Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Music Education and Music Therapy (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Carlos R. Abril

Second Committee Member

Don D. Coffman

Third Committee Member

Stephen F. Zdzinski

Fourth Committee Member

Corin T. Overland

Fifth Committee Member

Dina Birman


The purpose of this study was to examine the process of music teacher change resulting from a long-term professional development program in popular music. Specifically, it sought to examine change in a general music teacher’s beliefs and practices over a three-year period. This study utilized a case study methodology informed by a pilot study with the same music teacher. Data were collected over four months in the form of observations, interviews, field notes, and artifacts. Analysis revealed five emergent themes: opportunity, ownership, teamwork, discipline, and bravery. The findings of this study provide support to extant research suggesting that meaningful and impactful professional development is (a) chosen by the teacher, (b) occurs over a sustained period of time, and (c) requires reflection by the teacher regarding his/her curricular beliefs and practices. This study offers a theory of teacher change through professional development and provides suggestions for educational settings.


teacher change; professional development; popular music; habitus; reflexivity; constructivism