Approaches of a Secondary Music Teacher in Response to the Social and Emotional Lives of Students

Scott Edgar


Music teachers interact regularly with students experiencing social and emotional challenges and are often under-prepared to do so. The purpose of this study was to examine approaches of a secondary general music teacher in responding to the social and emotional challenges of eight students in a music classroom at an alternative high school. A single instrumental case study design was employed to observe Ms. Jane's music class at Jackie Robinson School. Findings suggested home life, motivation to succeed, violence, abuse, neglect, and difficulty with self-image were challenges these students encountered, as perceived by the teacher. Ms. Jane attempted to lessen the impact these challenges had on her students through musical and interpersonal means. Implications for music teachers include the importance of music teacher/student interaction as related to student challenges and strategies to do so.