The First Year of Teaching in Primary School:
Peter de Vries
Where is the Place of Music?
Monash University, Australia
Citation: de Vries, P. (2011). The first year of teaching in primary school: Where is the place of music?
International Journal of Education & the Arts, 12(2). Retrieved [date] from
The aim of the research reported in this article was to determine what music first year
generalist primary teachers were teaching. In particular, the study sought to determine
the impact of music education coursework undertaken in teacher training on these
teachers' practice as beginning teachers. The self-reported data was generated through
a written survey undertaken by 112 first year generalist teachers in their first year
teaching, with 24 of these teachers agreeing to be interviewed after the survey was
completed. Results revealed that only 37% of these beginning teachers are teaching
music on a regular basis. Reasons impacting on their decision to teach (or not teach)
music include the presence of a music specialist in the school, their current or recent
learning of a musical instrument, amount of time dedicated to music education in their
teacher training courses, lack of confidence about teaching music, availability of time
to teach music when other curricular areas dominate, and access to resources, teaching
spaces, and relevant professional development. Implications for teacher educators
teaching music education for preservice generalist primary teachers are outlined.
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