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AN ANALYSIS OF QUALITIES AND ATTRIBUTES OF
SECONDARY SCHOOL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC TEACHERS
IN THEIR ROLE OF CONDUCTOR-EDUCATOR
VICTOR VALLO JR.
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Victor Vallo Jr.
This work is gratefully and lovingly
dedicated to my mother,
Vincie P. Vallo
There are many persons who must be acknowledged
who made this research project not only possible but
helped bring this work to its gratifying fruition. Among
these persons are those who provided guidance, those
who provided research assistance, and still others who
provided emotional support--all necessary for so challenging
a project. Although it is difficult to adequately thank
all of these persons for their contributions, I will
nevertheless attempt to do so here.
I want to first acknowledge and thank the chair
of my supervisory committee, Dr. Charles Hoffer, whose
untiring guidance and patience was most inspiring to
me during the entirety of this work. I wish to also
thank all the members of my supervisory committee, Drs.
Phyllis Dorman, Camille Smith, Russell Robinson, David
Kushner, Raymond Chobaz, and David Miller, for their
personal and individually specific guidance and suggestions
that in total helped to fine-tune this work to levels
of scholarship that I am now only beginning to realize.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to Robena Cornwell,
University of Florida Music Librarian, whose patience
and information skills were of vast help to me in finding
the sources that were needed for the scope of this work.
In every person's life there are those special people
that somehow have touched and continue to touch your
life in all manner possible. There are five such people.
I wish to first thank my mother and father (deceased)
who not only brought me into this world, but showed me
how to help make this world a better place for others.
Their moral support and untiring love have been a guiding
force to me. As simple as it may sound, my mother's
words, "Just do it," would often echo as subliminal words
of encouragement, even when she was not always around.
I want to thank my uncle, Jimmy Collora, for his
belief in me and in my desire to always do what I set
out to do. Without his lifetime of caring and support,
I would not be as I am today.
I want to thank my sister, Victoria Dicheck, and
her family for understanding me and being there when
I needed them. They are a constant source of support
for which I am most grateful.
Finally, I wish to offer heartfelt thanks to my
best and dearest friend, Eileen Bellino, who was there
from start to finish. Through her constant willingness
to help in whatever ways possible, be it proofreading,
typing, preparing the surveys, and so forth, Eileen was
there. I often would tease her and say that if I could
not finish this project, she knew enough about it to
finish it for me and us. With her endless help and support,
our friendship and this work together grew in joy! (S.D.G)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT. . .
I INTRODUCTION. .
. . .1
Need for the Study. .
Purpose of the Study. .
Research Questions. .
Scope of the Study. .
Organization of the Study
II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE. .
Introduction . .
Related Research on Personality .
Related Research on Musicianship.
Related Research on Pedagogy. .
Theoretical Models. .
III QUALITIES AND ATTRIBUTES OF THE
Personal Qualities. .
Musical Attributes. .
Pedagogical Attributes. .
Summary . .
IV METHODS AND MATERIALS .
Pilot Study .
Subjects for the Study. .
Description of the Sample
Analysis of Data. .
. . 62
. . 62
. . 63
. . 64
. . 65
. . 70
. . 71
. . iv
- . viii
V RESULTS OF THE SURVEY. . .
Evaluation of Qualities. . 72
Comments from Surveyed Directors .84
VI APPLICATIONS TO TEACHING INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. .91
Rank Order of Qualities. . .92
Applications to Selection and Training .94
Selection . . 94
Training. . . .96
Applications to Teaching . 99
Personal Qualities: Leader. .99
Musical Attributes: Musician. 107
Pedagogical Attributes: Educator. 113
Summary. . . .. 124
VII SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS. 126
Summary . . 126
Conclusions . 129
Implications. . .. 131
Recommendations . 133
Coda. . . 135
APPENDICES. . .
A PILOT LETTER. .
B MAIN SURVEY LETTER.
C QUESTIONNAIRE .
D INDICATORS. .
E FOLLOW-UP POSTCARD.
REFERENCES. . .
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .
. . .136
. . .136
. . .137
. . .139
. . .141
. . .143
. . .144
. . .151
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
AN ANALYSIS OF QUALITIES AND ATTRIBUTES OF
SECONDARY SCHOOL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC TEACHERS
IN THEIR ROLE OF CONDUCTOR-EDUCATOR
Victor Vallo Jr.
Chairman: Dr. Charles R. Hoffer
Major Department: Department of Music
The conductor-educator is a leader, musician, and
pedagogue. Because school band and orchestra directors
must function effectively for student learning to take
place, the conductor-educator needs to possess a number
of personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities and
attributes. Both the writings of experts and the ensemble
directors in the field endorse these traits as essential
The purposes of this study were to (1) determine
the opinions of secondary school instrumental ensemble
directors regarding the importance of the particular
qualities and attributes in contrast to the existing
research and writings on the topic; (2) examine the relative
values of the designated personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities and attributes of the conductor-educator; and
(3) compare the opinions of school band and orchestra
directors regarding the importance of the designated
qualities and attributes.
Related research and writings were examined pertaining
to the designated traits. From this analysis, 27 qualities
and attributes were determined. Two models, Teacher
Education in Music: Final Report (1972) and Music Teacher
Education: Partnership and Process (1987), were used
as a framework for structuring this study and for comparing
the perspectives by instrumental ensemble directors in
the field. The qualities were then rated as to their
importance through a questionnaire that was sent to 200
school band and orchestra directors. The data were analyzed
by using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques.
The results of the study indicated that all the
designated personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities
and attributes were considered important. However,
the values placed on some of the qualities varied in
the opinions of the research literature and the ensemble
directors who responded to the survey. Personal qualities
were rated highest in importance, followed by pedagogical
attributes, and then musical attributes. Both band and
orchestra directors rated personal qualities the most
important, but the orchestra directors rated the musical
attributes second in importance, while the band directors
rated the pedagogical attributes second.
The conductor-educator is a leader, musician, and
pedagogue. Because ensemble directors of school musical
organizations need to function effectively in personal,
musical, and pedagogical domains to be successful, it
is important to study the relevant qualities of these
domains as they apply to music education in the schools.
Personal qualities consist of a number of traits
necessary to lead and guide the efforts of others such
as commanding presence, self-confidence, and organizational
ability. Musical qualities are those attributes based
upon musical training and include aural and modeling
skills, conducting techniques, and knowledge of music
history. Pedagogical qualities are those traits necessary
for teaching and include such qualities as knowledge
of psychology, knowledge of evaluation methods, and proper
use of resources. Because these qualities serve the
goal of teaching music, the conductor of a school ensemble
"is expected to lead and combine the skills of musicologist,
instrumentalist, community organizer, and psychologist
to accomplish his goal of leading an ensemble to communicate
musically" (Arcaya, 1975, p. 2).
The job of a school music director is diverse and
demanding, and requires highly qualified personnel for
the task of teaching. A study of the personal, musical,
and pedagogical qualities and attributes of the conductor-
educator can be invaluable to better understanding the
relative importance of these qualities. Through the
identification, analysis, and application of these qualities
to instrumental music teaching, conducting becomes the
means to an end--the meaningful learning of music.
Need for the Study
The most frequently employed descriptors of conductor
behavior in the school environment have been (a) specific
conducting gestures; (b) the beating of time; (c) inflection
of voice; and (d) facial expressions (Rainbow & Froehlich,
1987). However, the need arises to determine the extent
to which conductor-educators consider various personal,
musical, and pedagogical traits important in their teaching
and conducting. The need for this study is threefold:
1. There is little research that deals specifically
with the extent to which personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities are considered important by school band and
orchestra directors in the teaching of instrumental music.
2. The need to identify specific qualities of personality,
musicality, and pedagogy in the context of the instrumental
music setting (e.g. ensemble rehearsal) should be of
concern and practical use for today's school band and
orchestra directors at the junior and senior high levels.
3. The qualities and attributes discussed in the writings
of the experts and addressed by the ensemble directors
in the field may be valued differently in importance
by each. This implies a need for further research.
The limited amount of literature suggests that
nonmusical elements have more impact than musical elements
in the determination of effectiveness in an educational
environment (Goodstein, 1987). While this information
is useful, the authors have generally not examined and
correlated which qualities ensemble directors in the
field consider to be the most important in their teaching.
From the available research there also appears to
be a variance of understanding among the contributions
of personality, musicianship, and pedagogy as they relate
to music teaching. On the one hand, the successful school
instrumental programs are sometimes the result of competent
organizational ability and management. On the other
hand, there are situations where being a competent musician
and educator may not be enough in running a successful
school music program. On this point, Hovey (1952) comments:
Many good school orchestras and bands have been
developed by directors with excellent administration
ability and limited musical talent. Conversely a
fine musician may fail completely in his attempt
to develop a good school instrumental organization.
The personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities
of the conductor-educator provide the means to social,
musical, and educational ends, respectively. Because
instrumental music directors are charged with the
responsibility of qualitatively achieving such ends,
an examination of the relative importance of certain
qualities and attributes seems warranted, especially
within the environment of the ensemble rehearsal.
A comparative study of the personal, musical, and
pedagogical characteristics of the conductor-educator
could therefore help clarify the extent to which these
qualities are considered important for teaching. Because
of a lack of studies on the influences of personal, musical,
and pedagogical characteristics on instrumental music
teaching, a need for further research exists.
Purpose of the Study
The primary purpose of this study is to determine
the opinions of secondary school instrumental music teachers
regarding the practical importance of certain personal,
musical and pedagogical traits and structure this
information by using theoretical models that exist in
the literature. Such a analysis can be useful to current
and prospective instrumental ensemble directors.
Secondly, this study provides an additional purpose
of examining the relative values of the personal, musical,
and pedagogical traits of the conductor-educator. This
comparison can reveal the relative significance of each
set of characteristic qualities.
Thirdly, this study provides a comparison of the
opinions of band and orchestra directors. This comparison
concerns their perception of the importance of having
certain personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities
in their instrumental ensemble teaching.
Fourthly, this research provides an opportunity
to address the need for the development of curricular
offerings in the undergraduate training of future school
band and orchestra directors.
The data generated from this study will help to
develop a number of implications and recommendations
for further music education research. The overall goal
will be a more informed music educator.
The following research questions were posed:
1. To what extent are personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities and attributes considered important by a sample
of band and orchestra directors for the teaching of
instrumental music in the secondary schools?
2. What are the relative values of the personal, musical,
and pedagogical qualities of the conductor-educator when
compared with each other in teaching instrumental music?
3. To what extent do the opinions of school band directors
compare with those of school orchestra directors concerning
the relative importance of the personal, musical, and
pedagogical traits of the conductor-educator?
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study encompasses a comparison
of theoretical models from the research literature with
practical valuations based on the beliefs of school band
and orchestra directors at the secondary level (Grades
7-12). Because of a wide diversity of opinions regarding
the kinds of qualities that instrumental ensemble directors
should have to be effective music educators, the data
were gathered from a representative sample of secondary
school band and orchestra directors from three states
within the southeastern part of the United States: Florida,
Georgia, and North Carolina.
This study included 100 band and 100 orchestra
directors. Through systematic sampling procedures,
instrumental music directors from each of the three states
were selected and contacted. A questionnaire (Appendix
C) was developed to secure the opinions of the directors.
The scope of this study was limited to three types
or categories of qualities and attributes: personal,
musical, and pedagogical. In this way, both focus and
clarity of purpose were maintained throughout this research.
The following limitations were observed:
1. Three states were surveyed to derive a sample of
current school band and orchestra directors.
2. Only public school instrumental music directors at
the secondary level were surveyed in this study.
3. The sample population of instrumental directors was
limited to 200 respondents.
4. For purposes of this research, only positive qualities
were studied as to their perceived importance.
5. This study was not intended to evaluate the success
of the instrumental programs of the respondents. Its
intention was limited to gathering, reporting, and analyzing
the opinions of instrumental music teachers.
6. Because the sample of music teachers was derived
from published state-wide lists of those currently enrolled
in their state-level MENC organizations (i.e. FMEA, GMEA,
and NCMEA), generalizations apply only to those who are
members. Therefore, generalizations to the total population
of school band and orchestra directors cannot be made.
The primary assumptions of this study are as follows:
1. The conductor-educator is fundamentally a teacher.
Whether on or off the podium, the instrumental music
director is an educator. At the same time, "all school
instrumental teachers are, by virtue of their work with
ensembles, conductors" (Kinyon, 1975, p. 5).
2. There are definite personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities needed by the conductor-educator for the effective
teaching of instrumental music. These traits can be
surveyed through self-reporting procedures.
3. The personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities
and attributes found in the research and literature on
conducting and teaching provide a comprehensive list
of traits needed for success in the role of band and/or
orchestra conductor in the secondary school.
A number of terms were important in this study:
1. Conducting refers to the "art of leading people for
the purpose of recreating a musical experience" (Cramer,
1967, p. 33). This is accomplished through the use of
a qualified baton technique, left-hand gestures, facial
expressions, and other forms of nonverbal communication.
2. Conductor is "the leader and teacher of a musical
performing ensemble whose primary function is to communi-
cate and convey musical intent to the players through
various (verbal/nonverbal) means" (Berz, 1983, p. 13).
3. Conductor-Educator is the instrumental ensemble director
of a school musical organization whose primary purpose
is to teach music to the students. One of the means
of doing this is through conducting and its associated
personal, musical, and pedagogical behaviors.
4. School Band/Orchestra is a school instrumental ensemble
that consists of regularly enrolled students and is
conducted by a school music educator. For purposes of
this study the school music educator is listed on the
current band and/or orchestra membership rosters of the
respective state music education association directories.
Three 1990-1991 state lists were used (i.e. FMEA, GMEA,
and NCMEA) to provide the names from which the sample
of ensemble directors was selected.
5. Instrumental Ensemble refers to a group of musicians
rehearsing and/or performing music composed or arranged
for their specific combination of instruments.
6. Leadership means "the process of influencing the
activities of a group in efforts toward goal achievement
in a given situation" (Hersey & Blanchard, 1976, p. 60).
7. Pedagogue is another name for teacher or educator.
8. Pedagogy refers to the art and methodology of teaching
as well as the profession or function of a teacher.
9. Qualities/Attributes are any of the features of a
person that form one's characteristic traits.
10. Secondary School is a level of schooling that includes
senior high, junior high, and middle schools. Because
a number of the respondents teach at more than one type
of school, all three levels were used for this study.
Organization of the Study
This study is organized into seven chapters. Chapter
II, "Review of the Literature," offers related studies
and literature that deal with the research on personality,
(i.e. leadership), musicianship, and pedagogy. Two
theoretical models are offered for comparison.
Chapter III, "Qualities and Attributes of the
Conductor-Educator," is a synthesis of the personal,
musical, and pedagogical characteristics of music educators
as gleaned from the research and literature. These traits
are used for further research through the questionnaire.
Chapter IV, "Methods and Materials," is a discussion
of the research procedures involved in the present study.
Included are a description of the pilot study, the
data-gathering instrument (questionnaire), the respondents
in the study, and the procedures for research.
Chapter V, "Results of the Survey," is an analysis,
interpretation, and discussion of the data collected
from the questionnaire. Included are an evaluation of
the traits and comments from the surveyed directors.
Chapter VI, "Applications to Teaching Instrumental
Music," is an application of the data as they relate
to music teaching. The personal, musical, and pedagogical
traits of the conductor-educator are examined with reference
to the prospective and current school ensemble directors'
selection, training, and function as teachers.
Chapter VII, "Summary, Conclusions, and Recommenda-
tions," is a restatement of the results uncovered and
presents conclusions and implications for music education.
This chapter also offers recommendations for conductor-
educator trait development, selection, and training,
and suggests further research in the area of ensemble
music teaching at the secondary school level.
The main goal of this study is to expand the knowledge
of and about the qualities and attributes of the
conductor-educator in the teaching of instrumental music
at the secondary level. Kohut and Grant (1990) allude
to these traits when they comment:
A primary function of all conductors (school and
professional) is to recreate in sound and silence
the expressive qualities of the musical symbols and
ideas created and notated by the composer. This
requires a wide variety of personal and musical
skills. (p. 3)
The educational environment of the ensemble rehearsal
can be improved through the effective use of personal,
musical, and pedagogical qualities and attributes. From
this improvement comes greater meaning to the term "music
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The existing literature on the qualities and attributes
of the conductor-educator and the teaching of instrumental
music in the schools is both varied and extensive. Ranging
from musical elements (i.e. conducting skills) to nonmusical
elements (i.e. personality, pedagogy), the literature
has focused on a number of personal, musical, and
pedagogical traits useful in an educational setting.
However, the literature falls short of showing any research
on a comparison of such qualities as to their relative
importance in the teaching of instrumental music.
The literature on the teaching of music is based
on theoretical knowledge. There is a practical value
in the perspectives gained from such theoretical knowledge,
especially as it relates to personality, musicianship,
and pedagogy. In addition to the value of theory, the
ways things should be done can lead to insights as well
as to a greater understanding of the reasons behind various
personal, musical, and pedagogical practices. Such
knowledge can only help the conductor-educator to become
a more effective teacher by learning from theoretical
knowledge and applying it to current practices.
Chapter II presents a review of the literature and
research that will form the theoretical base for this
study. This review addresses aspects of personality,
musicianship, and pedagogy as they apply to instrumental
music teaching by the conductor-educator. Several
theoretical models will conclude this chapter.
Related Research on Personality
The possession of certain personality traits and
behaviors is an important element for conductors of musical
groups to have. Among the most important of the various
personality traits is that of leadership ability. Authors
as early as Gehrkens (1919) to Green (1987) have realized
the importance of leadership in the exercise of the role
of the conductor. Woodbury (1955) highlights this point
when he comments:
The behavior of a conductor is probably the most
basic factor of (ensemble) leadership. The possession
of certain personality traits in various degrees
determines to a large extent the attitude with which
a conductor faces the ensemble. (p. 125)
The music educator is not only a teacher in the
traditional sense, but is "an organizer, coach, bookkeeper,
motivator, director, and conductor" (Goodstein, 1987,
p. 43). Because school band and orchestra directors
are concerned with a relatively large group of students,
they can be compared to other kinds of leaders. Similar
to the business world, the ensemble director is not only
responsible for the group's day-to-day activities, but
also the end product--the musical performance.
Instrumental music educators function as educational
leaders. Because of this premise, the research available
on leadership in the business world may be useful to
help in the understanding of leadership characteristics
of school ensemble directors in an educational setting.
In whatever frame the concept of leadership is cast,
it must be acknowledged that the exercise of leadership
in group situations such as ensemble rehearsals is an
effective tool in accomplishing objectives beneficial
to the group. This concept was best summarized by Powell
(1976) when he writes:
Leadership can initiate action among people, guide
activities in a given direction, maintain such activi-
ties and unify effort toward a common goal. (p. 74)
In this review of literature on personality, leadership
is the main focus, since there are a number of qualities
similar to both. Because the school ensemble director
functions as a leader, the implication is that certain
behavioral traits must be present for effective leadership
to occur. As an interaction process, the exercise of
leadership by the conductor-educator can be influential
in positively affecting the educational environment.
To better understand the associated qualities of leadership,
this discussion will focus on (a) the leader; (b) the
follower; (c) group situations; and (d) conducting.
Social psychologists have defined the concept of
leadership as a function of personality. In an effort
to isolate specific personality traits of leaders, social
psychologists have endeavored to itemize personality
characteristics that identify the leader.
Tead (1935) was one of the first to identify and
study qualities necessary to being a leader. He proposed
ten essential traits: (a) physical and nervous energy;
(b) sense of purpose; (c) enthusiasm; (d) friendliness;
(e) integrity; (f) technical mastery; (g) decisiveness;
(h) intelligence; (i) teaching skill; and (j) faith
Gouldner (1950) defined a leader as any individual
whose "behavior stimulates patterning of the behavior
in some group" (p. 17). As a result, when the leader
presents a stimulus, he is facilitating group action
toward some predetermined goal. The stimulus could be
verbal, written, and, in the case of the conductor-educator,
In another study, Haiman (1951) uses a different
approach to leadership. He offered several definitions
on leadership as an interaction process. On this point,
Leadership refers to that process whereby an indi-
vidual directs, guides, influences, or controls the
thoughts, feelings, or behaviors of other human beings.
This influence may be exerted through the medium
of his works or it may be exerted through personal
face-to-face contact. The term leadership implies
a purpose on the part of the leader. Leadership
is an effort to direct the behaviors of others toward
a particular end. (pp. 4-5)
Woodbury (1955) was one of the first to investigate
leadership characteristics of musicians and, in particular,
conductors. Similar to Tead's study, Woodbury also identi-
fied personality traits of conductors. His study surveyed
both symphony orchestra players as well as the conductors
themselves. Through the use of a questionnaire and personal
interviews, Woodbury found the following personal qualities
important for conductors to have: (a) self-confidence;
(b) sense of humor; (c) sincerity; (d) human understanding;
(e) restraint; (f) aggressiveness; (g) moral character;
and (h) friendliness.
According to Woodbury, these qualities have an
appreciable effect on the attitude with which a conductor
faces the ensemble. He also found that the conductor
was considered to be a "teacher" by a majority of the
respondents. Woodbury summed up his findings by commenting:
The degree to which a conductor inspires his musicians
to better performance is also indicative of his capacity
to teach well. (p. 127)
Flanagan (1961) also studied leadership and defined
it by what its constituent elements are. Different from
previous studies, Flanagan addressed the elements of
planning and motivating abilities. He comments:
Leadership behavior seems to consist essentially
of two types of behavior: planning and motivating.
Planning is regarded as including goal setting,
organizational structure, distribution of function,
and development of programs and operating procedures
to achieve the goal. Motivation is defined as including
the activities of integrating the individual's needs
and goals with that of the organization and carrying
out a maximally effective program of reinforcement
toward attaining these goals. (p. 277)
In a similar study, Fosse (1965) found the concept
of leadership to be one of the key factors for teacher
effectiveness. Fosse believed that the most important
phenomenon related to varying degrees of effectiveness
was the teacher's psychological characteristics, one
of which was leadership ability. Other traits included
optimism and methodological organization, the latter
of which is parallel with Flanagan's trait, planning,
as a desirable personal quality.
Garber (1971) studied a somewhat different but relevant
aspect of leadership: communication. Garber alludes
to the conductor's leadership as a way of capturing the
attention of the performers. On this he comments:
The leadership quality that some conductors possess
has nothing to do with the musical content of the
conductor but has rather to do with the nature
of the psychological contact that exists between
conductor and (ensemble). It is the presence
and operation of such psychological forces as the
exercise of human will by the conductor that endow
him with that quality and character of personality
hailed as leadership. (p. 161)
In a contrasting study, Caimi (1981) studied the
relationship between motivational traits and selected
criteria of conducting success. These criteria were
(a) ensemble musicianship; (b) ensemble performance;
and (c) students' ratings of their ensemble directors.
Caimi's findings indicated that the music teachers of
the musically inferior ensembles appeared to be motivated
by a sense of obligation to improve the students' overall
musicianship. The directors of the musically superior
groups were more motivated to teach musicianship for
fear of losing their jobs than their less successful
Roberson (1985) examined motivational leadership
theories and strategies as applied to music pedagogy.
Included in this study were discussions of motivational
theories based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, behavior
modification, McClelland's achievement quotient theory,
and others. Roberson concluded that no single theory
or model will satisfy every emotional need or situation.
In order to enhance teaching effectiveness, it was
recommended that every music teacher develop a mastery
of as many strategies as possible.
Both Russell (1983) and Goodstein (1987) conducted
research in the leadership styles of instrumental music
directors. Russell specifically studied the leadership
styles of high school orchestra directors. Using the
Managerial Grid developed by Blake and Mouton (1964),
he examined various styles of leadership and found a
definite relationship among the four sections of this
grid: (a) philosophy; (b) implementation; (c) planning
and goal setting; and (d) evaluation. Russell concluded
that the conductor-educator must work to balance "concern
for people" and "concern for the facilitation of learning."
On this point he comments:
When balanced properly, the (ensemble) director will
have created a musical environment in which individuals
will be productive as well as experience a sense
of personal enjoyment and satisfaction. (p. 13)
In a more recent study, Goodstein (1987) investigated
the leadership behaviors of high school band directors.
The data from this research indicated that there were
similar leadership behaviors between a group of successful
band directors and a group of randomly selected ones.
Such common leadership behaviors included encouragement
of two-way communication between students and directors,
as well as emotional support of the students by the
directors. From this Goodstein suggests that nonmusical
elements are more responsible than musical elements in
the determination of effectiveness in music teaching.
In summary, the research on leadership has focused
primarily on the personal qualities held by leaders.
From this common thread is derived a definition of
leadership that is functional for research in music
In the second type of study on leadership the focus
has been on the personal attitudes, problems, and needs
of the follower. Because an individual generally joins
a group to satisfy some needss, the ensemble director
as a leader must be able to facilitate the satisfaction
of those needs. On this point, Haiman (1951) writes:
The individuals in any group vary in the degree to
which they are really a part of the organization
and committed to the achievement of the group goals.
Why are some members more involved than others?
The answer is to be found again in terms of the
individual's need satisfaction. (pp. 82-83).
It is imperative that the conductor-educator not
neglect the personal dimension of leadership. According
to Labuta (1965):
The membership of school groups depends entirely
upon the individual rewards gained. An individual
remains in a group as long as it is advantageous
to him in some way. (p. 116)
In addition, it is important that the ensemble director
remain cognizant of the goals and needs of the members
of the ensemble. On this point Van Sickle (1955) writes:
Social goals (needs) that students in instrumental
music groups get from belonging to their music groups
are (a) fun working and learning with people (social
goals); (b) better understanding of music (task goal);
understanding of music instruments (technical
proficiency goal); and (e) pleasure of belonging
to prestige group. (p. 97).
In a similar study, Rohner (1932) examined the needs
of high school band and orchestra members. Based on
students' ratings of their ensemble directors, he found
that the students had a need for their directors to possess
the following personal qualities: (a) musicianship; (b)
good conductor; (c) good interpreter; (d) personality;
(e) disciplinarian; (f) teaching skill; (g) get along
with students; (h) hard worker; (i) impartial; (j) patient;
(k) helpful; (m) cheerful and agreeable (p. 29).
In summary, the needs of the follower are of intrinsic
importance in relation to the exercise of effective leader-
ship. House (1973) capsulized this point when he comments:
The exercise of leadership ultimately depends upon
satisfaction of the needs of followers. That is
to say that the activities of the unit must accomplish
objectives that are within the power of the group,
thus achieving that which the group considers desirable
and which results in some increase in the personal
satisfaction of the individual members of the group.
Group Situational Leadership
The third type of study in leadership is concerned
with the group situation, often referred to as situational
leadership. Investigations of the group situation have
found that when persons with common goals interact
repeatedly over a period of time, a group structure
consisting of roles and hierarchical statuses begins
to form. On this matter, Sherif (1956) writes:
Interaction among individuals for the solution of
a common problem or attainment of a common goal
necessitates cooperation among them, differentiation
of functions, and coordination of efforts. (p. 162)
It is interesting to note that although no leadership
roles were predetermined in this type of study, leaders
gradually emerged. These emergent leaders have the
necessary skills and personal qualities to achieve things
that are ultimately important for the group.
Situational studies have confirmed that the individual
who becomes a leader usually excels in some qualities
or skills required by the problem or goals that the group
must deal with in a particular situation. The implication
of situational studies is therefore relevant to leadership
because they "focus attention upon the origin of structure,
status and roles, and the specificity of leadership"
(Labuta, 1965, p. 118). This type of situational study
helps to reveal how the small and informal social groups
have become structured within the framework of large
formal organizations. Hence, any study of leadership
of formal organizations (e.g. instrumental music ensemble)
should include all three dimensions of leadership: the
leader, the follower, and the situation itself.
Hersey and Blanchard (1976) are particularly noted
for their investigations of leadership. Their position
on leadership is that a leader's behavior should vary
from one setting to another. On this point they write:
The evidence from research clearly indicates that
there is no single all-purpose leadership style.
Successful leaders are those who can adapt their
behavior to meet the demands of their own unique
situation. (p. 1)
Research in industrial settings (e.g. IBM) has
concluded that a leader is able to guide the group only
if the characteristics of the group are of a specific
nature. According to Russell (1980), these group
characteristics (e.g. group cooperation) must be able
to create an environment which permit leaders to carry
out their leadership type behaviors.
In summary, the understanding of situational leadership
is an important tool in being able to function effectively
in a variety of situations. Schmuck (1962), a noted
educational researcher, summarizes the basic premise
of situational leadership as follows:
It appears that there is no one best leadership style
for all situations. Several leadership styles are
effective, but only in relationship to appropriate
work settings and personality characteristics of
members. Variety in leadership presents a challenge
to understand the setting in which each works best.
Relationship of Leadership in Conducting
Throughout the research and literature on conducting
is expressed the idea that conducting is leading.
Leadership provides the essence for a successful conductor,
both professional and school, and is considered the sine
qua non of conducting. As early as 1919, Gehrkens mentions
that "a conductor must first of all be a strong leader,
and failing in this, no amount of musical ability or
anything else will enable him to conduct well" (p. 2).
The quality of leadership involves the character
of the conductor in such a way that it should capture
the attention of those being led. According to Garber
(1971), "leadership makes possible the control of all
facets of musical performance that the conductor must
ultimately have" (p. 60)
The leadership ability of conductors must relate
to the psychology that exists between the conductor and
the ensemble. This pertains to the nature of the
relationship in which a connection must be made between
the "conductor" and the "conducted." According to Fuchs
The crux of the conductor's work is the contact with
live human beings. He may possess the finest
technical equipment, the most phenomenal sense of
interpretation, the most perfect ear; but if he cannot
find a psychological bridge to the people who produce
the sound for him, he is bound to fail. (p. 39)
It is the presence of such psychological forces as
personal magnetism (Gehrkens, 1919), commanding presence
(Goldbeck, 1951), force of character (Van Hoesen, 1950),
suggestive power (Krueger, 1958), and impulse of will
(Green, 1987) by the conductor that endows him or her
with the characteristic ability of leadership. On this
matter Garber (1971) writes:
The psychological means of personality and
presence emanating from the conductor as the
source and his exercise of will comprise
leadership. (p. 167)
The result of leadership in conducting is an
environment in which the conductor can proactively influence
student behavior to accomplish the musical goals of the
ensemble. Because leadership has been suggested as a
means through which music educators can improve teacher
effectiveness (Lutz, 1963; Powell, 1976), it is vital
that the conductor-educator acknowledge that there is
no one style of effective leadership. Much depends on
the situation and environment in which the school music
ensemble director functions.
Related Research on Musicianship
A review of the literature on musical attributes
for the school ensemble director is both relevant and
comprehensive. Much of the literature deals not only
with conducting skills, but includes research on aural
skills, modeling skills, and musical knowledge among
others. This section will review related research on
musical qualities that are considered important for the
teaching and conducting of instrumental music. The
categories include literature and studies on (a) conducting
skills; (b) musical knowledge; (c) musicianship; (d)
modeling skills; and (e) aural discrimination ability.
Conducting skills have been and continue to be
essential tools for the conductor, both in professional
and school organizations. The literature on conducting
by Berlioz (1844), Gehrkens (1919), Rudolf (1950), Green
(1987), Kohut and Grant (1990), and others stress the
important musical attributes of using a clear baton
technique and appropriate expressive gestures.
Berlioz (1844) was one of the first authors to
capsulize in theory the musical qualities important for
the conductor to have. In his treatise on conducting,
Berlioz emphasizes manual baton technique and expressive
conducting gestures. He indicates that "the expression
of his (conductor's) countenance has much to do with
the influence he exercises" (p. 13).
Gehrkens (1919) stresses in his text that technique
of the baton is essential in conducting. Like Berlioz,
Gehrkens offers a number of visual diagrams of conducting
patterns for time-beating. As a musical attribute, beating
time through a clear beat pattern becomes the prerequisite
for successful conducting. On this point Gehrkens remarks:
But granting the presence of these other factors
of endowment and preparation, one may often achieve
a higher degree of success if one has developed also
a well-defined and easily followed beat. (p. 35)
Rudolf (1950) is probably best known for his widely-
used conducting text, The Grammar of Conducting. In
his text Rudolf offers a comprehensive manual on most
if not all aspects of baton technique and expressive
gestures. From expressive to non-expressive patterns,
Rudolf provides both professional and school conductors
with useful examples of how to conduct a musical ensemble
effectively. He emphasizes that gestures are a means
of using one's musical abilities to create music. On
this point Rudolf writes:
The conductor must be a trained musician, must know
how to work with people in a group, and must convey
his intentions to his players by means of gestures.
Green (1987) published a text on conducting based
on the technical principles of Nicolai Malko. In her
text Green devotes over half of the material to manual
baton technique and expressive gestures. As for musical
attributes, Green advocates the cumulative growth of
conducting skills so that other skills may grow and develop.
According to Green, "he (the conductor) must build the
skill in his gestures that will give him the control
and interpretive technique he will need as he gains
experience" (p. 3).
Kohut and Grant (1990) have a more recent text that
is similar to Green's in that a major portion of the
material addresses the musical abilities of baton technique
and expressive gestures. They go beyond basic techniques
and, like Green, offer chapters on intermediate and advanced
techniques to develop and reinforce necessary musical
traits for the conductor-educator with applications to
rehearsal procedures. Kohut and Grant hold the premise
(Conducting skills) should be a means to an end,
not an end in itself. It should be based on logical
and justifiable principles related to musical, physio-
logical, psychological, and visual concepts of the
conducting art. Every movement of the hands and
every facial expression should serve a practical
or musical function; every action should make a
difference in ensemble performance. (p. 3)
A thorough knowledge of music history, music theory,
musical styles, and musical instruments is essential
for the effective teaching of instrumental music by the
conductor-educator. Such knowledge not only establishes
one's musical attributes, but helps to reinforce one's
personal qualities as well.
Gehrkens (1919) maintains that conductors need
a knowledge of music history, music theory, and musical
style as necessary requisites for teaching music. On
this point Gehrkens writes:
Let him (the conductor) study harmony, counterpoint,
form, and if possible, composition and orchestration.
Let him study the history of music so
that he may become intelligent concerning the ideals,
the styles, and the forms of these various periods.
Rudolf (1950) places great importance on having a
solid knowledge of the instruments as a musical attribute
without which one's effectiveness as a conductor would
be limited. On this matter Rudolf comments that a "good
working knowledge of instruments, both individually and
in combination is indispensable" (p. 1). The conductor-
educator must be able to relate to the complexities of
the various instruments of the ensemble in order to
interact better with the student musicians.
Kohut and Grant (1990) are in agreement with Gehrkens
(1919) concerning the knowledge of music history, theory
and style. On these qualities they remark:
The conductor must be intimately familiar with the
style of performance best suited to any given work.
The foundation for this knowledge is developed in
the study of music history and literature. .
(The conductor) must also develop a clear conception
of the complete work. This cannot be done without
a sound knowledge of theory, harmonic analysis, and
musical form. (p. 71)
Musicianship has been defined as "being sensitive
to the expressive qualities as well as the technical
aspects of music and being able to demonstrate that
sensitivity via performance on one's major instrument
or voice" (Kohut & Grant, 1990, p. 70). For purposes
of this study, personal musicianship will also be defined
as being able to express the music through conducting.
Wagner (1887) was one of the first authors to discuss
musicianship as it applies to the conductor. In his
essay entitled On Conducting, Wagner incorporates a number
of musical attributes necessary to be a musical conductor.
He is very clear in his implication that conductors must
understand the melody and the right tempo for each work
to be performed musically. On this point Wagner writes:
The right comprehension of the MELOS (melody) is
the sole guide to the right tempo; these two things
are inseparable; the one implies and qualifies the
other. Our conductors so frequently fail to
find the true tempo because they are ignorant of
singing. The whole duty of a conductor is
comprised in his ability always to indicate the right
tempo. (pp. 18-20)
Gehrkens (1919) also discusses musicianship but in
more general terms. He alludes to musicianship as having
innate musical feelings in addition to being a trained
musician. Gehrkens writes:
Unless our leader (conductor) has musical feelings
within him and musicianship in back of him, it would
be utterly futile for him to attempt to conduct.
In a study by Rohner (1932), a number of both strong
and weak points of school band and orchestra directors
were examined. Rohner first obtained an analysis of
the various directors from their school principals.
Having surveyed the opinions of the principals, Rohner
then investigated the reaction of the students to their
ensemble directors. Factors favored by the principals
included a mastery of subject, skill in teaching, and
enthusiasm. Of significance were the musical attributes
of musicianship, conducting ability, and interpretation.
These were the most highly favored qualities of the ensemble
directors by the student respondents.
Aural Discrimination Ability
Aural discrimination skills refer to having the
capability to detect errors, both in rehearsals and
performances. According to Rudolf (1950), "the conductor's
ear should be keen enough to recognize inaccuracy in
pitch and maintain proper balance" (p. 1). A number
of studies are based on score-study programs and deal
with having the musical ability for aural discrimination
Ramsey (1978) studied the effects of programmed
instruction using full-score band literature to teach
pitch and rhythmic error detection skills to college
music education students. It was found that programmed
instruction is an effective means of training pitch and
error detection skills at the college level.
DeCarbo (1982) investigated the effects of conducting
experience and programmed materials on the error detection
abilities of conducting students. The premise of this
study was that "the conductor in the preparation of perform-
ing ensembles must have the skills to effectively and
efficiently correct errors within a musical rehearsal"
(p. 187). With this premise DeCarbo reinforced the
importance of possessing such aural skills. The results
were that the students, trained by on-the-podium
experiences, scored significantly higher on the conducting
test than those students trained with programmed materials.
In teacher effectiveness research Sang (1984) found
that there are skills suggested in the literature on
music education as being needed by music teachers. One
of these skills is the ability for aural and visual
discrimination. Unfortunately, little research has been
based exclusively on the visual aspect of discrimination.
Yet, the conductor-educator must know how to perform
and recognize such skills as correct posture, embouchure,
and hand positions on all instruments. According to
Sang, "this suggests that aural and visual discrimination
skills should go hand-in-hand, but the latter is overlooked
frequently in discrimination research" (p. 24).
One of the ways students learn is through imitation.
Actual demonstrations of musical performance can provide
effective models that students can imitate.
In What Works Merrion (1989) explains that "effective
instrumental teachers should rely more heavily on modeling
processes than on verbalization to teach suitable
performance behaviors" (p. 64). Conductor-educators
who are successful teachers often use models to demonstrate
desirable performance techniques and styles. According
to Kohut (1985), "most good conductors rely heavily on
singing to communicate their concepts of interpretation
and musical style" (p. 63). Whether the models are teachers,
recordings, or students, modeling provides a credible
and tangible example of how something should be performed.
Modeling can account in part for the learning of
a variety of social, affective, and cognitive skills
(Madsen, Greer, & Madsen, 1975). In music education,
modeling has been shown to affect students' preferences
for appropriate and inappropriate renditions of a musical
performance (Baker, 1989). In addition, various approaches
to music education depend heavily upon teacher examples
and other forms of modeling (e.g. Suzuki Talent Education).
Zurcher (1975) was one of the first to study the
effects of modeling. He investigated the effects of
model-supportive practice on beginning brass players.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether recorded
models and instructions by the teacher for home practice
would be more effective than traditional practice methods
in improving performance achievement. The results indicated
that model-supportive practice is cumulatively more effect-
ive than traditional practice. Zurcher drew the following
conclusions based on his findings:
1. Model-supportive practice is more effective
than traditional practice in reducing pitch errors,
developing pitch matching skills, reducing rhythm errors,
and increasing time spent in practice.
2. There is no difference between model-supportive
practice and traditional practice in establishing tempo
stability and in reducing fingering/slide position errors.
In a similar study, Rosenthal (1980) examined the
effects of four modeling conditions on instrumentalists'
musical performance. The four conditions were (a) guided
model; (b) model only; (c) guide only; and (d) practice
only. The guided model consisted of combined verbal
and aural examples of a musical selection. The model-
only offered just an aural example. The guide-only model
was simply a verbal explanation. The practice-only option
avoided the use of a model.
The results of Rosenthal's study demonstrated that
different modeling conditions can affect students' perform-
ances. Significant differences were found among the
four treatments in the performance of notes, rhythms,
dynamics and tempo. No significant differences were
found among the groups in phrasing and articulation.
It was also found that verbal instruction alone may be
no more effective than independent practice in helping
students perform accurately. Students in the model-only
group attained significantly higher scores than all the
other groups, particularly the guide-only and practice-only
groups. Rosenthal suggested the implication that "direct
modeling without added verbiage may be most effective
in helping students perform accurately" (p. 272).
Sang (1984) also studied the research on effectiveness
of the instrumental music educator. From his review
of the research, it was found that most of the skills
and behaviors reported in the literature can be placed
in one of three categories, one of which is teacher musical
demonstration or modeling skills.
Modeling skills as a musical attribute are a vital
component in teaching effectiveness. Because of this,
teachers must know not only when to use modeling, but
in what combination as well. Imitation learning can
be thought of as a meaningful form of reception learning
in which the instructor prepares and organizes the material
to be learned and the educational environment. (Ausubel,
1978). Sang summarizes his points when he comments:
Modeling skills were the greatest contributors
to the variance in instructional effectiveness among
beginning music teachers. The quality of the
modeling, however, is the basic issue to the music
educator, not necessarily the frequency. (p. 24)
In a related study Sang (1987) studied the relationship
between instrumental music teachers' modeling skills
and pupil performance behaviors. It was found that there
is a significant relationship between the variables of
teacher modeling and pupil performance. Sang writes:
A teacher's ability to model and the degree of demon-
stration in the instrumental class has bearing upon
pupil performance levels. Teachers who have stronger
modeling skills in teaching are more likely to produce
students who perform better than teachers who do
not. An important link, however, has been made between
the theory of modeling and practice. (pp. 158-159)
Related Research on Pedagogy
A review of the literature relating to the teaching
of instrumental music by the conductor-educator reveals
an emphasis on the mechanical and expressive techniques
of the baton, as well as on educative rehearsal methods.
Compared with approximately 74 treatises and texts authored
as teaching tools for prospective conductors since the
early 19th century (Patterson, 1984), applications of
instrumental music pedagogy have not been as comprehensive
as the literature on conducting has been. Because ensemble
directors should function as teachers, it is important
to recognize the relationship between conducting and
teaching. Green (1987) comments:
No conductor can disassociate himself completely
from the teaching facet of his trade. Knowing how
to teach and how to suggest changes without prejudicing
the members of the ensemble is a valuable asset.
This section will review related research on
instrumental music pedagogy in the ensemble rehearsal.
The categories of review are (a) ensemble teaching
techniques; (b) knowledge of psychology; (c) communication;
and (d) goals and objectives.
Ensemble Teaching Techniques
One of the first studies investigating an application
of ensemble teaching techniques was by Yarbrough (1975).
She examined the effects of the magnitude of conductor
behaviors on student performance, attentiveness, and
attitude. Magnitude was defined as the amount of a given
behavior hypothesized to be reinforcing. Eye contact,
closeness, gestures, and volume/modulation of voice are
examples of pedagogical behaviors studied in terms of
Yarbrough's study found that when a conductor's
overt behavior in an ensemble rehearsal is dynamic, it
can affect the students' performance, attentiveness,
and attitude. However, this effect can be either positive
or negative. This study also found that 75 percent of
the performing ensembles observed received their lowest
music ratings under the low-magnitude conductor. In
addition, it was determined that inattentiveness by the
students was lower during the high-magnitude conditions.
Overall, the students preferred being led and taught
by the high-magnitude conductor.
In a similar study Ervin (1978) determined that
a variable called "expressive conducting" is perhaps
the most discriminating nonverbal conducting behavior
affecting ensemble performance. Rehearsal behaviors
included voice inflection and specific conducting gestures
like eye contact. After considering a number of rehearsal
behaviors for their potential as conducting tools in
teaching, Ervin chose to concentrate on expressive conduct-
ing and eye contact as his variables for further study.
He found that the two nonverbal variables of expressive
conducting and eye contact had a high potential to discrim-
inate between high and low effectiveness conductors in
Ernst (1978), in his study entitled Developing
Competencies in Teaching Instrumental Music, examined
performer response among other evaluative criteria for
conducting and teaching. From this study Ernst offers
the following recommendation:
The ultimate test of conducting effectiveness is
the response of the performers. You must teach them
to understand and respond to your visual indicators.
It does little good to make elegant gestures in the
air if the performers don't respond. (p. 2)
In a related study, Berz (1983) examined conducting
gestures for description and classification, focusing
primarily on the gestures used by band directors in both
rehearsals and performances. Berz found that most of
the band directors he observed seemed to rely on hand
movements for expressing and teaching musical ideas
nonverbally rather than using facial expressions or posture.
Graves (1984) designed a method for evaluating the
effectiveness of several commonly used rehearsal techniques
by ensemble directors. These techniques included verbal
instructions, hand and body gestures, and facial expres-
sions. Graves attempted under controlled conditions
to determine a best combination of the aforementioned
rehearsal techniques. He found that trained observers
could discriminate among groups rehearsed with one of
three rehearsal methods. These methods were:
X: Full rehearsal techniques using sung examples,
verbal instruction and modeling, full range
of gestures, and facial expressions.
Y: No verbal instruction, explanation or modeling,
full range of gestures and facial expressions.
Z: No verbal instruction, explanation, or modeling,
no facial expressions, and full gestural range.
Graves found validity in the idea that musical excerpts
recorded when conductors used a full range of teaching
behaviors (Method X) were rated higher than those recorded
when a limited number of teaching behaviors was used
(Methods Y and Z). The implication is that ensemble
directors who have a full range of rehearsal techniques
obtain a higher response from the ensembles they teach.
Carpenter (1988), in a contrasting study, described
both qualitative and quantitative aspects of high school
instrumental ensemble director behaviors. The goal of
his study was to determine if there were specific factors
in the verbal communication behaviors of ensemble directors
that might be predictive of overall rehearsal ratings.
The data indicated that ensemble directors tend to be
more disapproving than approving during rehearsals.
The data also indicated that the highest-rated rehearsals
were governed by comments from a director who addressed
the musical behaviors of the students.
Knowledge of Psychology
One of the earliest studies that examined the psycho-
logical dimensions of music pedagogy in rehearsal was
by Van Sickle (1955). He focused on the social-psychological
forces at work in group rehearsals (e.g. group pressure,
conformity, etc.). From this study Van Sickle found
that the school music group in rehearsal is affected
by dynamic forces comparable to those operating in other
kinds of groups. He also found that:
The more effective directors of school bands and
orchestras were those who allowed a greater degree
of freedom among the players to determine the
organization's welfare. (p. 283)
Kuhn (1962) advocates group instruction in his text,
Instrumental Music. Because the group is a social-
psychological setting, Kuhn believes that there are a
number of advantages to group instruction based on findings
of how students learn. Among the advantages that relate
to instrumental music teaching are (a) increases motivation;
(b) helps students to overcome self-consciousness; and
(c) facilitates learning through observation.
In a comparable study, Parker (1970) studied the
conductor's social-psychological rapport with the ensemble.
He found that in sharing a common purpose both the conductor
and the performers were motivated by an impulse derived
from their relationship as well as from the music. Parker
summarizes his beliefs when he writes
Accomplishment of this goal (common purpose) is
facilitated by several natural psychological desires
which are usually inherent in a group setting. (p.
Benner (1972) also contributed to this area of research.
In his book, Teaching Performing Groups, he mentions
that the complexity and uniqueness of the social and
psychological environment that surrounds the activities
of a performing organization often limit the possibility
of definitive research. But, because teaching is a process
involving an interaction between two or more persons,
"the characteristics of the teacher (become) factors
that either augment or limit the social and psychological
environment of learning" (p. 16).
Rudolf (1950) summed up his conviction on this subject
with simplicity and relevance. He writes:
But all his musicianship and thorough study of scores
will help him little unless he knows how to talk
to people, work with them, and get results in a quick
and direct manner. Knowledge of a few simple principles
is of great assistance in rehearsing efficiently
the players to a good performance. (p. 1)
One of the most important pedagogical attributes
and skills a good teacher possesses is that of effective
communication with the learner. A review of the literature
on communication in ensemble rehearsals as a means of
teaching shows an emphasis on nonverbal communication
(e.g. conducting/baton technique). But it is equally
important to know what, when, and how to use verbal
communication in explaining musical concepts.
Righter (1956) examined this problem and concluded
that there is no one road to success in teaching and
conducting. He explains that perhaps too much emphasis
has been placed upon the technical preparation of music
teachers with comparatively little emphasis on their
literary, historical, and cultural background. Righter
summarizes his beliefs when he comments:
It is essential that the conductor have at his command
a vocabulary replete with concise and precise terms
of instruction and direction. The conductor
would do well to consider whether or not he is making
the most effective use of words to inspire meaningful
performance. (p. 15)
Julian (1980) addressed the nonverbal communication
behaviors of the conductor. Such behaviors include "eye
contact, body orientation and posture, facial expression,
movement of feet, torso, head, in addition to the expected
hand gestures" (p. 64). According to Julian, what is
important is that the way the conductor looks and moves
his body are silent messages to the ensemble as well
as to the audience. The implication is that for the
conductor to communicate the emotion of music, he must
be aware of both the ensemble's understanding of the
emotions involved as well as his ability to indicate
the intensity of that emotion through his own body language.
On these points Julian writes:
Understanding body language can help us communicate-
-whether we are teachers, students, or conductors.
We must know the capabilities of our bodies and be
free to react. (p. 65)
Willard (1986), in comparative research, advocates
less verbal communication and more nonverbal communication
through conducting gestures. His contention is that
"speaking less during rehearsals saves time, allows the
students to play more, and also enables them to learn
by watching and listening" (p. 38). Willard believes
that with less talk communication will be increased between
the conductor and the students.
Goals and Objectives
A review of the literature concerning goals and
objectives for music teaching reveals their unequivocal
necessity for effective pedagogy. Normann (1941) was
one of the earliest writers who advocated having goals
and objectives. He observed that those teachers who
are most successful in influencing students to value
music in their lives have a common element: a clear set
of objectives. Normann remarks:
Around his aims the instructor will build his daily
program so that his students may gain a true conception
of music rather than a fragmentary knowledge of the
subject. (p. 32)
Kohut (1973), in his book Instrumental Music Pedagogy,
discusses the need for both objectives of music education
and objectives of instrumental music. While both types
of objectives are similar, both are nevertheless needed
to cover all areas of music teaching. According to Kohut:
Formulation of objectives, establishing minimum
standards, curriculum design, testing and evaluation-
all of these and other related topics are important
to successful teaching. All first-rate teachers
have definite objectives in mind and operate a well-
organized program. (p. 6)
Boyle (1974) compiled a resource book on instructional
objectives in music for the National Commission on
Instruction. In this book Boyle implicitly emphasizes
through his contributing authors the need for music
educators to be able to formulate their instructional
objectives in cogent and useful terms. The intent is
to provide music teachers with resources for developing
objectives as a basis for planning and evaluating
instruction in music. According to Boyle, the ultimate
goal is to "help teachers increase the efficiency of
their instructional programs and develop more effective
techniques of evaluation" (p. vii).
The personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities
and attributes of the conductor-educator involve
characteristic traits that have theoretical bases found
in the research and literature. Through the limited
research on such traits, it can be ascertained that,
while the theory is in place, the practice and application
of such qualities remain an area for further research.
It therefore becomes necessary to compare theory with
practice so that a better understanding of the relative
importance of the personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities and attributes might be reached.
It becomes essential to first have some kind of
working models) upon which to base this comparison.
For purposes of this study, the models that were used
are derived from two sources: Teacher Education in Music:
Final Report (1972) and Music Teacher Education: Partnership
and Process (1987). These MENC publications provided
the framework on which later comparisons were made between
the theory of these models and the perceptions of school
band and orchestra directors concerning their practice
of personal, musical, and pedagogical characteristics
in teaching instrumental music.
Teacher Education in Music: Final Report
A functional model is offered in Final Report that
emphasizes the need for "music educators who are competent,
flexible, creative, curious, and prepared to survive
and flourish in a world of change" (p. 4). This model
identifies qualities and competencies necessary for music
education to be successful. It also"recognizes the need
for a well-prepared musician-educator who will function
in various instructional modes and roles" (Klotman, 1972)
One of the focuses of Final Report is a review of
personal qualities, musical competencies, and professional
qualities involved in the selection and training of prospec-
tive school music teachers. To draw a comparison between
the tenets of Final Report and this present study, the
following is given:
Final Report: Present Study:
Personal Qualities Personal Qualities
Musical Competencies Musical Attributes
Professional Qualities Pedagogical Attributes
One of the basic characteristics addressed in Final
Report is the ability to inspire others by demonstrating
qualities of leadership that encourages students to learn.
This is parallel with this study's focus on personal
traits which stress the conductor-educator's qualities
of enthusiasm and motivation.
Another parallel can be seen in the area of musical
attributes between the various musical competencies of
Final Report and the musical qualities being considered
in this study. In Final Report competencies such as
performance ability on a musical instrument, singing,
conducting, and familiarity with musical instruments
are specifically referred to as necessary for the
development of comprehensive musicianship in the school
instrumental music program.
Parallel with the musical competencies outlined
in Final Report are a number of musical attributes found
in the literature. For example, in addition to personal
musicianship that includes performance capability on
a musical instrument, the literature highlights a number
of other musical abilities essential for effective teaching.
These include baton technique, expressive gestures,
understanding of instruments, and modeling skills. With
such a parallel, the research-based musical attributes
agree with those musical competencies recommended in
Regarding the third area, professional qualities,
Final Report specifically says that "the ability to
communicate with students is essential for teachers"
(p. 7). This trait encompasses the teacher's ability
to express his or her philosophy of education, demonstrate
familiarity with contemporary educational thought, and
exhibit by example the concept of a comprehensive musician
who is dedicated to teaching. Such traits are essential
as pedagogical attributes for the conductor-educator.
From the research are seen such pedagogical traits
as communication ability, knowledge of evaluative tech-
niques, and possessing a philosophy of music education.
Because they function as professional traits, they are
consonant with the professional qualities as outlined
in Final Report.
Music Teacher Education: Partnership and Process
In this report, commonly referred to as Partnership,
another theoretical model is presented. This model is
designed to "prepare various sets of ideals to which
each participant and institution can aspire as the process
of change and growth evolves" (p. 11). According to
Olson, "the call for a new model in music teacher education
is made to revitalize the means through which music teachers
are prepared for the future" (p. 13).
The framework of this theoretical model is based
on the following categories: (p. 15)
Personal development of attitudes, interests, and
distinctive personal qualities that demonstrate a
commitment to effective teaching.
Intellectual development of critical thinking skills
that focus on the content of academic disciplines
and a curiosity for solving problems.
Musical development of increased musical sensitivity
and an understanding of the art of music.
Instructional development of applied instructional
skills built on a theoretical basis that recognizes
the factors that influence good learning and teaching.
Throughout this report certain qualities are addressed
as vital for the prospective music educator. According
to Olson (1987), "the profile of new candidates should
reflect strong potential in personal, intellectual, musical,
and instructional characteristics" (p. 21). Specific
qualities are mentioned under each category of
characteristics in Partnership that are comparable to
those not only in Final Report, but also to those found
in the research and literature as well.
In conclusion, both Final Report and Partnership
provide models with which to compare the data generated
from the field concerning the practice of personal, musical,
and pedagogical traits in the teaching of instrumental
music by the conductor-educator. Because of the addition
of a fourth category, "intellectual," found in Partnership
but not in Final Report, this study focuses on a concurrence
of those areas that are common to both which included
the categories of personal, musical, and pedagogical
(professional/instructional) qualities and attributes.
The personal, musical, and pedagogical characteristics
of the conductor-educator were compared using these
theoretical models to further examine the concept of
theory versus practice in the teaching of instrumental
music. It is in the teaching of music that Lawrence
(1989) summarized the need for such traits by commenting:
Successful (music) directors often display certain
qualities that help them achieve their goals. These
qualities can be grouped into three general categories:
personal qualities, musical knowledge and skills,
and effective teaching techniques. (p. 37)
QUALITIES AND ATTRIBUTES OF THE CONDUCTOR-EDUCATOR
Ensemble directors of school musical organizations
should possess a number of qualities and attributes to
be effective as teachers. Among these traits are personal
qualities, musical attributes, and pedagogical attributes
which help facilitate the learning of music.
According to Kinyon (1975), "the primary role of
the director on the podium must always be that of teacher;
(the) role as a conductor is but one means to that end"
(p. 73). When the conductor is strengthened with technical
knowledge and adequate conducting skills, his or her
confidence as a leader begins to emerge (Green, 1987).
This chapter synthesizes from the research literature
covered in Chapter II a number of personal, musical,
and pedagogical traits that are considered important
in accomplishing the goals of music education. Because
the theoretical writings do not give valuations of the
relative importance of these qualities, they can only
serve as models for comparison with the director rankings,
but cannot speak to the needs of the conductor-educator.
These qualities, nonetheless, remain a functional part
of the conductor-educator's repertoire of skills through
which the students become the musical beneficiaries.
Ensemble directors need to possess certain personal
qualities in order to be effective teachers. Of these
qualities, the one that stands out as essential is
leadership. According to Kohut and Grant (1990), "the
most important personal qualification of a good conductor
is that of leadership" (p. 73). Green (1987) goes a
step further in stressing the leadership factor of the
conductor by stating that "the impulse of will is the
vital quality in the conductor; upon its strength depends
the demanding definition of the rhythmic beat, the decisive
leadership of the conductor himself" (p. 60).
Because leadership has been suggested in the research
literature as an important determinant of success for
instrumental music education (Powell, 1976; Lutz, 1963),
the ensemble director should manifest leadership. In
this way, the conductor-educator will be better able
to achieve success in teaching.
The following personal qualities are emphasized
in the writings and research on conducting:
1. Assertiveness was advocated primarily by both
Woodbury (1955) and Kohut and Grant (1990) as a necessary
quality. It is evidenced by clear and direct instructions
and by the use of confident voice and mannerisms. Because
the terms "suggestive power" (Krueger, 1930), "force
of character" (Van Hoesen, 1950), "aggressiveness"
(Woodbury, 1955), and "impulse of will" (Green, 1987)
were also used in the literature, this writer chose
the term "assertiveness" for this study as a synthesized
and up-to-date interpretation of what various authors
were referring to as a vital personal quality.
2. Commanding Presence was supported by Goldbeck
(1951), Garber (1971), Nielson (1975), and Kohut and
Grant (1990). This quality was described as having a
dominating podium posture and its disciplined readiness,
the degree to which the director is in charge, professional
podium demeanor, and a firm, erect posture.
3. Enthusiasm was well documented in the literature
by Gehrkens (1919), Tead (1935), Flanagan (1961), Walker
(1989), Kohut and Grant (1990), and Grant and Drafall
(1991). This quality was described as being able to
exhibit a cheerful and positive attitude, motivate students,
and encourage better performance through positive reinforce-
ment. The authors emphasized the contagiousness enthusiasm
engenders. Gehrkens remarks that "enthusiasm spreads
by contagion, and there can be no spreading by contact
unless we have a point from which to start" (p. 18).
4. Friendliness was strongly supported in the
literature as a very important personal quality. Tead
(1935), Benner (1972), and Walker (1989) all agree that
being approachable, companionable, and easy to talk with
can facilitate learning. Directors who are good leaders
usually have a friendly and healthy rapport with their
students (Walker, 1989).
5. Human Understanding combines the traits of caring,
showing sincerity and genuine concern, and being respectful
of the students (Woodbury, 1955; Benner, 1972; Kohut,
1973). Kohut stresses that "students are first of all
human beings and must be treated as such" (p. 8). The
authors agree as to the psychological importance of having
this personal quality for teaching.
6. Integrity has been described as the state of
being honest and trustworthy (Woodbury, 1955; Tead, 1935;
Jensen, 1965). Jensen supports having such a quality
when he comments that "the conductor must be a dedicated
teacher whose uncompromising personality, integrity,
and sincerity elicit a mental alertness (from students)
and a desire to strive for the ultimate in perfection"
7. Organizational Ability has been discussed in
the research by Gehrkens (1919) and Flanagan (1961) as
the ability to conduct well-run rehearsals, thoroughly
plan ahead, and properly handle one's duties in a timely
manner. Such a quality is essential for ensemble directors
to have in coping with the day-to-day activities.
8. Self-Confidence is undoubtedly one of the more
necessary qualities for successful teaching (Gehrkens,
1919; Woodbury, 1955; Lutz, 1963; Kinyon, 1975; and Kohut
& Grant, 1990). Gehrkens stresses self-confidence as
"the primary basis upon which a sense of leadership rests"
(p. 15). Some indicators are eye contact and decisiveness.
9. Self-Discipline refers to having patience,
composure, and self-control (Gehrkens, 1919; Hindsley,
1940; Rohner, 1932; Benner, 1972; and Woodbury, 1955).
The focus is on the teacher's ability to maintain
self-control by holding back one's temper in stressful
situations. Showing self-discipline can "implant in
the minds of band and orchestra members ideals of order
and discipline (and) lay the foundation both for good
musicianship and good citizenship" (Hindsley, 1940, p.79).
The research and literature continually emphasize
the need for musical knowledge and skills. The conductor-
educator should, therefore, possess such musical attributes
and competencies in order to have a solid foundation
from which to base music teaching.
The following musical qualities have been suggested
in the research and literature:
1. Aural Skills pertain to having the discrimination
ability to detect errors, intonation problems, and other
kinds of musical problems during ensemble rehearsals
(Rudolf, 1950; DeCarbo, 1982; Sang, 1984; and Kohut,
1985). These authors concur that "an integral part of
teaching and learning is the ability to accurately detect
and correct performance errors" (Kohut, 1985, p. 130).
Sang (1984) goes a step further and suggests that aural
and visual discrimination skills should complement each
other, but unfortunately the latter is often overlooked
in discrimination research.
2. Baton Technique is emphasized in all the major
texts on conducting by Gehrkens (1919), Rudolf (1950),
McElheran (1966), Green (1987), Kohut and Grant (1990),
and others. It includes being able to give clear downbeats
and beat patterns and to use various kinds of beat patterns
correctly. In addition, the treatise by Berlioz (1844)
addresses baton technique as a means to the ends. Because
the test of conducting effectiveness is the response
of the performers (Ernst, 1978), baton technique must
be clear and concise.
3. Expressive Gestures are also addressed in the
major conducting texts by Rudolf (1950), McElheran (1966),
Green (1987) and others. Such gestures include the use
of facial expressions, body movement, left-hand gestures,
and various styles of beat patterns (e.g. legato versus
staccato conducting). These authors point out that while
baton technique and expressive gestures are separate
musical skills, they coexist and function simultaneously.
From these writings the musical attribute of expressive
gestures is considered as important as baton technique.
4. Knowledge of Music History is a musical attribute
that is strongly advocated by Gehrkens (1919) and Kohut
and Grant (1990). These authors support having a historical
knowledge on which to base one's conducting and teaching.
In this way, the instrumental ensemble director can also
explain better how the music being rehearsed relates
to the larger world of music. The result is that the
students will be able to understand the music, and, in
turn, perform it more intelligently and musically.
5. Knowledge of Music Theory is another musical
attribute supported by Gehrkens (1919) and Kohut and
Grant (1990). A knowledge of music theory is a valuable
attribute because it allows the ensemble director to
analyze music and to understand musical form. This
knowledge can help conductor-educators explain what makes
the music "tick."
6. Knowledge of Musical Style is an attribute
addressed by Gehrkens (1919) and Kohut and Grant (1990)
as important for helping the ensemble director understand
better the correct performance practices for different
kinds of music. Both authorities agree that when a
conductor is cognizant of the correct style period of
the music, the conducting and teaching of it will be
in accordance with the composer's original intentions.
7. Musical Modeling Skills have been supported
by a number of experts to include Sang (1984; 1987) and
Kohut (1973). Musical modeling refers to learning through
imitation where the teacher provides an appropriate and
correct performance model for the students. By the teacher
musically demonstrating the students' part music, either
through singing or playing, students should be able to
learn the music better based on hearing an aural example.
8. Personal Musicianship has been defined as being
sensitive to the expressive qualities of the music (Kohut,
1973). Other authorities on this topic agree with this
concept, one of whom is Gehrkens (1919). Musicianship
also involves being able to exhibit a mastery of musical
concepts, as well as being able to perform competently
on one's major instrument or voice. Rohner (1932) found
that musicianship was the highest-rated quality students
favored in their ensemble directors.
9. Understanding of Instruments is a musical attribute
that refers to having a working knowledge of the instruments
of the band and/or orchestra. Rudolf (1950) and Klotman
et al. (1972) both advocate possessing such an attribute
so that the ensemble director may be able to know first-hand
the technical demands of each instrument. Kruth (1984)
summarized this point when he said that "conductors must
not only know what they want to hear, they must have
a thorough knowledge of instruments so that they can
describe exactly how to get the desired results. The
conductor is always a teacher" (p. 29).
The research and literature has consistently pointed
to the fact that the school ensemble director should
have certain pedagogical traits for effective teaching
and learning to take place. In an MENC Contemporary
Music Project Seminar Report (1965), the issue of school
music directors as teachers was addressed in definitive
terms. This report stated that "as a high school
instrumental teacher his primary function will
be that of conductor" (p. 8). According to Russell (1983),
the ensemble director "must possess and utilize the
characteristics of both conductor and educator, constantly
striving to interrelate the complex nature of both these
roles" (p. 2). Because of this interrelationship, the
conductor as an educator who possesses certain pedagogical
attributes is in a position to accomplish a number of
educational and musical objectives.
The following pedagogical attributes are suggested
in the research and literature:
1. Application of Rehearsal Methods in the ensemble
rehearsal has been supported by Kinyon (1975), Graves
(1984), Gattiker (1977), and Kohut and Grant (1990).
Through the use of educative rehearsal techniques, ensemble
directors are able to pace rehearsals, make the best
use of available rehearsal time, and know when and how
to have sectionals. Kohut and Grant summarize the use
of this attribute when they comment that "rehearsal
procedures are methods of teaching used in ensemble
rehearsals (and) are used to communicate technical
and musical concepts that cannot be conveyed with hand
gestures and facial expressions" (p. 102).
2. Communication Ability refers to the ability
to verbally explain points clearly. Gehrkens (1919),
Neilson (1975), and Kohut (1985) agree on the importance
of clearness of speech and expression. In this way the
nonverbal communication of the conducting gestures can
be reinforced and heightened by the teacher's verbal
facility. Both forms of communication should complement
each other on the podium.
3. Goals and Objectives are considered the basis
for giving direction in one's teaching (Normann, 1941).
Kohut (1973), Boyle (1974), and Walker (1989) agree with
Normann concerning the necessity of having instructional
goals and objectives for effective teaching.
4. Knowledge of Psychology has been addressed by
such authors as Gordon (1971), Klotman et al. (1972),
and Bigge (1980). Music teachers need to be able to
make practical applications of educational and social-
psychological principles that are relevant to music
teaching, especially in the ensemble rehearsal.
5. Knowledge of Evaluation Methods pertains to the
ability of correctly and objectively judging student
performance (Colwell, 1970; Kohut, 1973; Olson, 1987).
This attribute entails having a knowledge of measurement
and evaluation so that the most appropriate evaluative
technique is used for each situation. According to Colwell,
"understanding the whys and wherefores of evaluation
is necessary for successful teaching" (pp. 2-3).
6. Mastery of Subject Matter is another sine qua
non of instrumental teaching. Gehrkens (1919), Rohner
(1932), and Benner (1972) have all stressed the importance
of technical knowledge as a foundation for pedagogical
practices. Gehrkens comments that "the influence of
this type of manner (confidence) cannot be permanent
unless it rests upon a foundation of really solid knowledge
or ability" (p. 16).
7. Philosophy of Education pertains to having
a sense of purpose and a guiding set of principles upon
which to base one's teaching. Klotman et al. (1972),
Abeles et al. (1984) and Reimer (1989) all emphasize
the need for a philosophy. As Reimer says, "the profession
as a whole needs a set of beliefs which can serve to
guide the efforts of the group" (p. 3). The possession
of a philosophy becomes a valuable attribute in focusing
the director's pedagogical efforts in the rehearsal.
8. Role and Performance Model relates to having
the attribute of using one's personal and musical abilities
as pedagogical tools in demonstrating to the students
what an acceptable standard is. Kohut (1985), Sang (1987),
and Boardman (1989) support the teacher knowing how to
model various skills and behaviors for the students to
emulate. According to Boardman, "the music teacher should
also model diverse musical roles (in) conducting,
performing, listening, composing, or arranging" (p. 88).
9. Utilization of Resources applies to knowing
what musical resources are available and which ones are
effective for maximum educational benefit. Klotman et
al. (1972) and Olson (1987) advocate such a skill as
a means of developing musical awareness. According to
Klotman, "teachers should have experience in combining
their resources in a creative and supportive manner in
a variety of classroom situations" (p. 22).
The personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities
and attributes of the conductor-educator are considered
important for teaching success. No teacher can possess
all of these traits. What is possible, however, is for
the teacher to become increasingly aware of the relative
importance of these qualities and attributes as they
pertain to instrumental music teaching. The conductor-
educator should constantly strive to link the goals of
music education with the personal, musical, and pedagogical
traits necessary to accomplish these goals.
METHODS AND MATERIALS
The research, literature, and other writings have
shown that a number of personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities and attributes are needed for effective music
teaching. To aid in refining and applying these model
characteristics for the directors of school instrumental
music groups, a survey was needed.
Current information on the qualities and attributes
that are considered important in teaching instrumental
music was gathered through an investigator-constructed
questionnaire, developed on the basis of the models in
Chapter III. The questionnaire is only part of the overall
study in which descriptive research methods are employed
as a means to arrive at data for comparative analysis
and applications to instrumental music teaching.
A questionnaire (Appendix C) was designed by the
researcher to obtain descriptive data from instrumental
ensemble directors about their beliefs in the importance
of certain qualities and attributes needed for teaching.
The review of the research and literature, presented
in Chapter II, had suggested a number of personal, musical,
and pedagogical characteristics. These traits were based
on articles, essays, books, dissertations, and theses
that dealt with qualities and abilities necessary for
conducting and teaching. The importance of these traits
needed to be validated and correlated through ratings
by school band and orchestra directors in the field.
The ensemble directors were asked to indicate the
importance they attach to each of the traits by giving
them each a number on a Likert-type scale from 1 (lowest)
to 5 (highest). Additional comments were requested
regarding these traits as a final part of the questionnaire.
A pilot study was conducted to assess the strengths
and weaknesses of the questionnaire before it was sent
to the ensemble directors. The pilot study tested the
clarity of each item on the questionnaire. It provided
additional data on the validity of these qualities and
attributes as they relate to the conductor-educator in
an ensemble setting by allowing the respondents to comment
on the use of these traits in their teaching.
Fifteen ensemble directors were systematically selected
from Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina for participation
in the pilot study. They were each called on the phone
to confirm their willingness to participate in the pilot
study. A letter of instruction (Appendix A), questionnaire,
and a list of indicators (Appendix D) were sent to each
director. They were asked to complete the questionnaire
and comment on its clarity and relevance. The comments
and suggestions received were then considered for
incorporation into the final version of the questionnaire.
The pilot study provided information in a number
of additional areas, including: (a) the development of
a more systematic approach in the preparation of the
questionnaires and the mailings; (b) a refinement of
the coding process; (c) a more appropriate wording of
the cover letter; (d) a refinement of the qualities and
descriptors in the questionnaire; and (e) development
of a data tabulation process through the use of the
Statistical Analysis System (SAS) computer program.
Subjects for the Study
The subjects for the study were selected through
a systematic spaced sample out of a total of 1,860 school
directors. The names were selected from the 1990-1991
state-approved membership lists of public school band
and orchestra directors from Florida, Georgia, and North
Carolina. The distribution of subjects by state is as
follows: 67 from the Florida Music Educators Association
(FMEA)*, 67 from the Georgia Music Educators Association
*FMEA list was subdivided into Florida Band Association
(FBA) and Florida Orchestra Association (FOA) lists.
(GMEA), and 66 from the North Carolina Music Educators
Association (NCMEA) membership lists, for a total sample
of 200. Every tenth name from each list was selected.
To ensure an equal representation of band and orchestra
directors, the total sample of directors was retained
at the same number: 100 band and 100 orchestra directors.
A number of these ensemble directors teach concurrently
at the senior high, junior high, and middle school levels.
All of the subjects were also active members of their
state-level band and/or orchestra contest organizations.
Because policy usually requires concurrent state and
national memberships, it can be assumed that a majority
of the respondents were also Music Educators National
Conference (MENC) members.
On January 22, 1991 a survey packet was mailed to
each of the 200 ensemble directors selected for the sample.
They were asked to participate in this study by completing
the questionnaire and returning it by February 11, 1991.
Description of the Sample
This section provides a description of the sample.
The tables represent the following demographic information:
(a) number of orchestra and band directors; (b) gender;
(c) age; (d) membership in musical organizations; (e)
instrumental specialties; (f) years of teaching experience;
(g) levels of education; and (h) leadership training.
The number of respondents was almost evenly distributed
between band and orchestra directors at about a 4:3 ratio.
However, the majority of the responses were from the
band directors. Table 4-1 reflects these results.
Respondents By Group
Male respondents outnumbered female respondents by
almost 2:1. A majority of the sampled orchestra directors
were female while a majority of the sampled band directors
were male. Table 4-2 shows these results.
Gender By Group
PERCENT OF TOTAL
The majority of respondents fell within the 30-39
year range, indicating a mature and seasoned group of
instrumental ensemble directors in the schools. The
age categories are presented in Table 4-3.
Group By Age
AGE CATEGORY FREQUENCY PERCENT
20-29 32 20.0%
30-39 62 38.8%
40-49 47 29.4%
50-59 17 10.6%
60 and over 2 1.2%
The sample of respondents also shows the diversity
of memberships in professional musical organizations.
Only 47 (30%) respondents indicated their membership
in the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) which
is probably not a true figure. The affiliated organizations
(i.e. FMEA, GMEA, NCMEA)* usually require national in
addition to state membership, therefore the percentage
is significantly higher. The results are in Table 4-4.
Membership in Musical Organizations
Music Educators National Conference 47
Florida Bandmasters Association 38
Florida Music Educators Association 33
North Carolina Band Directors Association 7
Florida Orchestra Association 27
Georgia Music Educators Association 63
American String Teachers Association 27
National School Orchestra Association 34
National Band Association 13
National Association of Jazz Educators 10
North Carolina Music Educators Association 20
NO MEMBERSHIP INDICATED 4
*Verified telephonically from FMEA, GMEA, and NCMEA.
While it is assumed that all professional music
educators learned to play at least one musical instrument
as a major instrument, it may be useful to show which
instrumental specialties the ensemble directors possessed.
Table 5-5 offers data according to musical instrument.
Musical Instrument Specialties
In the area of teaching experience the data indicate
that a majority of the respondents fell within the extreme
categories of 1-5 and 21 or more years music teaching
experience in band and/or orchestra. Such a cross-section
demonstrates a wide diversity of experience in the current
work force of school instrumental music educators. Table
4-6 offers these results.
Years of Teaching Experience
YEARS TEACHING FREQUENCY PERCENT
1-5 38 23.8%
6-10 30 18.8%
11-15 31 19.4%
16-20 24 15.0%
21 or more 37 23.1%
The majority of the ensemble directors possessed
a masters degree or higher, indicating a substantial
level of education. Table 4-7 shows these results.
Levels of Education of Ensemble Directors
HIGHEST DEGREE FREQUENCY PERCENT
Bachelors degree 67 41.9%
Masters degree 87 54.4%
Doctoral degree 6 3.8%
The ensemble directors were asked if they had taken
any leadership and/or management courses as part of their
teacher training in college. The results indicated that
most of the respondents had taken some kind of leadership
training in classroom management skills. It is possible
that such training could have occurred after the completion
of their undergraduate music education curriculum (e.g.
in-service teacher training). The results are found
in Table 4-8.
Leadership/Management Training of Ensemble Directors
CATEGORY FREQUENCY PERCENT
Have Taken Training 89 55.6%
Have Not Taken Training 71 44.4%
A survey packet containing a cover letter (Appendix
B) explaining the purpose of the study and instructions
for completing the questionnaire, a copy of the
questionnaire (Appendix C), a list of personal, musical,
and pedagogical indicators (Appendix D), and a
self-addressed, stamped return envelope was mailed to
each instrumental ensemble director in the sample.
As recommended by Rossi, Wright, and Anderson (1983),
each cover letter had the director's name and address
typed on it and was signed with a blue ballpoint pen
to personalize the appearance. The questionnaires were
color-coded in addition to each having a number code
in the upper right-hand corner, to preserve confidentiality
between the researcher and the respondents. The
questionnaires for band directors were printed on blue
paper and the ones sent to the orchestra directors were
printed on orange paper. All follow-up mailings and
return envelopes were individually typed and stamped
with first-class postage.
A reminder card was sent to each nonrespondent three
weeks after the initial mailing (Appendix E). Phone
calls were made and, in twenty cases (10%), data were
taken over the phone. Directors who still had not responded
were sent a second cover letter, along with the
questionnaire and the list of indicators.
Analysis of Data
The survey materials were returned by 160 respondents
of the sample of 200 instrumental directors, for a return
percentage rate of 80%. Analysis of the data from the
survey included both descriptive and inferential statistics.
Data from the completed questionnaires were analyzed
to determine the comparative importance of the personal,
musical, and pedagogical qualities and attributes by
the ensemble directors. The use of the Statistical Analysis
System (SAS) computer package program was employed to
determine the means, standard deviations, Pearson
product-moment correlations, and, through analysis of
variance (ANOVA), the significance levels between and
within the band and orchestra groups of ensemble directors.
In addition, data were analyzed concerning the directors'
opinions of the top three traits considered to be the
most important for instrumental ensemble teaching.
RESULTS OF THE SURVEY
The purpose of the survey is to be the complementary
and practical part of the overall study. An ideal or
model set of qualities and attributes were gathered from
the research and literature and were rated by experienced
music educators for secondary school instrumental ensemble
teaching. Its goal is not only to examine the relationships
between band and orchestra directors concerning the
personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities and attributes
derived from the writings of experts, but to determine
the significance of these attributes for the conductor-
educator in the secondary schools.
Evaluation of Qualities
This section focuses on the ratings by the respondents
of certain personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities.
Numerical values were assigned to each trait by the
respondents, with 5 being the highest and 1 being the
lowest. Included are the following results: (a) overall
importance of qualities; (b) mean ratings; (c) correlations
among qualities; (d) highest-rated qualities; (e) testing
effects; (f) t-tests, and (g) interaction effects.
The ensemble directors were asked to rate 27 traits
according to how important they considered these qualities
to be in their teaching. Table 5-1 shows these results.
Ratings of Overall Importance of Qualities and
Attributes By Secondary School Ensemble Directors
QUALITY/ATTRIBUTE MEAN STANDARD DEVIATION
Knowledge of Music History
Knowledge of Music Theory
Knowledge of Musical Styles
Musical Modeling Skills
Understanding of Instruments
OVERALL AVERAGE 4.218 .785
Appl. of Rehearsal Methods 4.506 .633
Communication Ability 4.725 .488
Goals & Objectives 4.513 .663
Knowledge of Psychology 3.594 .992
Knowledge of Evaluation Methods 4.131 .817
Mastery of Subject Matter 4.563 .600
Philosophy of Education 3.981 .974
Role & Performance Model 4.369 .774
Utilization of Resources 4.113 .861
OVERALL AVERAGE 4.277 .759
Most of the qualities and attributes from the research
and literature were rated very highly by the ensemble
directors. With 4.813 as the highest rating and 3.594
as the lowest, the average rating was 4.347 out of a
possible 5.0 with a standard deviation of 0.727. This
indicates an overall relatively high range of importance.
Enthusiasm, aural skills, integrity, communication
ability, self-confidence, assertiveness, and mastery
of subject matter ranked the highest overall among the
band and orchestra directors. Expressive gestures,
knowledge of music history and music theory, philosophy
of education, and knowledge of psychology were rated
low in comparison, probably because these attributes
do not apply so obviously to directing a school instrumental
ensemble. The mean data allows for such comparisons
by showing a rather equitable dispersion of characteristics
in each of the three categories.
Orchestra and band directors exhibited differences
in their priorities among the qualities and attributes.
Both types of directors rated the personal qualities
the highest, but there were some differences between
the musical and pedagogical categories. The orchestra
directors rated the musical attributes second in
importance, while the band directors rated the pedagogical
attributes second. Table 5-2 shows these results.
Mean Ratings Between Orchestra and Band Directors
According to Quality/Attribute Category
CATEGORY ORCHESTRA (MEAN) BAND (MEAN)
Personal 4.56 4.54
Musical 4.30 4.14
Pedagogical 4.27 4.28
There are positive relationships among the personal,
musical, and pedagogical qualities and attributes. Table
5-3 shows these results.
Matrix of Correlations Among Major Categories
of Qualities and Attributes
CATEGORY PERSONAL MUSICAL PEDAGOGICAL
Personal 1.00 0.59 0.72
Musical 1.00 0.66
The respondents were asked to list what they considered
the top three traits in importance. The data indicate
a wide yet consistent range of choices. Table 5-4 presents
these results in the format of first, second, and third
choices, their frequencies and relative percentages,
and a combined frequency of all the qualities and attributes
designated by the respondents. The result was that the
personal qualities were rated the most important, the
pedagogical attributes were rated second, and the musical
attributes were rated third or least important.
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The statistical technique of Repeated Measures Analysis
of Variance (ANOVA) was employed in this study. Testing
for between-subject effects (band versus orchestra),
the analysis revealed no significant overall differences
across the qualities between band and orchestra directors
in their ratings of the various characteristics. The
statistical analysis for within-subject effects, however,
shows significant differences among the personal, musical,
and pedagogical categories as indicated by the F-value
equalling 58.86 where p <.05. There is also a significant
difference in the band and orchestra directors'
within-subject effects for quality by group (band versus
orchestra). In other words, the differences within the
personal, musical, and pedagogical traits were not the
same for the band and orchestra directors. These results
are presented in Table 5-5.
Testing Effects: Group & Quality
SOURCE SS DF F-VALUE PR > F*
Group 27.88 1 .65 .4216
Error 6784.04 158
Quality 772.86 2 58.86 .0001
Quality X Group 50.24 2 3.83 .0244
Error (Quality) 2074.72 316
*p <.05, with Huynh-Feldt adjustment
Because a significant F-value of 3.83 was found
in the interaction of quality and group, a follow-up
test known as the t-Test was employed for further analysis.
The musical category shows a significant t-value of 3.43
while t is significant at > 1.96. Hence, the orchestra
directors judged the musical attributes to be more important
than the band directors' ratings. Orchestra versus band
ratings did not differ on the personal and pedagogical
traits. Table 5-6 reflects these results.
Comparison of Group Means (t-Test)
for Orchestra and Band Directors
QUALITY t RESULT
Personal .51 non-significant
Musical 3.43 significant
Pedagogical -.34 non-significant
p <.05; t > 1.96
The personal versus musical and personal versus
pedagogical ratings by the ensemble directors were
significant at the .05 level. Personal qualities were
rated as more important than musical and pedagogical
attributes across band and orchestra directors. This
was also consistent with the three highest-rated qualities
in Table 5-4. These results are at Table 5-7.
Combined Group Means (t-Test)
QUALITIES t RESULT
Personal vs. Musical 7.24 significant
Personal vs. Pedagogical 5.99 significant
Musical vs. Pedagogical -1.25 non-significant
p < .05; t > 1.96
This researcher was interested in investigating
any effects among several variables that might show
significance in the ratings of the personal, musical,
and pedagogical traits. The variables studied for analysis
were (a) education; (b) experience; and (c) gender.
The first analysis was to examine a full model of
all the variables on the personal qualities. The result
is that there were no interactions and therefore no
significance between experience, education, and gender
for the personal qualities. Table 5-8 shows these results.
Effects for Full Model on Personal Qualities
SOURCE F-VALUE PR > F
Education 0.38 0.68
Experience 0.47 0.50
Gender 0.14 0.71
Experience X Education 0.93 0.34
Gender X Education 0.09 0.77
Experience X Gender 1.59 0.21
p < .05
Removing the interaction terms and examining the
main effects of levels of education, years of experience
teaching, and gender, it was found that there were no
significant effects in the directors' ratings of the
personal qualities. Table 5-9 shows these results.
Effects for Reduced Model on Personal Qualities
SOURCE F-VALUE PR > F
Education 1.52 0.22
Experience 0.39 0.53
Gender 2.85 0.09
p < .05
Table 5-10 shows relatively high F-values in the
experience and experience X education categories. At
the .05 level there are no significant interactions.
Therefore, education, years of experience, and gender
do not affect the ratings for pedagogical attributes.
Effects for Full Model on Pedagogical Attributes
SOURCE F-VALUE PR > F
Education 0.63 0.53
Experience 1.87 0.17
Gender 0.13 0.72
Experience X Education 1.19 0.28
Gender X Education 0.00 0.95
Experience X Gender 0.91 0.34
p < .05
As a follow-up, the reduced model for examining
main effects shows that there is still no effect among
the variables of education, experience, and gender.
Table 5-11 presents these results.
Effects for Reduced Model on Pedagogical Attributes
SOURCE F-VALUE PR > F
Education 0.14 0.89
Experience 2.13 0.15
Gender 1.30 0.26
p < .05
There was a significant interaction between the
variables of experience and education when comparing
the interaction effects on the musical attributes: 9.15
F-value at the .05 level. Table 5-12 shows these results.
Effects for Full Model on Musical Attributes
SOURCE F-VALUE PR > F
Education 2.91 0.06
Experience 0.02 0.88
Gender 0.89 0.35
Experience X Education 9.15 0.00
Gender X Education 0.02 0.88
Experience X Gender 1.63 0.20
p < .05
As a follow-up, various mathematical computations
were performed to further analyze the interaction effects
in the musical attribute ratings between years experience
and education level. The following degree prediction
equations show the interaction of education and experience,
where experience has been coded one to five for 1-5 years,
6-10 years, 11-15 years, 16-20 years, and 21 or more
MOS = (38.30) (.44) X EXPERIENCE = 37.86
MOS = (34.04) (1.24) X EXPERIENCE = 35.28
MOS = (34.73) + (1.99) X EXPERIENCE = 36.72
To visually represent the interaction effects on
the musical attributes, a graph has been constructed.
The result is that the higher the degree level and the
more years of teaching experience possessed by the ensemble
directors, the higher the musical attribute rating
predictions. Figure 1 shows these interaction effects.
YEARS OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Interaction Effects on Musical Attributes.
Comments from Surveyed Directors
Thirty-two respondents, or 20 percent, offered
additional comments on the traits being studied. Table
5-13 reflects the breakdown by orchestra and band directors.
Comments by Orchestra and Band Directors
DIRECTORS FREQUENCY PERCENT
Orchestra 12 7.5%
Band 20 12.5%
The comments offered by the directors were germane
to this study and contributed to the findings. For purposes
of reporting, the comments are grouped as follows: (a)
personal qualities; (b) musical attributes; (c) pedagogical
attributes; and (d) combination of qualities and attributes.
The following are qualitative statements from the
ensemble directors who responded to the survey:
"All qualities rated 4 or 5 are extremely important.
Every quality you list is essential, although those rated
3 are not applied as much. Notice how many 5s there
are under personal qualities, yet, I feel that they receive
much too little importance in college training. Of the
eight '5' ratings, two come from both musical and
pedagogical, but four come from the personal category."
"Personally, I have trouble being assertive enough.
I believe that being very assertive is the key to being
"Personality and communication skills are of utmost
importance. Teaching pedagogy is highly overrated.
Most instrumental directors are fine musicians and have
taken teaching methods courses. What no one can teach
is your personal commitment and love for music and young
"I believe that the above categories (personal, musical,
pedagogical) can measure according to a balance. For
example, a person who has high personal qualities but
not too low pedagogical skills could still be a very
effective teacher. Several combinations could be true."
"The students' welfare (mental, psychological, musical,
and social) should come first. Show the students you
"Assuming that you know what to teach and how to
interpret the music, the most important thing is that
the kids respect and care about you enough to want to
please you to make you proud of them. The non-musical
things (display of class pride, manners, unity, discipline,
etc.) are the things that will stay with them forever."
"In studies that I have read in research, the common
factors in successful band programs was that all the
directors were well-liked by their students and they
showed a high enthusiasm for music. I believe this to
"Being an instrumental ensemble director is not an
easy task, but I believe that if one is organized, is
familiar with materials) for the age group you are
dealing with, and knows how to be a 'people' person with
your students and parents, I am convinced that the director
will be relatively successful wherever the teaching
situation may be."
"I started my training as an apprentice under my
husband who is one of the finest band directors around.
He was a tough task-master. Under his heavy thumb I
received the best training possible. My learning 'how
to' came through experience and his wonderful guidance.
The courses one takes are necessary, but when one steps
on that podium for the first time, well they don't have
that page in any book."
"If you have enthusiasm, friendliness, and human
understanding, the rest comes easy. Students will go
110% for you. Talking to students at their level of
understanding is most important, i.e. don't talk over
their heads as most new teachers are inclined to do.
Have a good working relationship with fellow music teachers,
-he principal, and janitor."
"I think an important point not covered was how much
a director likes children. A director can be a great
musician, know how to teach, and still not be a good
teacher. Students know when they're not liked and react
"I feel teachers need some background in management
skills to handle those above and below; managing budgetary
needs of a program; inventory control and maintenance;
and marketing skills for community support. Most are
unprepared for these realities of teaching and some never
see the need. Thus programs are cut from the curriculum
- back to basics."
Comments from this category include the following:
"The great directors would possess high amounts of
most all qualities, especially musical indicators. In
other words, to make great music, the musical qualities
must be strong with personal ones next important."
"I realize it is contradictory to rate mastery of
subject matter high and some of the musical qualities
low. I feel that a lot of ear training and conducting
expressiveness are lost or not really useable at certain
levels of teaching."
"My main order of business with my bands is to stress
the 'musical experience.' I spend a lot of time each
rehearsal working on tone production, tuning, listening,
and generally aiming for a better sound every day. The
direction of this is that the kids should feel that 'musical
expression' is a daily thirst they want to quench. The
result, for one thing, is a near 100% retention rate
in the program."
Comments from this category are as follows:
"A successful band director is different things to
different directors. You must have an educational
philosophy in order to know what goal you want your
students to achieve."
"As a forever band director now teaching orchestra,
I have found that one need not be proficient on the specific
instruments taught, as long as one has a good understanding
of the music and how to teach."
Combination of Qualities and Attributes
Comments on the combined traits are as follows:
"All of the above qualities are important to teaching.
Many can be combined together and overlap."
"The most important qualities of a successful music
teacher are to be a subject matter expert, be able to
communicate all musical elements, and, above all, love
the kids and the job you are doing."
"All the qualities need to be present to quite a
high degree. But if integrity, aural skills, and musical
modeling skills are weak, then the others, even if present,
will be less effective."
"Your questionnaire brings to light all the many
qualities that make a successful music educator. I think
all three categories personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities are of equal importance. I also believe
a music educator must find time to maintain a high level
of proficiency on his own instrument. It nurtures the
soul and gives continued understanding of what the students
are going through."
"Actually all of the items listed are very important.
However, most beginning teachers will not have all of
the musical and pedagogical qualities when they graduate.
They will hopefully develop these qualities to a much
higher level after several years of practice in the field."
"You have done an excellent job in listing factors
which make for an outstanding director. A director lacking
in these qualities cannot hope for much success."
"Difficult to choose the three most important qualities
since all of the qualities listed are crucial. It is
just as bad for a director to be musically excellent
and not have as excellent communication skills."
"All listed traits are important and necessary.
Left-hand gestures are the only ones not critical, but
they are certainly important."
"I consider all of these qualities important.
Unfortunately, we cannot achieve all of these (qualities)
all the time because of the current social problems and
because our legislators are not putting education as
their first priority."
The responses to the questionnaire revealed that,
while all of the personal, musical, and pedagogical
qualities and attributes are considered important by
secondary school orchestra and band directors, there
are still differences that need to be addressed as they
relate to music education. Orchestra and band directors
show similarities in their ratings of the importance
of personal and pedagogical traits but differ in their
ratings of the musical attributes. The emphasis, however,
appears to be on the personal qualities of the conductor-
educator having a dominant effect on the teaching of
instrumental music (band and orchestra) in the schools.
APPLICATIONS TO TEACHING INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
The purpose of this chapter is twofold. One is to
offer applications to instrumental ensemble directors
at the secondary level. The other is to discover
relationships between what the existing research and
writings suggest and what capabilities are indicated
by directors who are currently teaching. The purposes
of these applications are (1) to enhance the music teachers'
knowledge of personal, musical, and pedagogical qualities
and attributes as they relate to instrumental ensemble
rehearsals; (2) to determine how the information about
the qualities applies to the selection and training of
the conductor-educator; and (3) to promote self-improvement
by developing an increased awareness of the importance
of methods and conducting courses.
This chapter is divided into three parts. The first
part presents rated summaries of the various qualities
of the conductor-educator and how each trait falls within
certain roles. The second part of this chapter suggests
ways of applying these qualities and attributes to the
selection and training of school ensemble directors.
The third part presents specific applications of these
traits for the teaching of instrumental ensemble music.
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