Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Since 2007, many U.S. music education programs have been negatively affected by budget reductions at the local, state, and national levels. Although researchers have studied the effect of budget reductions on music education, they have not widely examined the perspectives of teachers who have experienced these reductions. The purpose of this study was to explore elementary music teachers' personal and professional experiences with budget reductions, and the perceptions of how their programs, students, schools, and communities have been affected by the budget reductions. The philosophies of Kodaly and Richards served as a conceptual framework for this qualitative case study. The primary research questions asked participants about their experiences with and perceptions of the effect of budget reductions on music programs at their schools and on their students. Interviews were conducted with 9 elementary music teachers. Data were analyzed using pattern coding to identify key themes. The 6 key themes identified were love for music and teaching music; pride in music programs and curricula; belief in the benefits of music education for all students, especially for low income students; senses of loss; adaptation and coping with loss; and sense of the future. Based on the findings, a professional development program was developed to assist music teachers to learn strategies to support music programs and become effective music education advocates. This project study may foster positive social change by encouraging teachers to collaboratively advocate for music education in communities and devise strategies that will allow for the sharing of scarce resources.