Research Studies in Music Education
School of Education
Initial teacher education plays an important role in preparing music teachers for schools. There is a growing interest in Chinese music teacher education, though limited research currently exists. This study investigated early-career teachers’ perspectives concerning the efficacy of the initial music teacher education program at Yu Cai Normal University (pseudonym), China. This mixed-methods study used a sequential explanatory design where qualitative interview data were used to provide further explanation and detail regarding survey results. The perceptions of early-career music teachers were sought on the importance, effectiveness, and usefulness of their initial teacher education and the most rewarding and challenging aspects of their beginning careers. Phase 1 of the data collection consisted of an online survey with 32 music education graduates of Yu Cai Normal University from 2015–2019. Phase 2 involved one-on-one semi-structured online interviews with three participants offering a range of views. Phase 3 was a combined analysis and discussion of the findings from Phases 1 and 2. Findings indicate that early-career music teachers highly valued their initial teacher education and their studies adequately prepared them for work, though the quality of their university subjects could still be improved. Early-career music teachers embrace the challenges of the profession and choir, competitions, and the act of teaching are their greatest rewards. Practical subjects remain the most critical components of music teacher education, and theory must be situated in contextualized practice.
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