The effect of professional development on music teachers’ improvisation and composition activities

Maud Hickey, Casey Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite the recent emphasis for more improvisation and composition in kindergarten through 12th grade music classrooms, survey studies have shown these activities are still largely missing. Lack of confidence as well as lack of training are reasons teachers cite for not including creative activities in their classrooms. Professional development may serve as a primary way to support teachers in their creative experiences and enact instructional change. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a music improvisation and composition workshop on teachers’ perceptions and reported frequency of teaching music improvisation and composition in their music classes. Specifically, we examined the immediate and long-term effect on teachers’ perceptions and instructional activities of composition and improvisation in their classrooms following a multiday professional development workshop. Results showed significant improvement in teachers’ perception of and intention to implement these activities immediately after the workshop. However, teachers’ intended frequency of using both improvisation and composition activities following the workshop were higher than the reported application of these when they returned to their classrooms and surveyed 6 weeks, 6 months, and then 9 months after the workshop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-43
Number of pages17
JournalBulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education
Issue number222
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music

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