Use of Colloquium Courses in Undergraduate Music Education Courses


Stephanie L. Standerfer, Shenandoah University/University of Florida

Josh R. Gall, University of Florida

John M. Peasant, University of Florida

Troy V. Jones, University of Florida

Camilo I. Leal, University of Florida


Music teacher identity development and socialization to the field have become important aspects to music teacher education (Austin, Isbell, & Russell, 2010; Haston & Russell, 2011; Isbell, 2008). Additionally, professional learning communities (PLCs) are becoming widely popular forms of professional development to meet Race to the Top requirements (Battersby & Verdi, 2015) and can be important avenues to help new teachers become socialized to the field of teaching (DuFour, 2014; Fresko & Nasser-Abu, 2015). One of the hallmark characteristics of effective PLCs is a high degree of collaboration among teachers within the community (DuFour, 2004 & 2014). Fostering collaboration and communication with relation to improving teaching and learning is approached in music education programs through a wide variety of methods with student teaching seminars being common (Baumgartner, 2012).


Lave and Wenger’s (1991) idea of legitimate peripheral participation provides support for students to learn by involvement in an authentic situated context such as student teachers working with in-service teachers in the schools. Carrying this idea along with that of PLCs to the undergraduate education program allows for pre-service teachers at multiple levels of study to engage in a collaborative, colloquia-type discourse as well as allow for flexible content to address student needs (Auhl & Daniel, 2014; Hoaglund & Birkenfield, 2014).


These colloquium-type courses, however, are rarely offered in undergraduate music education curricula. The purpose of this study was to describe the uses of colloquium-type courses in undergraduate music education programs. The qualitative research design included a content analysis of course descriptions of seminar or colloquium-type courses from 20 NASM accredited Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Bachelor of Music Education programs. A survey provided data related to course purpose, objectives, assessment, course formats, and benefits for five courses at different institutions. Preliminary findings include four uses for colloquium-type courses in undergraduate music education programs including orientation, practice, presentation, and reflection. The benefits of existing colloquium-type courses support the development of communication, collaboration, and community for pre-service music teachers. Complete findings will be reported in the presentation, which may give insight to a new trend that can positively impact music teacher identity development and socialization to the field.




Auhl, G. & Daniel, G. R. (2014). Preparing pre-service teachers for the profession: Creating spaces for transformative practice, Journal of Education for Teaching: International research and pedagogy, 40(4), 377-390.

Austin, J., Isbell, D., & Russell, J. (2010). A multi-institution exploration of secondary socialization and occupational identity among undergraduate music majors. Psychology of Music, 40(1), 66-83.

Battersby, S. & Verdi, B. (2015). The Culture of Professional Learning Communities and Connections to Improve Teacher Efficacy and Support Student Learning. Arts Education Policy Review, 116, 22-29.

Baumgartner, C. (2012). An examination of music student teaching seminars at Midwestern universities. (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (UMI 3530839).

Daniel, G. R., Auhl, G., & Hastings, W. (2013). Collaborative feedback and reflection for professional growth: Preparing first-year pre-service teachers for participation in the community of practice. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 41(2), 159-172.

DuFour R. (2004). What is a “professional learning community”? Educational Leadership, 61(8), 6-11. Available from:

DuFour, R. (2014). Harnessing the power of PLCs. Educational Leadership, 71(8), 30-35. Available from:

Fresko, B. & Nasser-Abu Alhija, F. (2015). Induction seminars as professional learning communities for beginning teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 43(1), 36-48.

Haston, W. & Russell, J. (2011). Turning into teachers: Influences of authentic context learning experiences on occupational identity development of preservice music teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 59(4), 369-392.

Hoaglund, A. E., Birkenfield, K., & Box, J. A. (2014). Professional learning communities creating a foundation for collaboration skills in pre-service teachers. Education, 134(4), 521-528. Available from:

Isbell, D. S. (2008). Musicians and teachers: The socialization and occupational identify of preservice music teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 56(2), 162-178.

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge Press.