CURRICULAR DECISIONS IN MUSIC TEACHER EDUCATION
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
Beginning music teachers are faced with the challenge of being competent in a field that requires high degrees of dedication, mastery, and flexibility. The multi-faceted nature of the music education profession makes the problem of how to best prepare teachers complex and difficult to solve. Those who are responsible for designing music teacher training curriculum need to consider the most current work of researchers as well as the realities that face practicing teachers. This paper will draw from current research in the field of music teacher education in order to propose and defend several departures from what might be considered the typical four-year undergraduate music education curriculum. Several central themes from the literature will be explored (i.e. field-based learning, integrating pedagogical and content knowledge, increased time for reflection, and the teacher as musician) resulting in proposed changes for music teacher education curricula. The changes can be categorized under four central topic areas: (1) greater emphasis on field experience, connection with the surrounding communities, and teacher modeling (2) deeper integration of pedagogy/problem-solving skills and music content knowledge (3) including more time for reflection and personal development and (4) greater emphasis on developing the music teacherŐs identity as a performing musician.