Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Music

First Advisor

Michael Worthy

Second Advisor

Whitney Webb

Third Advisor

Robert Riggs

Relational Format



This study investigated the relationship between student performance levels and teacher behaviors. Ten high school band directors were classified into one of two categories, directors of high-performing bands or directors of low-performing bands, based on audio recordings of concert band performances. Directors from the two categories were matched in terms of years of experience, educational background, and current teaching environment in an effort to delimit possible causal relationships between these factors and student performance outcomes. Each director was observed and videotaped over a three-day period, within two weeks preceding a music festival performance. Field notes were taken during each rehearsal and interviews were conducted with participants. A panel of five independent expert conductors watched the collected video of each participant and evaluated their conducting technique. Teaching materials, including concert repertoire, were identified. Rehearsals of directors of high-performing bands were fast-paced and included consistent time proportions each day devoted to skill development/warm-up, sight-reading, performance approximations, and repertoire. Directors of high-performing bands used prescriptive rehearsal planning based on explicit desired student performance outcomes. Rehearsals of directors of low-performing bands were less organized and included less time devoted to skill development/warm-up and sight-reading. Directors of low-performing bands spent more than one-fourth of class time in non-instructional activities, which was more than twice as much as directors of high-performing bands. There were 207 episodes of student performance approximations for directors of high-performing bands versus 14 for directors of low-performing bands. Teacher talking behaviors accounted for 38.99% of selected rehearsal analysis for directors of high-performing bands compared to 51.42% for directors of low-performing bands. Directors of high-performing bands modeled four times more frequently than directors of low-performing bands. Data from director interviews indicate philosophies of music education were markedly different between the two groups of participants. Although directors in matched pairs shared similar professional attributes, few behavioral and/or student performance commonalities were found. Use of skill development/warm-up materials and concert repertoire are discussed.


Music Education



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