School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Nathan Street


Music, Core, Subject, Allocation, Perceptions, Achievement, Well-Rounded, Elementary, Education


Arts and Humanities | Elementary Education


Despite the designation of music as a core subject by federal and many state education policies, instructional time for elementary music classes is disproportionately less than that allocated to other core subjects. The perceptions held by parents of elementary school children may indicate the extent to which elementary general music education is valued by the public, affecting the allocation of instructional time. At present, no research exists examining the views held by parents concerning the designation of music as a core subject and its role in a well-rounded education. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions held by parents pertaining to music education, which may affect the allocation of time and comprehensive curriculum in elementary general music classes. This qualitative phenomenological study analyzed responses collected from parents of elementary school students via open-ended questionnaires and focus groups. Questions gauged support for the designation of music education as a core subject, perceived effects of music education on academic achievement, and the ways in which parents defined “well-rounded education.” Responses were analyzed to investigate beliefs maintained by elementary school parents. Findings may inform advocates of music education as to levels of existing support, areas for targeted advocacy, and opportunities to increase music instructional time and resources. Implications for the field of education may include curricular reform and adjustments to instructional allocation across all subject areas.