An examination of the extent to which senior high school band programs reflect aesthetic and utilitarian goals

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Music Education

First Committee Member

J. David Boyle - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which senior high school band programs reflect aesthetic and utilitarian goals. A questionnaire prepared by the investigator was used to solicit information (a) to discern the degree of acceptance of aesthetic education in the high school band programs of the United States, and (b) to identify the extent of adherence to the aesthetic philosophy in the teaching environment.Data for the study were based on responses of 507 high school band directors, 48 high school music supervisors, and 73 college instrumental methods teachers. A proportional random sample by state was used to select the 1982 band directors, the 200 high school music supervisors, and the 250 college methods teachers to whom questionnaires were sent.Results revealed that band directors from large city/suburban, small city, small town, and rural band programs accept aesthetic outcomes as an integral part of the high school band program, and if they were to teach in an ideal situation, most would increase the time spent on aesthetic-focused activities. Many teaching situations not only do not allow for adequately teaching toward aesthetic outcomes, but, contrary to the guidelines of the Music Educators National Conference and the prevailing philosophical literature, require that high school band directors spend most of their time doing utilitarian-focused activities.Marching band rehearsals and performances and pep band performances were the utilitarian activities that band directors felt most impeded their teaching toward aesthetic goals.Data which compared the views of band directors, music supervisors, and college methods teachers show that the three groups agree that one should teach to aesthetic-focused outcomes and that the three groups would spend essentially similar amounts of time doing specific aesthetic- and utilitarian-focused activities.


Education, Music

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