Trends in Beginning Instrumental Music Instruction in Selected Missouri Schools

Date of Graduation

Summer 1989


Master of Music



Committee Chair

Wayne Harrell


This study investigated the varying techniques and procedures for implementing and maintaining string and band instrumental music programs in selected Missouri school districts. Data was obtained from a survey instrument developed by the researcher, who analyzed the questions. The research questions were: (a) what are the current practices related to beginning instrumental music instruction and have these practices evolved through any changes in the music programs in the selected school districts; (b) what are the current practices related to division between elementary, junior high/middle school, and high school; (c) what are the trends in funding levels for music education, and where an increase in funding is reported, how are the funds being utilized; (d) what is the range of percentage of the total student population who are enrolled in high school instrumental music programs; and, (e) what are the relative percentages of band and string students to total high school instrumental enrollment. The study found that the majority of school districts responding began their instrumental instruction in the fifth grade. For the most part, funding levels for the districts' music programs have remained static. This study recommends that, in order to achieve a quality string and band instrumental music program, teachers and fellow advocates must establish a strong commitment that voices a demand for quality string and band programs, and to increase awareness of the need to begin instrumental instruction as early as possible, preferably at elementary grade level.

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© Sandra Graves Tillman