Eyes Wide Open: High school student reflections on music teaching experiences within a pre-collegiate recruitment program

Peter Miksza*, James R. Austin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is a preliminary investigation of a pre-collegiate, music teacher recruitment initiative. Interviews were conducted at three points in time with 11 high school students serving as sectional coaches in a 12-week, middle school band outreach program. A video-assisted, stimulated recall protocol was used to elicit the participants' (a) awareness of their teaching, (b) thoughts about student improvement, (c) thoughts about potential improvements to their teaching, and (d) sense of teacher identity. Data consisted of over 1000 coded statements drawn from over 400 minutes of interviews. Responses indicated a predominance of concern about the following: evaluation of teaching, communication ability, establishing a sense of comfort, implementation of teaching strategies, student learning, student motivation, and adapting to students in the moment. Analyses of trends over time indicated progressively less concern with communication ability and comfort, and more focus on individualizing instruction and adapting to students in the moment. Participants' ideas for improvements in their teaching revealed shifts from self-focus at interview 1 (e.g., mannerisms, organization) to a focus on the act of teaching at interviews 2 and 3 (e.g., efficiency, pacing). Participants' sense of teacher identity increased significantly over time (p <.001) and 73% of those eligible (i.e., 6 of 8 seniors, 2 of 3 juniors) went on to pursue music education in college. Approaches for modifting the recruitment initiative are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-20
Number of pages14
JournalBulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education
Issue number185
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes



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