DOI: 10.1177/1057083717699622">

“I love knowing that what I’m doing has purpose”: Male instrumentalists who choose to teach elementary general music

Document Type


Publication Date



Music and Dance

Publication Title

Journal of Music Teacher Education


Few entering music education students plan to teach in an elementary general music (EGM) setting, and the majority of those who teach EGM are female and have vocalist backgrounds. The purpose of this collective case study was to examine six male instrumentalists’ decisions to pursue a career in EGM teaching rather than secondary instrumental music. Analysis of interview data revealed three emergent themes: (a) development of a new schema for EGM, (b) teacher beliefs and identity, and (c) tension between autonomy and the perceived “status quo” in traditional instrumental music education. Findings suggest music teacher educators should be aware of the power of “detracked” coursework in music teacher preparation programs as well as the factors that might influence individuals to choose a career in EGM teaching and/or deter them from choosing a career in secondary instrumental music teaching.

Link to Published Version

DOI: 10.1177/1057083717699622