Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Victor Fung, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David A. Williams, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Clint Randles, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Lee, Ph.D.


undergraduate music education, curriculum reform, change, curriculum development


The coursework requirements for an undergraduate music education degree in the U.S. have remained relatively unchanged since its inception in the early twentieth-century. In light of the changing milieu of the twenty-first century music learner, some scholars and researchers have suggested redesigning particular components of the music education degree. A few universities in the U.S. have reacted by implementing changes to their undergraduate music education curricula. Preliminary data and reviews of literature revealed that limited investigations into these programs existed. The purpose of this research was to investigate two established music education degree programs in the U.S. where the faculty had redesigned their curricula, while extracting similarities and differences among them. Furthermore, this study was designed to investigate the impact of these curricular changes on students and faculty. Qualitative data were collected through interviews and observations. Lewin’s (1947) Change Theory was used as the framework guiding the investigation. Data analyses and a cross-case synthesis suggested the redesigns took two to four years, which included removing courses in the general music study areas. There were four main themes extracted from these data: (1) faculty-directed process, (2) tension, (3) impetus, and (4) outcomes. These themes illuminated the challenges associated with the work and the influence of the redesign on student dispositions, experiences, musicianship, and future careers. Implications for the field of music education and suggestions for future research are provided in conclusion.