School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Stephen Kerr


Military, Music Education, Marine Corps, Navy, Military Veterans, Naval School of Music, Military Music Education




Despite thousands of United States military veterans joining the teaching profession upon the completion of their service, the translation of their military skills to effectively serve as secondary band directors was largely unknown. An unknown disparity existed between pedagogical skills acquired by high school band directors with a bachelor's degree in music education and those with military music training, in addition to a bachelor's degree in music education. This descriptive phenomenological research study aims to examine the perceptions of high school band directors with prior military service as a musician concerning their musical programming choices, marching band techniques, and ensemble rehearsal pedagogy. To illustrate the perceptions of Navy and Marine Corps veteran high school band directors, surveys were conducted with 50 public secondary band directors with prior experience as military musicians in the Navy and Marine Corps. Once the surveys were completed, the data were compiled into their perceptions and others as applicable. This work is essential because it identifies the pedagogical and curricular military experiences most relevant for civilian music educators. Research on the intersection of military and civilian music education is deficient throughout the music education domain. This project serves as the foundation for future research in the field of military music education. Further, this study and the results of this investigation reveal the differences in the curriculum at the Naval School of Music and civilian music education at American colleges and universities and how they affect secondary band directors with military experience.

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