I aim for my research activities to have an impact on the scholarly and practical endeavors of music educators and music education researchers. I believe that systematic inquiry in music education can yield insights that could ultimately lead to more effective and meaningful methods and outcomes for music learners, more effective and impactful methods for music teachers, and more informed policy decisions. As such, my research agenda consists of three streams of work that I have deliberately cultivated during my time as a music education researcher. The three streams of inquiry that my research activity is focused on can be summarized generally as (a) research about music learning, (b) research about music teaching, and (c) research about music education policy. The research I conduct on issues of music learning and teaching overlaps considerably with work in educational psychology and related disciplines that examine constructs such as self-regulation, motivation, and cognition in general. The research I conduct on issues of music education policy incorporates methods and analytical approaches that are common in fields such as sociology and educational policy.
Music learning and learners
My primary stream of research is that which deals with music learning and learners. I have conducted many studies of how musicians practice and how social psychological individual differences might interact with learning processes as they unfold during practicing. For example, I have explored how motivational constructs, personality traits, and self-regulation tendencies might interact with approaches individuals take in practicing. I have also done work synthesizing the existing research on this topic and have proposed a theoretical instructional model designed to aid teachers as they work to help their students become more efficient and effective in their practicing.
Music teacher preparation
My secondary stream of research pertains to music teaching and more specifically, the preparation of music teachers. The studies I have completed in this area have dealt with issues relevant to music teacher recruitment, the development of music teacher commitment and identity, and the identification of characteristics of effective music teachers. This research continues to support my teaching efforts as a music teacher educator and serves to inform approaches for music teacher education curricular design.
Music education policy
The research I have conducted on issues of music education policy constitutes my tertiary stream of inquiry. The majority of my research in this area has consisted of secondary analyses of national data sets furnished by the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. Incorporating methodological techniques developed in econometrics and sociology, I have examined issues related to extramusical outcomes of music participation in school, resources available for school music programs, and music instruction embedded in classroom elementary school activities.
See some of my work on Google Scholar.