Secondary School Music in the US Data

A Web Tool for Exploring the 2009-2010 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Survey of Secondary School Music Specialists

I built this tool to allow for quick and easy exploration of the nationally representative dataset yielded from the NCES Survey of Secondary School Music Specialists. When using this app, you will be able to view data from nearly all of the items that were included in the survey and – if you choose to do so – explore how the data vary as a function of a number of demographic variables.

Click Here or on the Image Below to Access the App


The items in the survey address a wide range of topics:

  • General information about the teachers
    • Full-time/part-time status, teaching arrangement and schedule, experience, degrees, certifications
  • School curricular thrust, music course offerings, and enrollments
    • AP/IB music, band, chorus, strings/orchestra, chamber music, music theory, composition, songwriting, etc.
  • Teachers’ curricular emphases and assessment approaches
    • Emphases on goals related to the original national standards for music, methods of assessment used
  • Teachers’ professional activities and development
    • Collaborations within their schools, perceived impact of a variety of professional development activities
  • Perceptions of support
    • Impact of parents/administrators/students/community, adequacy of space and resources
  • Teachers’ activities outside of school
    • Personal music-related activities

The demographic variables include:

  • School enrollment size
    • Less than 500 students, 500 to 999 students, 1,000 or more students
  • School community type
    • City, Suburban, Town, Rural
  • School region
    • Northeast, Southeast, Central, West
  • School minority enrollment
    • Less than 6 percent, 6 to 20 percent, 21 to 49 percent, 50 percent or more
      • Defined by the NCES as combined Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native student
  • Percent eligible for free-reduced lunch
    • 25 percent or less, 26 to 50 percent, 51 to 75 percent, 76 percent or more

The Survey of Secondary School Music Specialists is one of several designed by the NCES to assess the status of arts education in the US schools. The data were collected from teachers within a stratified sample of schools representing all 50 US states as well as the District of Columbia. Of the 1,315 music specialists eligible for the survey, 1,065 responded, yielding a weighted response rate of 81.8%. Ultimately, the responses from the 1,065 music specialists are representative of a national sample of 61,430 music teachers nationwide. See the link to the NCES below for more information about the survey and technical information regarding the way the NCES prepared the data. A summary of the findings of the broader set of arts education surveys that were conducted can be found in Parsad and Spiegelman’s (2011) report, A Snapshot of Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 2009–10 (NCES 2011–078). 

Click here to find more documentation of this survey from the NCES