Theses Doctoral

The Hiring of Music Teachers by Supervisors of Music

Owens, Joseph

The purpose of this study was to explore the processes by which K-12 music teachers are hired when the hiring process is led by a supervisor of music. As defined in this study, supervisors of music are school administrators with a specialization in music education. School districts employing persons in this role rely on them to establish and implement a departmental vision. It is with this vision that they lead the hiring of music teachers in their district.

Extant research relating to those traits which school districts seek when hiringteachers is centered around school principals and their views on hiring teachers in general terms, without regard for specific content areas. A subset of school administrators with music teaching experience, “music supervisors,” have been previously un-represented in research relating to hiring music teachers. This descriptive, mixed-method study focused on music supervisors and their role in and preferences for hiring music teachers. A survey was administered to music supervisors throughout Long Island and the responses of 62 music supervisors were analyzed. These data were triangulated through follow-up interviews of six music supervisors representing districts of varying sizes and financial need categories.

The results indicated that music supervisors had high expectations for candidates to show excellent musicianship, content, and pedagogy knowledge in their candidates, but that candidates demonstrating exceptional soft skills were more likely to be awarded a teaching job. Though a significant amount of time is devoted to assessing candidate musicianship and pedagogical skills, music supervisors were in high agreement that “caring for students” was the most important trait that should be demonstrated by a candidate. Further results shed light on hiring processes and the way school districts each develop their own protocols which align with their community needs and culture to find the right teacher candidate.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Abeles, Harold F.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 1, 2021