Secondary music teachers' self-efficacy in teaching songwriting

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University of Delaware
Songwriting has been used in the fields of music education and music therapy to encourage collaboration (Kennedy 2002; Jaffurs 2014; McGillen & McMillan, 2005), self-expression (Airy & Parr, 2010; Tobias 2012), and healing (Fairchild & McFerran, 2019; Lindberg 1995). As popular music and creativity in music become more widely included in music curricula in the United States, some teachers have also included songwriting in their classrooms (Draves, 2008; Jaffurs; 2014; Tobias, 2012). Though teachers may have positive attitudes towards songwriting, they may still exclude it from their curriculum (Brinkman, 1995; Roberts, 1995; Sloboda, 1985). ☐ Authors have suggested different approaches and practices for teaching songwriting and the benefits it may have if used in the music classroom (Draves, 2008; Jaffurs; 2014; Tobias, 2012). If music teachers are open to include popular musics, what might prevent them from using songwriting in their classroom? One possible reason teachers may not include songwriting is their perceived self-efficacy in teaching songwriting. Bandura’s (1994) theory of self-efficacy has been used to investigate students’ decisions and teachers’ pedagogical choices (Brudnick, 2009; Garvis, 2012; Landino & Owen, 1988; Menon & Sadler, 2016). While researchers have investigated the relationship between songwriting and self-efficacy (Lindberg, 1995; Randles, 2010; Richardson, 2011), the reason for teachers’ curricular choices regarding songwriting has yet to be discovered. Self-efficacy has been shown to affect choices, behavior, and motivation, and could attribute to teachers’ ability to include songwriting in their classrooms (Brudnick, 2009; Garvis, 2012; Landino & Owen, 1988; Menon & Sadler, 2016). ☐ Therefore, the purpose of this multiple case study was to investigate secondary music teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching songwriting. The research problems for this study were as follows: ☐ 1.To describe the music teachers’ prior experiences with songwriting and the teaching of songwriting to others. ☐ 2.To describe music teachers’ self-perceptions regarding their ability to teach songwriting. ☐ Sub-questions included (a) What materials and resources do the teachers use to facilitate songwriting in their classroom? (b) Do those resources contribute to their self-efficacy regarding teaching the course? (c) What resources do they feel would be most helpful to develop stronger self-efficacy for teaching songwriting to others? ☐ This multiple case study (Stake, 1995) utilized purposive sampling (Patten & Newhart, 2018) to examine two middle school music educators in the Northeastern region of the United States who teach creative music in some way (e.g., a lesson/unit, a stand-alone course). Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews, teaching observations, and an examination of their relevant teaching documents. The findings of this study suggest that teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching songwriting may come from overall teaching experience and there are few applicable resources for teaching songwriting. Implications and suggestions for practice and further research for music educators are also discussed.
Busking , Music teaching, Self-efficacy, Songwriting