Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Boyle

Third Advisor

Dr. Jann Weitzel


The aim of this study was explore and measure desired results that are fundamental and essential to standards-based accountability and comprehensive musicianship for students in K-8 general music classes. Using a clustered sample of state achievement standards aligned with the National Content Standards for Music Education (n = 16), an exploratory content analysis was conducted. Qualitative analysis was employed to identify desired results as fundamental, or basic, elemental, or underlying; qualitative analysis and measurement was employed to identify fundamental desired results as essential, or frequent among 50% or more of the sample. Sub-samples were also analyzed for equivalent-forms reliability.

The content analysis yielded 8809 desired results distributed among 2450 printed standards. In relation to each National Content Standard, the conceptual framework of this study, fundamental desired results were found to be essential at each grade level with the exception of grade K and National Content Standard Four as well as grade one and National Content Standard Nine. Within these findings, diverse and often disjunctive grade level application was also frequent.

The predominant findings include a clear emphasis on music performance and literacy with ancillary attention to creating music and all forms of responding to music. At and among all grade levels, the standards for singing, performing on instruments, improvising, and reading and notating music yielded the most desired results that were found to be essential. Also at all grade levels, there were no fundamental desired results found to be essential for understanding music in relation to history, which represents half of the intent of National Content Standard Nine.

Overall, this study revealed more disagreement than consensus as more than half of all fundamental desired results for each National Content Standard were not found to be essential. The fundamental desired results found to be essential for two-thirds of the Content Standards also represented less than one third of the desired results that were applicable.

The findings from this study align with far-reaching 21st century issues, including improving existing K-8 curricula and corresponding assessments, evaluating program quality, refining standards-based curricula in music teacher preparation programs, and developing future K-8 standards.


Copyright 2013

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