Music Specialist Attitudes Toward Music Integration of Core Curriculum Areas

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Simmons, Jonathan Jason
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Middle Tennessee State University
This is a study of the attitudes of music specialists toward curriculum integration. Muhammad (2007) stated that the attitudes of teachers could affect the entire school culture. Shriner, Schlee, and Libler (2010) researched how the study of standards and the ability to save time with integration improved the teacher's attitude towards curriculum integration. Bresler (1995) placed curriculum integration into four categories- the subservient approach, co-equal/ cognitive approach, the affective style, and the social integration style. Each of these approaches places different emphasis on how the curriculum integration is completed. How does a music specialists’ attitude affect how and if he/she will perform curriculum integration? Colwell and Berke (2004) stated that with training music specialists felt more comfortable with curriculum integration, but they had less intention to insert other subjects into their music curriculum. Jenkins (2012) detailed that with better training, the arts magnet school teachers felt better prepared to integrate other curriculums into the music curriculum lessons over their peers that taught music in regular schools that did not receive the training on curriculum integration. Bush (2007) studied the differences in professional development preferences between the general music specialists, choral teachers, and the band teachers and found that general music specialists were more likely to take a professional development course on curriculum integration than their performance-oriented peers. This study researched if there are differences in the attitudes toward curriculum integration between the general music specialists and the performance specialists of choral and band/orchestra specialists based on the levels of elementary school, middle school/junior high school and high school. The study was conducted in a school district in Tennessee and through the Tennessee Music Education Association. The current research study did find differences in attitudes curriculum integration based on level taught and subject taught in which a positive attitude towards curriculum integration was seen. Additionally, the training that participants had received before the study was not sufficient to meet their needs to integrate core subjects into the music curriculum.