The Role of Music Education in Victorian Independent Secondary Schools_P Bohun.pdf (1.28 MB)

Voices in unison: The role of music education in Victorian independent secondary schools

Download (1.28 MB)
posted on 2023-08-21, 06:10 authored by Phillip BohunPhillip Bohun
The role of music education is an issue of concern in many Victorian independent Secondary Schools and the scope of this issue is not limited to teaching or the greater context of the teaching profession. The concern centers around the lack of recognition music education is afforded within school timetables, and the number of studies stating that many school principals do not value the positive outcomes of music education. This situation has a substantial impact the advancement of a holistic education for students enrolled in this scholastic system. This research focuses on the perceptions and implementation of music education programs in Victorian independent secondary schools by teachers, principals, tertiary academics and members of music societies. There is a dearth of knowledge in understanding the role of music education for those connected to these educational institutions and how they develop music programs to teach students. Therefore, this study aims to uncover the concerns associated with this issue and employ the resulting data to develop a practical grounded theory that explains the role of music education and the experiences of music educators in these institutions. Data was collected from a sample of professional music educators via semi-structured interviews. These interviews were completed during the months of July and August in 2013. The resulting structure of the interviews identified the key themes derived from the review of literature and created a framework for an in-depth exploration of the key issues of this study. The findings of this research study indicated that participants hold a strong belief that music education is crucial to the overall performance of their students across many aspects of their education and adolescent lives; that music educators experience a feeling of frustration as a result of the interrelationship and interaction of recognition, tradition and competition within the scholastic system; that these categories intersect to form a performance discourse; that music education is optional or elective by term, semester or year; that the leadership in these schools relies on an co-curricular approach. The findings have implications for music educators, school principals and leadership groups, the teaching profession, parents, the performing arts community, and Victorian education authorities and policy makers.



Central Queensland University

Additional Rights

Author retains copyright. This thesis may be freely copied and distributed for private use and study, however, no part of this thesis or the information contained therein may be included in or referred to in publications without prior written permission of the author and/or any reference fully acknowledged.

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor David Cashman

Thesis Type

  • Doctoral Thesis