The State of music in secondary schools: The principal's perspective

Carlos R. Abril, Brent M. Gault

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to profile secondary school music programs in the United States and investigate principals' perceptions of those curricula. A survey form was sent to 1,000 secondary school principals, yielding a 54% response rate. That form was designed to answer the following questions: What is the profile of secondary music programs in the United States? How effective do principals think music programs are in helping students attain specific learning outcomes and broad educational goals? To what degree do certain variables (e.g., standardized tests, teachers, parents) impact a given music program? Ninety-eight percent of respondents indicated that their schools offered music courses, yet 34% required music. There were significant differences in the diversity of course offerings based on school socioeconomic status profiles. Standardized tests and No Child Left Behind were thought to have the most negative impact on music programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Advocacy
  • Curriculum
  • Policy
  • Principals
  • Secondary school music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Education


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