

Table 4

Out-of-district Students

Policy Percent of Responses

Accepted 82.9%

Not accepted 17.1%


Responses indicated that classes in music departments

of performing arts high schools most often meet on a daily

basis. Table 5 presents the data on this matter. Only 7 of

the responding schools reported that music classes were

structured in another way. The hours varied from 1 to 5 per

week, depending on the nature of the class. This practice

was similar in structure to college scheduling, with the

number of hours based on the credit value of the particular

course. Some schools also indicated the existence of

special groups meeting before and after school in addition

to the meeting of regular music classes on a daily basis.

Table 5

Music Class Schedule

Type Percent of Responses

Daily 82.9%

Other 17.1%

Table 6 presents the information gathered with regard

to areas of course offerings in music departments of

performing arts high schools. Small performing ensembles

are the curricular area most frequently offered, with 41

(100%) of responding schools reporting courses available in

this area. Of the curricular areas listed in the

questionnaire, conducting was the least often included by

music programs, with only 14 of the 41 responding schools

offering courses in conducting. Curricular offerings in

performing arts school music departments other than those

included in the questionnaire were (a) recorder,

(b) synthesizer, (c) solfege, (d) jazz arranging,

(e) jazz improvisation, and (f) Eurhythmics.

Table 6

Music Curriculum


Large performing ensembles

Small performing ensembles

Applied music/small groups

Applied music/private

Music history

Music theory




Electronic music

Computer-assisted instruction


Percent of Responses













In performing arts schools offering applied music (34

of the 41 schools) responses indicated that the majority

(28) offered applied music to all students, while only a few


(6) offered applied music to advanced students only. These

data are reflected in Table 7.

Table 7

Applied Music Offered

Policy Percent of Responses

To all students 68.3%

To advanced students only 14.6%

With regard to the inclusion of applied music as a

class offering, a total of 19 schools reported that it was

offered as a class, while the remaining schools indicated

that it was offered as a "pull-out" program, after school

program, or other. Responses in the other category included

(a) lessons during the students' free period, and

(b) lessons offered cooperatively with other institutions

and scheduled at the students' convenience. These data are

presented in Table 8. Total responses exceed 34, because of

the combination of several types of programs in some


Respondents were asked to provide course titles and

textbooks used in music history and literature courses

included in the music curriculum. The most frequently

mentioned course title was simply "Music History." Other

course titles included (a) New Music, (b) Jazz History,

Table 8

Applied Music Instruction

Type Percent of Responses

Class 46.4%

Pull-out 24.4%

After school 26.8%

Other 4.9%

(c) Gregorian Chant/Renaissance, (d) Baroque-Mozart,

(e) Beethoven Symphonies I-V, (f) Schubert-Mahler-20th

Century, (g) History of Western Music, (h) The Musical

Experience, (i) Music History and Literature, (j) Advanced

Placement Music History and Literature, (k) Advanced

Placement Music Listening and Literature,

(1) Baroque-Classical, (m) Romantic-Modern, and (n) Music


Many schools mentioned the central place of specially

prepared materials for use in Music History and Literature

classes. These schools indicated that instructors were

careful to select and prepare materials for their students

designed to generate enthusiasm for the subject matter. The

materials were used alone or in combination with published

textbooks and support materials. A list of published

materials used for music history and literature courses in

performing arts high schools is contained in Appendix G.

Respondents suggested that music theory courses were

central to the development of total musicianship. The most

frequently noted course title was "Music Theory." Many

schools employed sequenced programs in music theory such as

"Music Theory I-IV." Other course titles included

(a) Music Laboratory, (b) Advanced Placement Music Theory,

(c) Ear Training and Solfege, (d) Remedial Music Theory,

and (e) Jazz Theory. Again, respondents noted the

importance of specially prepared materials by instructors in

teaching the subject matter to high school students. A

combination of published and instructor-prepared materials

was most often used. A list of published materials used for

the teaching of music theory in music departments of

performing arts high schools is contained in Appendix H.

Composition courses offered included (a) Composition,

(b) Composing Music I and II, (c) Composition I and II, and

(d) Private Instruction in Composition. Instructors

indicated that scores and teacher-prepared materials were

the most important materials in the instruction of

composition. Only one instructor indicated that a published

textbook was used. This information is contained in

Appendix I.

Keyboard courses offered were known under a variety of

titles. No one particular course title emerged as the most

frequently used. Keyboard courses included those designed

for piano majors, such as applied music, and also courses to

enhance the keyboard skills of musicians specializing in

strings, wind or vocal performance. Course titles included

the following: (a) Piano/Keyboard, (b) Functional Piano,

(c) Piano Performance I-IV, (d) Introduction to Jazz Piano,

(e) Piano Techniques, (f) Applied Piano, (g) Class Piano,

(h) Accompanying and Piano Ensemble, (i) Repertoire Class,

(j) Keyboard I and II, (k) Piano Master Class,

(1) Electronic Piano Lab, and (m) Beginning and

Intermediate Keyboard. Instructors indicated that

collections of masterworks were most frequently used for

piano majors, while a number of different methods were

employed for those studying piano as a secondary area. A

list of published methods employed in keyboard classes is

contained in Appendix J.

Conducting courses included (a) Conducting and

(b) Private Conducting. No school reported the use of a

published textbook. Instructors revealed that conducting

was taught through the study of musical scores, with the aid

of recordings.

Additional courses not included in the questionnaire

were provided by the respondents. These courses included

(a) Free Enterprise, (b) Jazz Improvisation,

(c) Multicultural Musics, and (d) Electronic Music Lab.

Schools reported the use of instructor-prepared materials as

the primary resource. For jazz improvisation, instructors

reported the use of published "fake books," as well as


instructional texts. A list of published materials reported

by respondents is contained in Appendix K.


Respondents indicated that music instructional staff

was selected primarily by the school administrator in 35

schools. The district administrator selected staff in 5

other schools, with the remaining school (1) indicating that

a combination process was employed to select music staff.

Other areas of contribution to the selection process

included the following: (a) department chair, (b) dean of

music, (c) faculty, and (d) committee. These data are

shown in Table 9.

Table 9

Music Staff Selection

Type Percent of Responses

District administrator 12.2%

School administrator 85.4%

Other 2.4%

Information gathered regarding the number of music

staff revealed a range of 1 to 10 full-time music

instructors, and a range of 0 to 38 part-time faculty.

These faculty members were selected utilizing a variety

of processes. Respondents were asked to indicate the

criteria by which music faculty were selected. Although

interview was the most frequently occurring process, a

combination of factors was studied in most cases when

selecting music staff. Music department chairpersons

delineated the following factors of the selection process:

(a) interview, (b) resume, (c) visit-teaching,

(d) audition, (e) recommendation, (f) member of local

university faculty, (g) local professional,

(h) background, and (i) personality.

The survey also sought information regarding the duties

and responsibilities of artist-teachers in music departments

of performing arts high schools. Table 10 shows the

distribution of such duties. Of the 41 responding schools,

35 indicated the employment of artist-teachers. The total

percentage exceeds 100%, because of the multiplicity of

responsibilities for artist-teachers in some schools. The

most frequent task of the artist-teacher was the teaching of

applied music in private lessons. Other areas not mentioned

in the questionnaire were provided by the respondents.

These include (a) music theory, (b) music history,

(c) composition, (d) accompanying, (e) chamber ensembles,

(f) jazz groups, (g) administration, and (h) coaching.

Table 10

Artist-teacher Responsibilities

Type Percent of Responses

Private lessons 71.5%

Conduct ensembles 45.8%

Other 31.5%

Respondents indicated that artist-teachers and regular

full-time teachers worked together in the following ways:

(a) cooperative assignments, such as working together on

shows (b) the team approach, (c) faculty recitals,

(d) meetings to plan students' repertoire, (e) assisting

one another in large groups, and (f) guest-performing in


The length of service of artist-teachers is shown in

Table 11. Responses in this category indicate that, of the

35 schools that employed artist-teachers, 13 have an average

service of five or more years, 11 employ artist-teachers for

an average of three to four years, and 5 show one to two

years as an average. One school indicated that

artist-teachers are employed for an average of less than one

year. Some of the responding schools are quite new, and

thus the statistics may not depict the true employment

pattern of artist-teachers. Additionally, five schools that

employed artist-teachers did not respond to this question.

Table 11

Artist-teacher Length of Service

Length Percent of Responses

Less than one year 2.8%

1-2 years 14.3%

3-4 years 31.4%

5 or more years 37.2%

No response 14.3%

Respondents were given the opportunity to delineate, in

open-ended format, the advantages of the use of

artist-teachers in music programs in performing arts high

schools. The responses indicated that the primary purpose

of the artist-teacher is to provide the greatest level of

expertise and instruction available in a specialized area.

Such teachers provide professional models for students and

have current experience with what is required for success in

music performance careers. Music department chairpersons

also cited the mentor relationship that is often developed

between student and performing artist as a major advantage

in a program that employs artist-teachers. Additionally,

respondents cited the advantage of part-time employment for

artist-teachers. Practicing artists who want to contribute

to the profession as teachers often have only limited hours

in busy performance schedules, and part-time employment

offers the ideal opportunity to contribute to music

education while maintaining performance careers.

The disadvantages of using artist-teachers cited by

music department chairpersons may be classified in two

general areas. The first of these is scheduling. Many

artist-teachers are not available on a daily basis. They

may have rotating commitments or seasons of the year when

they are not available. Music department chairpersons cited

this difficulty in scheduling as one of the main problems of

employing artist-teachers. Respondents also cited the

frustration of other music staff caused by scheduling

problems as a difficulty.

The second general area in which respondents described

disadvantages of the use of artist-teachers was lack of

commitment to the overall program. Artist-teachers,

according to respondents, often do not understand the

philosophy of the program and its long-range aoals.

Furthermore, lack of communication and interaction between

artist-teachers and regular full-time teachers was cited as

part of this problem.

Schools have attempted to increase the effectiveness of

music teaching and learning in specialized performing arts

programs through the teaming of regular full-time teachers

and artist-teachers. Although there are some problems,

music department chairpersons indicated that they are

attempting to deal with these problems through increased

communication and flexibility in scheduling.


Table 12 presents the responses regarding the types of

facilities utilized as arts schools. The results indicate

that only three of the responding schools were built as arts

schools, while the majority (25) were built as traditional

schools and renovated. In the open format, 13 other

situations were revealed, including (a) an arts school

housed in a renovated funeral parlor, (b) an arts school

housed in a renovated temple, (c) use of two university

campuses and a YWCA, (d) combination of'renovated

warehouse, residence facility, business and storage space,

(e) renovated house, (f) renovated hotel, and

(q) traditional school but not renovated.

Table 12

Physical Plant

Type Percent of Responses

Built as an arts school 7.3%

Renovated traditional school 61.0%

Other 31.7%

With regard to adequate large ensemble rehearsal space,

Table 13 indicates that 27 of the schools had separate

rehearsal rooms for band, chorus, and orchestra, while 12

indicated less than three large rehearsal rooms.

Additionally, 2 others reported that large ensembles were

not offered, thus the question was not applicable. For

those schools indicating inadequate rehearsal space, music

department chairpersons revealed that classes and rehearsals

shared rooms and moved around according to scheduling.

Respondents indicated dissatisfaction with the

circumstances, but reported that they were able to work with

the situation by sharing rooms. In one school it was

indicated that orchestra was held in the cafeteria.

Table 13

Large Rehearsal Rooms

Type Percent of Responses

Separate band, chorus, orchestra 65.9%

Other 29.3%

No response 4.8%

Practice room availability is depicted in Table 14.

Adequate practice room facility was delineated in the

questionnaire as one room for every 20 music students.

Respondents in 20 schools indicated adequate practice rooms,

while 21 schools reported less than adequate practice

facilities. It was noted by one respondent that one

practice room for every 20 music students is not enough in a

performing arts school.

Table 14

Practice Room Availability

Number Percent of Responses

1 for every 20 students 48.8%

Less than 1 for every 20 students 51.2%

Table 15 shows that an adequate performance hall was

not available in nearly half of the performing arts schools

surveyed. Respondents in 22 schools indicated satisfaction

with the present concert hall, while 19 others indicated

that other arrangements had to be made for performances of

the arts school's music program. Although some of these

campuses had concert halls, they were found to be inadequate

for one or more of the following reasons: (a) acoustically

poor, (b) too small, and (c) poor lighting. Respondents

indicated that adequate performance facilities had to be

rented, and often used churches, other schools, or art

galleries for performances.

Table 15

Adequate Auditorium

Available On School Campus Percent of Responses

Yes 53.7%

No 46.3%

The need most often cited by music department

chairpersons was space. Also frequently mentioned were

piano labs and good pianos, recording facilities, and

electronic equipment.

Equipment and Support Materials

Table 16 reflects the responses of music department

chairpersons with regard to the extent to which music

students' needs are met in each equipment and materials


Table 16

Equipment and Support Materials




Sound recordings

Video, filmstrips

Musical instruments

Costumes, uniforms

Computers, software

Electronic instruments






















Percent of Responses

Adeq. Exc. No resp.

41.5% 26.8% 7.3%

34.2% 26.8% 7.3%

31.7% 19.5% 7.3%

21.9% 21.9% 7.3%

39.0% 24.4% 7.3%

19.5% 21.9% 7.3%

14.6% 29.3% 7.3%

14.6% 24.4% 7.3%

21.9% 31.7% 7.3%

Adeq. = Adequate

No resp. = No response

Exc. = Excellent

.L ~-

Although information was requested regarding budget

figures for each performing arts school music department,

results in this area are limited, because a number of

schools were not able or willing to provide complete data.

However, the range of responses can be reported, and may be

of some use to music educators in planning and implementing

performing arts school music programs.

The total yearly music budgets ranged from S700 to

$75,000. The vocal budgets ranged from $300 to $12,000,

while the instrumental budgets ranged from $500 to $15,000.

Respondents indicated that from 0 to 100 per cent of the

budget monies were provided by the local 'school district.

In those cases where additional monies were raised, the

following activities were used to obtain these funds:

(a) grants, (b) fundraising, such as product and service

sales, (c) patrons, (d) booster club, (e) concert

admission fees, (f) donations, (g) lab fees from students,

(h) foundation money, and (i) community support groups.

A total of 30 respondents (73.2%) indicated that a

booster organization was utilized to support the school,

while 11 respondents (26.8%) had no booster organization, as

Table 17 indicates. Of the schools with booster

organizations, six indicated that one organization supported

the entire music department, while nine indicated separate

organizations for band, chorus, and orchestra. In 15

schools, one organization supported the entire arts program.

Table 17

Booster Organization

Exists To Support School Percent of Responses

Yes 73.2%

No 26.8%

Relationship with Professional Music Community

Table 18 reflects the frequency of activities that

relate arts school music programs with professional music

communities. The data reveal that master classes are the

most frequent activities, followed by free concerts,

scholarships, and financial aid. Additional information

indicated that several responding schools had partnership

programs with the local professional opera and symphony.

Table 18

Professional Musician Involvement

Type Percent of Responses

Master classes 80.5%

Free concerts 68.3%

Scholarships 39.0%

Financial aid 14.6%

Other 12.2%


Information gathered revealed that the majority of

schools required a minimum grade point average to

participate in performances and/or continue in school.

Table 19 shows that 30 schools (73.2%) required a minimum

grade point average, while 11 schools (26.8%) did not. Of

those schools requiring a minimum grade point average, the

minimum ranged from 1.0 to 3.0 on a traditional 4.0 scale.

Table 19

Minimum GPA Requirement

Policy Percent of Responses

Yes 73.2%

No 26.8%

When asked to indicate if the music department

participated in contests and festivals, 32 respondents

revealed that performing ensembles did participate in such

activities, while 9 reported that they did not. This

information is shown in Table 20. The number of contests

and festivals per year in each school ranged from 1 to 20.

Open-ended responses were solicited with regard to

department policy for such events, and the information

gathered revealed a great diversity in philosophies.

Table 20

Contests and Festivals

Participation Policy Percent of Responses

Yes 78.1%

No 21.9%

Of those respondents who favored participation in

contests and festivals, the majority indicated that such

events were beneficial to students, as long as they were

viewed in the proper perspective. They commented that

contests and festivals were useful for the purpose of

convincing others of the quality of the program.

Additionally, the travel that accompanies such activities

often attracts students, parents, and the community to

support the program. Participation in contests and

festivals was regarded by some respondents as an

enlightening experience for students, as well as an integral

part of the musical growth process. Some respondents

further noted that participation in contests and festivals

was useful for teaching responsibility through meeting goals

and conforming to deadlines.

Some respondents did not favor participation in

contests and festivals. They indicated that traditional

contests and festivals are not best for educational purposes

and may require shortchanging students in other areas of


music study. Information gathered reveals that contest and

festival participation is required of all schools in some

districts. In other cases it is viewed by music staff in

some arts schools as "a necessary evil."

An area of extreme diversity was revealed when the

number of public performances by student ensembles per year

was compiled. It shows a range of 2 to 150 performances per

year by musical ensembles in performing arts high schools,

with an average of 51. A number of respondents reported

that the number of performances varies greatly from year to

year. Some respondents were not able to provide information

in this area.

Policies on students working professionally while in

school were classified into three categories, as Table 21

shows. Data revealed that 17 schools encourage students

working as professionals while in school, while only 10

schools discourage or severely limit such employment. In 14

of the schools, there was no stated policy in this area.

Table 21

Student Professional Work Policy

Policy Percent of Responses

Encouraged 41.5%

Discouraged 24.4%

No policy 34.1%


Respondents were asked to supply information with

regard to the advantages that are special to music programs

in performing arts high schools. Although music department

chairpersons expressed the ideas in many different ways, the

responses dealt with two broad areas. These area are

curriculum and learning environment.

Music department chairpersons expressed the belief that

performing arts schools provide a well-rounded curriculum

and an opportunity to develop students' musicality both

individually and in large ensembles. As a result of the

wide variety of course offerings in music, they stated,

students' instructional needs are met more completely than

is usually possible in traditional music programs.

Additionally, the availability of private lessons at no

charge in many arts schools provides quality instruction to

students who might never have the opportunity due to

financial limitations. Respondents also noted the

advantages of exposure to current trends in music that is

possible through the specialized programs in music at arts

high schools.

The second category of responses of music department

chairpersons dealt with the unique learning environment

found in music programs in performing arts high schools.

Advantages mentioned in this group included the one-on-one

contact with artist-faculty and professionals in the field,

understanding and bond between students and teachers

specializing in the same field, and peer competition.

Respondents reported that the environment of many talented

individuals motivates everyone. The sense of community and

working toward similar goals help students to realize

potential, as well as inspire confidence, cooperation, and

mastery of skills needed for success.


Music department chairpersons cited several trends with

regard to special problems indigenous to music programs in

performing arts high schools. Although one respondent noted

that problems were the same as in any successful school

program, most respondents listed more than three problems

commonly encountered in arts school music programs.

Lack of support from colleagues was reported as a

difficulty by many music department chairpersons. Many

teachers in traditional schools and private studios are

unwilling to recommend students for arts school music

programs because they do not want to lose these students.

According to the results of this study, it would appear that

this is still a major problem in locating and admitting

talented students to arts school music programs.

The respondents also indicated a lack of real

commitment to arts education from district school boards.

They note that school boards are often more interested in

filling quotas for desegregation purposes than finding

qualified students with a real interest in the arts.

Additionally, concern in the area of collegial support

was noted with regard to the teaching team within the arts

school. Respondents indicated that it is difficult to get

teachers to be both team-oriented and yet specialized in

their respective fields.

The lack of funds to support specialized music programs

was mentioned often by respondents. Funding can be

difficult for any school program, for money is always

limited in school systems. However, respondents cited a

lack of understanding as to the high cost of specialized

music training on the part of school boards and communities.

Respondents noted that this lack of understanding translated

into inadequate facilities and equipment for arts school

music programs. Money and space were problems mentioned by

the majority of respondents.

Difficulties with scheduling and balance between arts

and academics comprised the third major area of concern most

often mentioned by respondents. Finding the appropriate

balance between creative and technical work, as well as the

balance of time spent on musical practice and academic

homework is often difficult. This fact was mentioned as a

particular problem for students who may have a long commute

in order to reach the arts school.


Few research studies have been conducted about music

departments in performing arts high schools. Therefore,

research-based knowledge about these programs is limited.

The purpose of this study was to provide information that

would be of assistance to individuals involved in the

planning and implementation of music programs in performing

arts high schools.

Arts school music programs exist in such diverse

settings that recommendations for a single model program may

be of limited value. However, music department planners may

draw on the available information that seems pertinent to

the particular situation in their school system. For

instance, schools that serve a magnet function may have

certain guidelines that should be followed to receive

continued funding. Such circumstances can have significant

impact upon their admissions, programs, and policies.

In spite of the diversity of settings, a number of

issues were found to be common among the music departments

in performing arts high schools. The following section

outlines and discusses these issues.


Arts school music programs are increasing in size and

number in the United States. Many students are receiving

high school diplomas from such schools, and are entering the

music profession and higher education with the advantages

provided by in-depth preprofessional training.

Although arts school music programs exist in various

school settings and under various types of administrations,

the data revealed similarities in program, school size,

purpose, philosophy, music department goals, admission

policies, curriculum, staffing, advantages, and problems.

The conclusions based on the data are as follows:

1. The majority (80.5%) of schools were classified as

magnet schools.

2. The majority of schools (58.5%) had a total school

population of under five hundred students.

3. Preprofessional training was the most frequently

cited purpose of the performing arts high school (53.7%),

followed by enrichment (24.4%) and desegregation (19.5%).

4. Performing arts schools are deeply committed to

the development and training of the performing artist as a

whole human being. This includes comprehensive musicianship

as well as academic excellence.

5. Music departments in performing arts high schools

have as a goal the offering of in-depth musical training not

usually available in traditional high school programs.

6. Music departments admit students based on a

multi-faceted approach to selection. This includes two or

more of the following: (a) audition, (b) previous

training, (c) grade point average, (d) interest,

(e) racial balance, (f) interview, (g) references,

(h) attendance record, (i) creative assignment,

(j) placement test in music theory, and (k) musical

aptitude test.

7. Music classes most often meet on a daily basis

(85.4%) and include a wide range of ensembles and music

subjects designed to develop the complete musician.

8. The instructional staff members in music are

usually selected by the school administrator (85.4%), and

include a combination of full-time school system certified

teachers and artist-teachers. Staff members are selected by

a multi-facted approach which includes two or more of the

following: (a) interview, (b) resume, (c) visit-teaching,

(d) audition, (e) recommendation, (f) university

affiliation, (g) professional affiliation, (h) background,

and (i) personality.

9. Artist-teachers are most frequently responsible for

instruction in applied music (71.5%). Although they are

noted as professional models for students, their employment

frequently causes difficulties in scheduling and faculty


10. Music departments in performing arts high schools

are most frequently housed in renovated traditional school

facilities (61%) that do not have adequate space for

teaching and performing.

11. The high cost of specialized music instruction is

difficult to justify to school boards and communities. In

the majority of cases, outside sources such as booster clubs

(73.2%), foundations, fundraising, and donations were

required to supplement the funds provided by the school


12. Most performing arts schools enjoy a relationship

with the professional music community through master classes

(80.5%), free concerts (68.3%), scholarships (39%) and

financial aid (14.6%), and partnership programs with opera

companies and symphonies.

13. Music departments were found to have several

school policies in common. Most arts schools require a

minimum grade point average for the student to continue in

the arts school (73.2%). The majority of schools (78.1%)

participate in contests and festivals, although not all

think that such experiences are educationally sound.

14. Respondents cited the in-depth curriculum as a

major advantage of music programs in performing arts high

schools. Further, many noted that the special learning

environment of the performing arts school contributed to a

sense of community and common goals that led to optimum

motivation for both faculty and students.

15. Major problems most frequently cited by

respondents were classified into three categories. First,

it was noted that lack of support from colleagues in the

music profession often caused problems in locating and

admitting qualified students to arts school music programs.

Second, a lack of funds and space was evident in many

schools. Finally, the difficulties with scheduling and

balance between arts and academics were noted often as areas

of concern.

Proposed Standards for Performing Arts School
Music Programs

The purpose of this study was to provide data and

recommendations that would serve as guides to persons

planning and implementing music programs in performing arts

high schools. Information has been drawn from this study,

state and national documents, and a review of the literature

to provide the basis for proposed standards in each area of

the music program in performing arts high schools.

Type of School

Based upon the results of this study and review of the

literature, it is recommended that an independent facility

for performing arts schools be secured, rather than

utilizing a school-within-a-school format. Arts schools

seem to function more effectively in an independent

educational setting. This allows more freedom in

establishing program goals, and it also creates less

difficulty between traditional and arts school music

programs. Arts school students have more opportunities to

enjoy a sense of community as well as the educational

benefits that a smaller school population and

student-teacher ratio affords.

Arts schools should be established as full-day schools.

This contributes to the sense of community experienced by

students and staff. In addition, it eliminates the need for

transportation of students during the instructional day, and

allows more time to be spent in arts classes.

The magnet schools movement in public school systems

may be effective in increasing the number and quality of

arts schools. Care should be taken to develop a quality

program of preprofessional training beyond that which is

offered in the arts programs of traditional schools. It is

also essential that music programs in traditional schools be


Music Educators National Conference has recently

addressed the development of performing arts schools and its

impact upon music programs in traditional schools (National

Executive Board of MENC, 1991). The following excerpt from

its statement of beliefs reflects the current position of

MENC on the topic:

The Music Educators National Conference supports the
establishment of magnet schools in the arts provided
that they do not result in a reduction in the the
quantity or quality of music instruction in other
schools. MENC opposes the establishment of magnet
schools in the arts when the net effect is a reduction
in access to a balanced program of music instruction
for the remaining students. (p. 4)

This statement reflects the concern of the music education

profession that not all school systems have the resources to

support such schools. Adequate finances must be provided to

all music programs in the system. In addition, the system

must be large enough to provide an adequate number of

students from which to draw.


The philosophy of performing arts high schools is a

most important matter to be considered in the establishment

of such schools. To be viable and useful, the philosophy

should be based upon the educational mission of the school

district, the needs of the local community, and the

individual educational needs and desires of the students.

The individuals and organizations involved in the

implementation and operation of performing arts schools

should be considered when developing the philosophy.

The inclusion of community, school district, staff, and

students in formulating an arts school philosophy is

necessary, not only for the varied perspectives brought to

the process, but also for the sense of ownership felt by the

participants in developing "their" school. The inclusion

felt by participants may lead to the manifestation of the

philosophy in every facet of the school program. Without

the manifestation of the philosophy in the actual program of

the school, a philosophy is no more than space in the

curriculum guide that bears little relationship to the

actual educational activities.

The music department's goals and objectives should be

an extension of the overall school philosophy. Goals should

include the development of appreciation and lifelong

enjoyment of music, career education with regard to arts and

non-arts career options, and the appreciation of and ability

to assess one's own musical talent and potential. Music

departments should also seek to develop students in the

personal qualities that are essential for career success.

These areas include self-discipline, dedication, and



Data gathered for this study indicate that a

multi-faceted approach to student admission is widely

accepted and practiced. The use of this approach should be

structured according to the philosophy and goals in place

for each performing arts high school. It is particularly

important that the procedure discover potential as well as

previously trained talent.

The following considerations are recommended for all

performing arts schools: audition, interest, interview,

previous training, grade point average, attendance records,

musical aptitude tests, and recommendations. By weighting

and ranking these factors according to the goals of the

school, music department chairpersons will be more able to

choose students who will benefit from and succeed in

performing arts school music programs.


Based on the results of this study, a basic curriculum

for music majors in performing arts high schools can be

developed. Although music departments in performing arts

high schools vary greatly in terms of funding, setting, and

staffing, the philosophy statements uncovered in this study

indicate that these schools share a common goal: a

comprehensive education that provides students with the

largest number of music and non-music career options.

Therefore, it is important that performing arts school

graduates receive high-quality preparation in non-arts

academic subjects. The program should be

college-preparatory in nature and follow district or state

guidelines for programs in this area.

Furthermore, graduates of performing arts school music

programs should receive an endorsement on their diplomas or

special performing arts diplomas when arts requirements of

the program are met. Such recognition identifies the

graduates as having completed a particular set of