Pre-Kindergarten Music Education Standards and the Opportunity-to-Learn Standards as applied to preschool settings in the United States

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Music Education

First Committee Member

Joyce Jordan-DeCarbo - Committee Chair


This study examined the current status of pre-kindergarten music instruction in the United States. The data gathered from school administrators included descriptive factors on the pre-kindergarten classes taught at the school, size, locale and geographic region. The majority of the study was addressed to classroom pre-kindergarten teachers. It examined the status of music instruction in public and private pre-kindergarten classes in the United States and the extent to which the Pre-Kindergarten Music Education Standards and the Opportunity-to-Learn Standards in early childhood music classrooms were being implemented. Specifically, areas examined included the preparation and background of pre-kindergarten instructors, curricular content, goals and objectives, types of activities, assessment strategies, resources available, adequacy of facilities, and schedule and time devoted to music. Additional information was requested regarding the classroom teacher's comfort level and familiarity with the aforementioned National Standards. The survey was designed to collect feedback from school administrators and active classroom teachers about the musical experiences pre-kindergarten children are currently receiving in the United States.Conclusions from surveys from 36 states, representing all six MENC divisions, indicated that little effort has been made to make classroom teachers aware of the standards and their proper implementation. Few classroom teachers were familiar with the Pre-Kindergarten Music Education Standards; however, teachers did express interest and support for the standards. Many teachers do incorporate music in their daily preschool schedules, but most use no formal curriculum. The teachers that indicated they were undecided about participating in training often expressed concerns about time and/or cost associated with additional training. Overall, it was concluded that the standards were well received even though they were not well known.


Education, Early Childhood; Education, Music

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