Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Judy Shoemaker


The fundamental purpose of teacher professional development programs is to improve instructional effectiveness and increase student learning. However, the target district offered no programs that focused on helping teachers develop strategies to meet state standards in music education. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate elementary and middle school music educators' perceptions regarding the need for targeted professional development programs. Self-determination theory served as the foundation for this study. Research questions concerned participants' views of the impact of district professional development programs on their competency in enhancing students' musical skills and their decision-making and connectedness with other music education teachers. Participants included a unique purposeful sampling of 9 music educators. Data from individual questionnaire interviews, a focus group, and a reflective field journal were analyzed for key themes. These themes were relevant professional development, limited access to resources, and lack of time for music professional development. Participants perceived that effective professional development provided music educators with sufficient time to plan, network, and collaborate with one another and incorporated relevant resources. Based on these findings, a professional development workshop was designed to help music educators in developing a professional learning team. Targeted professional development programs, such as the one developed in this study, may help music educators increase student achievement, which may potentially result in positive social change.