Date of Graduation


Document Type



The present study investigated the ideal music curriculum as discovered in the opinions of general music teachers in West Virginia and compared that ideal curriculum to existing curriculum contained in a representative number of curriculum guides in West Virginia. The study was divided into three parts: (a) part one examined the ideals of teachers through the Delphi technique, (b) part two was an investigation of a representative number of K-8 curriculum guides through a content analysis procedure, and (c) part three determined the amount of agreement between existing curriculum and teacher ideals about curriculum. A two-round Delphi questionnaire was administered to 25 representative music teachers. A Delphi project committee, whose members were knowledgeable in current music education philosophies, developed a structured round one questionnaire. The format of the questionnaire was such that teachers were able to: (a) rank those ideas and issues according to the importance they held for respondents, (b) include their concerns for evaluation by all questionnaire respondents in round two, and (c) participate in the development of a consensus of opinion with regard to issues about curriculum. The content analysis procedure applied to the curriculum guides compared a representative number of county guides to the state document, and then to each other. Framing questions were used. The framing questions were developed from the textual content of the curriculum guides. The contents of the guides were then audited against the framing questions. Both research strategies were organized around a curriculum model developed from the ideas of George J. Posner. The use of one model for the investigation provided a means for comparison of the two sets of data. In addition, a content analysis procedure was used on portions of the Delphi questionnaire to extract more data. Seven areas of curriculum were used to organize data collection: (a) purposes of music, (b) goals of music, (c) important characteristics of a music curriculum, (d) methods and procedures used in teaching, (e) characteristics exhibited by a person who has been musically educated, (f) considerations in the development of curriculum, and (g) determinants of curriculum. A convergence of opinion for six of the seven areas of curriculum was obtained in round one of the Delphi process. The seventh area was determined to have achieved consensus in round two. The content analysis of curriculum guides revealed them to be reductions of the state guide. Counting and unitizing of the instructional objectives into categories for elements of music used, skills developed, and activities employed was done. Four chi square goodness of fit tests were used to compare sets of coded instructional objectives with the main body of instructional objectives in the state document. Curriculum adjustments were most often associated with form, timbre, and melody, and used the activities of listening and describing music. The comparison made between the curriculum adjustments and the ideals of teachers revealed many similarities. Issues of inconsistency between the rankings of expert respondents about curriculum and the curriculum adjustments were resolved through this comparison.