School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Brian Stiffler


Popular Music Education, Suzuki Method, Beginning Trumpet




Through music education symposiums such as the Tanglewood Symposium and Vision: 2020, calls for popular music's inclusion into the public school music curriculum have been made and heard worldwide. In response, public schools have produced new curricula for popular music courses such as rock band, music technology, and other contemporary music classes. In contrast, traditional music courses such as band, choir, and orchestra have remained unchanged. Despite various beginner trumpet method books and content delivery methods, limited curriculum and methods for content delivery exist to prepare beginning trumpet players for interaction with popular music. This qualitative research study critically examined the sequence inherent in instrumental ensemble method book texts for beginning trumpet students and the required techniques in popular music from 2020 through 2021. In addition, this study analyzed how beginning band curriculum pacing guides prepare the beginning trumpet student for interaction with popular music from 2020 through 2021. In conclusion, a sample curriculum guide for first- year trumpet instruction with popular music illustrates the potential application of study findings. As popular music education becomes more widespread in the public school curriculum, educators could apply study findings to improve recruitment for “traditional” music courses and develop a framework for analyzing other instruments’ readiness for meaningful interaction with popular music.

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