Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.M. in Music



First Advisor

Alan L. Spurgeon

Second Advisor

George Dor

Third Advisor

Debra L. Spurgeon

Relational Format



Abstract: academic hazing in this context is defined as the academic misuse of new or prospective graduate students in music education. Academic hazing can also refer to senior faculty who haze junior faculty during the years prior to tenure. This study was designed in two parts to examine academic hazing in graduate music education programs. First, twelve (n=12) faculty academic advisors, each serving as director of music education at their respective four-year comprehensive universities, were intervievia electronic mail. Then, fourteen (n=14) current graduate students in music education were intervieto gain the perspectives of their graduate experience. Each student was intervieby the author using ten open-ended interview questions. This research employed qualitative research methods. The most important finding of this study was that many graduate music education programs rank "developing a better music teacher" as the highest object of their master's level music education. If this is true, why are unnecessary courses, mandates, and/or "rites of passage" practices added to graduate students in music education? Graduate students fulfilling an assistantship should not be required to pick up dry cleaning, provide free babysitting services, participate in construction/renovation projects, or complete any task that is not within the guidelines of "developing a better music teacher." While this study only represents the perspectives of twelve directors of music education and fourteen current graduate students, perhaps more research will generate solutions to prevent instances of academic hazing and initiation practices within music education programs.


Emphasis: Music Education



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