This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A Survey of Band Directors' Practices for and Attitudes about Accommodating Students with Cogntive or Behavioral Exceptionalities into Middle and High School Band Programs




Washington, Chloe

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Curriculum and Teaching


This study examined secondary band directors’ practices and attitudes about accommodating students with cognitive or behavioral exceptionalities in middle and high school band programs. The research questions were: 1. What are band directors’ practices for including students with cognitive or behavioral exceptionalities in a middle or high school band program? 2. What are the most frequently used strategies for including these students in band programs? 3. What are band directors’ attitudes towards including students with cognitive and behavioral exceptionalities in their programs? 4. What differences exist in accommodations based on the following variables: (a) program size, (b) school type, (c) number of years teaching, (d) number of years teaching inclusion classes, (e) teacher coursework/ professional development? I used an online survey to explore the attitudes and most frequently used strategies of middle and high school band directors who have students with cognitive or behavioral impairments in their band programs. I used the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) directory to email the survey to 11,000 potential participants. The data collection tool was a quantitative online survey regarding band program information and the type and frequency of teaching practices used. One hundred sixty-eight total responses were collected, yielding 67 usable responses after those who did not meet the study criteria were filtered out. Survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and crosstabulations to determine associations between variables. Band directors in this study regularly used individual instruction, peer mentoring, and adapted music for their students. They had generally positive attitudes towards teaching students with special needs in their programs. This positive outlook on inclusion bodes well for more diverse ensembles. Future research on this topic should include studying the efficacy and feasibility of individual instruction for students with special needs in an instrumental music setting and peer mentoring as a viable teaching strategy for these students.