Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

C. Victor Fung, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David A. Williams, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Clint Randles, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Tan, Ph.D.


applied music, copyright, education law, in-service music teachers, mental toughness, music education, studio teachers, post-secondary music studies, undergraduate teacher training


This collection of works involved examinations of two phenomena that currently impact music education in the United States and constitute challenges for both pre-service and in-service music educators. Article one is an exploration of college aged musicians, their experiences with critical commentary and stressful scenarios encountered in and through applied music studies, and the role that mental toughness might play in these experiences.

This study examined the perceptions of college level studio teachers and their students.

Results of the study indicated that significant differences in mental toughness scores existed between the studio teacher group and the students (as a whole) and between the studio teacher group and 5 of the 6 student groups. Significant negative correlations were found between students’ mental toughness scores and answers to three questions related to teacher criticism, student anxiety in lessons, and students’ frequency of hurt feelings following feedback about their performing. Article 2 examined the perceptions of in-service music educators regarding aspects of education law. Participants included music educators (N = 152; Mage = 41.7) from each of the 50 states whose teaching assignments occur primarily at the high school (grades 9 – 12) levels. Results indicated that these participants viewed their undergraduate teacher training programs, and graduate studies, as having included very low levels of legal content. Few of the participants indicated receiving additional education and training from a legal specialist, and taking part in sessions on legal topics offered by their school districts and professional associations. The legal issues receiving the greatest numbers of selections as having been experienced by the participants included 5 aspects of copyright law, religious music/lyrics in educational and performance material, and protection of student health (i.e., medical) information. The total number of legal issues selected was significantly correlated with the number of traveling groups (ensembles) with which the teachers were associated. Teachers of marching band indicated a greater number of total legal issues having been dealt with in their professional experience. And teachers of orchestra demonstrated fewer total numbers of legal issues experienced. In spite of the significant correlations, total expressions of relevant legal issues were largely unassociated with teachers of specific ensemble types.