Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.M. in Music



First Advisor

Alan L. Spurgeon

Second Advisor

John Latartara

Third Advisor

Debra L. Spurgeon

Relational Format



Adults are increasingly becoming uninvolved with the arts and it is therefore important to cultivate a new audience, beginning with a well-rounded musical education for elementary-age children. Opera can easily be implemented as a part of a well-rounded musical education and can be taught in conjunction with multiple subjects. Anecdotal evidence suggests that children are exposed to negative stereotypes about opera without receiving proper education on the subject and are thus more likely to not be interested in opera as they grow older. A short survey was sent to fourth and fifth grade music teachers around the state of Mississippi to discover if and why teachers include opera in their curriculum. Seventy-three teachers responded to the survey revealing that more than half of the respondents do not include opera in their curriculum. The most popular factor indicated by “No” respondents was lack of time in the school year. All “Yes” respondents indicated that they believed opera can be used to teach multiple musical and non-musical subjects. Both “No” and “Yes” respondents indicated that student interest and student age affected their inclusion or omission of opera in their curriculum. Research also revealed that lack of resources for music programs affects many schools and school districts around the state of Mississippi.


Emphasis: Music Education



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