A survey of beginning band programs in New York State

Emily Elizabeth Stuart, University of Texas at El Paso


The purpose of this study is to describe and define beginning band instructional practices in the state of New York. In order to investigate the practices of music educators' beginning band programs, a survey of band directors of first year students was constructed. Band directors of three hundred different school districts from across the state were emailed with an invitation to participate in an online survey. Questions were asked on topics such as summer music instruction, pullout instruction, the schedule of beginning band rehearsals, grade level of beginners, month of first public performance with beginners, and method books used. A total of 99 beginning band directors completed the survey, a 33% return rate. Results showed that only 15% of respondents offer summer music instruction and 97% of schools surveyed in New York State use pullout instruction during a normal school day. Full band rehearsals begin in January for more respondents than any other single month. The majority of respondents have these rehearsals only once per week and they last between 31 and 45 minutes. Eighty percent of all respondents teach a beginning student a new instrument in small groups with the same instrumentation, on the very first day with the instrument. Method books utilized most commonly by respondents across NYS are: Standard of Excellence, Essential Elements, Accent on Achievement, and Breeze-Easy. Results from the survey were also compiled by the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) zone of respondents and investigated to determine if trends exist among zones.

Subject Area

Music|Music education

Recommended Citation

Stuart, Emily Elizabeth, "A survey of beginning band programs in New York State" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1512630.