Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Billie Andersson


The quality of piano education in international schools in China has been affected by an increasing number of piano students and piano teachers experiencing heavy teaching loads. The research questions in this qualitative case study included both teachers' and parents' perceptions of the quality of teaching and learning in piano classes at multicultural international schools in a suburban district of Beijing. The 4 principles of the Suzuki method provided the conceptual framework for the study. Data were collected through interviews with 10 experienced piano teachers, 10 selected parents of K-12 piano students, and observations of 3 group piano classes, 8 individual lessons, and 3 student recitals. All data were coded and analyzed using the Suzuki principles of character, use of the mother tongue, parental involvement, and positive environment. Findings indicated that school leaders, teachers, parents, and students need to understand each party's expectations to build and maintain a healthy relationship and positive learning environment as promoted by the principles of the Suzuki method. A professional development program, Piano Teaching in a Beijing Suburb: 21st Century Effective Piano Teaching, was created to engage and support local piano teachers' needs and to improve their understanding of various eastern and western teaching approaches, traditional and functional piano teaching, and effective teaching strategies to better prepare them for teaching in diverse classrooms. Implementation of the project might affect social change and benefit the local international community by providing a professional development model for all piano teachers to help international piano students during their transitional years in China.