Date of Award

December 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Sheila Feay-Shaw


Male elementary general music teachers are rare, and little research exists about them. The men who teach music at the elementary level often face challenges that they must overcome through their own experimentation. One such challenge is the octave difference in singing voice between teacher and student. This study reviewed the existing literature on male elementary teachers and investigated five male elementary general music teachers at various stages in their careers. Eighteen structured interview questions were used, and the answers audio recorded and transcribed. The teacher responses were analyzed and compared to the author's own experience as a male elementary general music teacher. The knowledge gained outlined pedagogical decisions and new educational approaches for male elementary general music teachers in particular but also techniques which can benefit teachers in general. Contrary to existing research, these men did not find gender stereotypes contributed to their professional challenges. The octave difference in singing voice between adult males and elementary students was the sole challenge related to gender, and several pedagogical solutions were identified. Personal stories and experiences are presented to give practical advice to all male music educators considering or currently teaching elementary general music.