Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
A high attrition rate exists among new music teachers in a public school district in Central Texas. This problem is mirrored by a high attrition rate of music teachers across the United States. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore reasons for the attrition of music teachers at the study site, to articulate why some new music teachers have left the profession, and to identify supports that could be influential in retaining new music teachers. The study was grounded in Gardner's theory that administrators have the ability to make policy changes that can influence retention and attrition rates for music teachers. Data were collected through individual interviews with 3 administrators, 3 new music teachers, and a focus group of 3 former music teachers who resigned from their positions at the study site. Data were open coded and thematically analyzed for reoccurring themes. Findings indicated that the high attrition rate of music teachers at the study site may result from unequal treatment of music teachers compared to core content teachers. Another issue noted was the lack of understanding by music teachers and administrators about available supports to new teachers. Recommendations include providing equal opportunities to music teachers to attend subject-specific professional learning communities and professional development activities. This study may contribute to social change through adjustments to the training and mentoring structures for new music teachers in the local district, which may ultimately decrease the turnover of music teachers.