A Survey of Occupational Burnout in Music Teachers

Dr. Barbara Payne McLain

University of Hawaii Manoa




The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of selected factors on music teacher occupational burnout. The non-random population consisted of 896, K-12 music teachers from forty-two states within the U.S. Burnout levels were established utilizing the Maslach Burnout Inventory for Educators Survey (MBI-ES). The MBI-ES consists of twenty-two statements describing feelings and perceptions associated with burnout on three subscales:

1) Depersonalization, 2) Emotional Exhaustion, and 3) Personal Accomplishment.

      Music teachers in this study appeared to be “moderately burned out” in terms of their emotional exhaustion. They also appeared to have a strong sense of personal accomplishment and did not suffer from excessive depersonalization issues. Several factors significantly affected the depersonalization of music teachers (p < .05) including respondent gender, assigned teaching subject, assigned grade levels, teaching experience, number of students assigned weekly and the likelihood that a subject would teach until retirement. Only three variables contributed significantly (p <.05) to personal accomplishment mean scores: 1) level of education, 2) teaching non music subjects and 3) likelihood that a subject would teach until retirement.