A music major asked me a simple question. As a professor and advisor, I was expected to provide an equally simple answer. She said, "It has always been my dream to teach horn at a college or university. I'm trying to decided whether to enter the B.M. program or the B.M.E. program. Which degree do you think will best help me get a job?" I was dumbfounded. I assumed the B.M. to be the most appropriate degree, but I didn't have a shred of evidence to back up my contention. Furthermore, I could not confidently assemble a list of credentials needed to secure such a position. As we spoke further, I realized that a music major hoping to teach applied music at the college level faces many difficult questions:
1. What type of bachelor's degree is best to obtain (e.g., B.M. or B.M.E.)?
2. How important is music course work and preparation in non-applied areas?
3. How important is a G.P.A.?
4. How essential is teaching experience? Must it go beyond the instructor level?
5. How important are performance competitions?
After graduating with a bachelor's degree, a student will have still more questions:
6. Is it necessary to obtain both a master's degree and a doctorate? If so, which type of each degree is best?
7. Are performance reviews necessary?
8. Is publishing important? If so, should articles, books, or music be published?
9. Does one need to be able to teach in an area other than applied music?
10. Is it important to perform in nationally known music ensembles?
The simplest and perhaps worst answer is: "Do it all." Rarely does a student have the ability, opportunity, or inclination to excel in each of these areas. Rarer still, as will be shown later, is the prospective employer who seeks a candidate with such wide-ranging activities. It is also possible that the student who attempts to excel in all areas risks sacrificing standards of good teaching, performance, or scholarship.
Existing studies have dealt only indirectly with this issue.1 One exception is a study by LeRoy Pogemiller, who studied positions announced in the College Music Society's Music Faculty Vacancy Lists.2 This study, though, reports mostly on non-applied areas.
The present essay reports the results of a survey designed to discover the criteria used by United States college and university faculty when evaluating candidates for applied music faculty positions. In addition, this study examines ways in which hiring criteria differ at private versus state schools and at colleges, universities, and conservatories.
Survey Response Design
In the fall of 1990, a survey (see Appendix) was distributed to the Dean/Chair at each member institution of the National Association of Schools of Music (N.A.S.M.) that offers a bachelor's degree. In all, 590 surveys were mailed and 324 completed surveys were returned, yielding a response rate of 55%. Data from six returned surveys were not included in the statistical analysis. Of these, one was returned blank (with an accompanying explanation) and five were from schools that do not offer a bachelor's degree. Therefore, 318 surveys were included in the statistical analysis, producing an effective response rate of 54%. Questions on the survey were divided into eight areas regarding an applied music faculty position, including the candidate's (1) education, (2) teaching experience, (3) teaching ability, (4) performing experience, (5) performing ability, (6) publication record, (7) references, and (8) other factors. One question under each of these eight areas allowed respondents to add narrative responses. Finally, respondents were asked to rank the importance of the eight factors.
Twenty-six questions on the survey asked respondents to rate (but not rank) the importance of a specific factor in evaluating a candidate. Seven questions asked what credentials are required of the candidate. Ten questions asked for information about the respondent's own institution. Postmarks on envelopes were examined in order to ascertain in which state each respondent's school was located. Respondents' schools were divided among four regions of the country, as defined by the American Association of University Professors.
Respondents answered 96% of the questions regarding candidates' qualifications and credentials. On 1290 occasions, respondents added narrative comments to their answers of specific questions. Respondents answered 87% of the demographic questions.
Responses to demographic questions yielded profiles of both the respondent's college/university and department/school of music. More than half of the respondents' schools are state affiliated; two-thirds are universities; two-thirds offer at least a master's degree; and two-thirds have more than 3000 students (Table 1).
College/University Profile (Survey Question nos. 26-29)
Affiliation (N=277)* Private: 44%‡ State affiliated: 56% Type of institution (N=277) Colleges: 33% Universities: 65% Conservatories: 2% Other: 1% Number of full-time students (N=277) Under 1500: 19% 1500-2999: 17% 3000-9999: 31% 10,000 or more: 34% Most advanced degree offered by institution (N=277) Bachelor's: 17% Master's: 45% Doctorate: 34% Other: 3%
*N=277: Number of responses equals 277. ‡Percentages of those responding to the question. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%.
The vast majority of respondents teach in departments of music that do not offer a doctorate. Over half the schools have fewer than 20 full-time faculty members and fewer than 200 music majors. More than half of the schools that responded to the survey had conducted a job search for an applied position in the 1989-90 school year or more recently (Table 2).
Department/School of Music Profile (Survey Question nos. 31-35)
Type of institution (N=277) Department of Music: 78% School of Music: 17% Conservatory of Music: 4% Other: 2% Most advanced degree offered by department/school of music (N=277) Bachelor's: 44% Master's: 43% Doctorate: 12% Other: 2% Number of full-time faculty in department/school of music (N=276) 0-4: 4% 5-9: 27% 10-19: 33% 20-29: 18% 30 or more: 17% Number of music majors in your department/school of music (N=276) 0-24: 4% 25-99: 45% 100-199: 25% 200 or more: 25% Last search for full-time faculty member in applied music (N=275) Search currently in progress (fall, 1990): 19% 1989-90: 38% 1988-89: 15% 1987-88: 7% 1986-87 or earlier: 22%
Respondents' schools are located primarily in the South and in the North Central regions (Table 3).
Location of Respondents' Schools (N=300)
Northeast: 8% Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont North Central: 33% Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin South: 36% Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia West: 16% Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
The demographic make-up of schools that responded to the survey closely matches that of all N.A.S.M. schools granting a bachelor's degree3 (Table 4).
Respondent Demographics vs. N.A.S.M. Demographics
Affiliation Respondents 44% 56% N.A.S.M. 44 56
Colleges Univ. Conserv.* Other Type of Institution Respondents 33 65 2 1 N.A.S.M. 30 66 1 1
N.E. North Central South West Region Respondents 8 33 36 16 N.A.S.M. 12 33 39 16
*Six conservatories (out of a total of seven N.A.S.M. conservatories) responded to the survey.
Minimum Requirements for Candidates
Seven questions in the survey help to create a list of minimum requirements for candidates. These deal with the candidate's education, teaching experience, and non-applied teaching requirements.
What degrees will a student need in order to compete successfully in the post-secondary applied teaching market? Three-quarters of the schools polled require candidates to possess at least a master's degree. More than a third also require a doctorate. Private schools more often require doctorates than do state schools. Conservatories are far more likely than colleges or universities to have no specific degree requirement (Table 5).
Most Advanced Degree a Candidate Must Possess (Survey Question no. 2)
No specific requirement Bachelor's Master's Doctorate Other
All schools (N=315) 11% 4% 44% 38% 3%
Private (N=119) 13 5 37 42 3 State (N=148) 10 3 48 36 3
Colleges (N=88) 3 3 48 43 2 Universities (N=172) 14 4 42 38 3 Conservatories (N=6) 67 0 33 0 0
Twenty-six respondents added narrative comments to their responses to this question. These include the following:4
—"Depends specifically on the position. We require everything from a doctorate to no degree depending on the specific needs of the position." (a private university)
—"College Dean looks very favorably upon earned doctorates." (a private college)
—"The DMA/Ph.D. is increasingly desirable." (a state university)
For those schools that have a preference, the preferred types of degrees are the B.M. (rather than B.M.E.), M.M. (rather than M.M.E.), and D.M.A. (rather than Ph.D.). Approximately half the schools, however, have no preference for the type of bachelor's degree or doctorate (Table 6). Responses varied little according to type of school (private or state; college, university, or conservatory), with the exception of conservatories. Of conservatories, 83% prefer the B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. Twenty-two respondents added narrative comments. Of these, fourteen stated that the type of degree "depends on the position to be filled."
Preferred Types of Degrees (Survey Question no. 3)
No pref. B.M. B.M.E. Other Bachelor's degree All schools (N=286) 52% 37% 8% 4%
No pref. B.M. B.M.E. Other Master's degree All schools (N=296) 38 58 2 2
No pref. B.M. B.M.E. Other Doctorate All schools (N=300) 49 44 5 2
Nearly half of all schools require at least two or three years of applied teaching experience (Table 7).
Minimum Years of Applied Music Teaching Experience Required (Survey Question no. 5)
Not a consideration 0-1 2-3 4-5 6 or more Other
All schools (N=314) 25% 12% 32% 14% 3% 14%
Forty-seven narrative responses were obtained from this question. Of these, nineteen stated that the need for teaching experience varies with the position. Others stated:
—"Experience is a consideration, but we have no minimum requirement." (demographics unknown)
—"Some experience is preferred; the quality of that experience is very important." (a state university)
Nearly a third of schools require at least two or three years of classroom teaching experience. But for nearly half of the schools, classroom teaching experience is not a consideration (Table 8).
Minimum Years of Classroom Teaching Experience Required (Survey Question no. 6)
Not a consideration 0-1 2-3 4-5 6 or more Other
All schools (N=314) 40% 16% 22% 8% 1% 13%
Of thirty narrative comments, fifteen stated that the required experience depends on the position.
Other Teaching Responsibilities
Nearly all schools (but only 67% of conservatories) require a candidate to teach in an academic area outside of applied music (music theory, music history, music education, or "other"). This area is most often music theory or music history (Table 9).
Area Candidates Will Most Often Teach Other Than Applied Music (Survey Question no. 23)
None Mu. Theo. Mu. Hist. Mu. Educ. Other
All schools (N=307) 11% 59% 51% 34% 35%
Respondents added 105 narrative comments for this question, listing twelve different courses a candidate might teach, such as music appreciation (37 responses), chamber music (9 responses), and applied pedagogy or literature (8 responses). Five schools said that a candidate might teach "any courses" or "all courses," while nineteen schools stated that it depends on the position and the expertise of the candidate (e.g., "any areas for which qualified").
Rating of Importance
for Specific Credentials and Qualifications
Twenty-six questions asked respondents to indicate the importance of a specified factor in evaluating a candidate for an applied teaching position. Responses were "1" (very important) to "5" (not important). Tables 10, 11, and 12 present the responses to these questions, listed in order of descending mean responses. There are two caveats in examining these lists. First, respondents did not rank these specific factors. Second, differences between responses that are adjacent in the tables are, in most cases, negligible.
"Performing ability—musicality" yielded both the highest mean response and the smallest standard deviation for all schools and for each demographic grouping of schools. Eight factors relating to performing ability, teaching ability, and personal references are most important, with mean responses of 1.00-1.99 (Table 10).
Most Important Factors (Survey Question no. 25)
mean resp.* std. dev.
Performing ability—musicality 1.04 .23 Teaching ability—as demonstrated in the on-campus lesson or master class 1.31‡ .62 Performing ability—technical ability 1.31 .53 References—content of candidate's references 1.45 .70 Performing ability—choice of music 1.60 .73 References—reputation of persons writing candidate's references 1.69 .79 References—how long ago references were written 1.73 .81 Performing ability—tape fidelity (if evaluation is done by tape) 1.97 .90
*"1" is most important. "5" is least important. ‡88% of schools require candidates to teach an applied music lesson or present a master class as part of the in-person evaluation process. The mean response of 1.31 does include responses from the 11% of respondents who do not have this requirement.
Eight factors, four of which deal with the candidate's education, are less important, with mean responses of 2.00-2.99 (Table 11).
Less Important Factors (Survey Question no. 25)
mean resp. std. dev.
Education—reputation of applied teachers with whom candidate studied 2.01 .86 Education—reputation of schools where candidate received post-secondary education 2.04 .86 Education—specific course work done by the candidate 2.25 1.00 Other factors—candidate's willingness to teach outside applied area 2.35 1.26 Teaching experience—that candidate have taught at a post-secondary institution 2.45 1.17 Performing experience—reputation of music ensembles in which non-keyboard candidate has performed 2.50 1.00 Education—candidate's post-secondary G.P.A.'s 2.62 .93 Performing experience—that candidate be able to submit performance reviews 2.78 1.16
Ten factors, all but one dealing with publications and "other factors," are the least important, with mean responses of 3.00-3.99 (Table 12).
Least Important Factors (Survey Question no. 25)
mean resp. std. dev.
Publications—content of candidate's publications 3.00 1.30 Publications—reputation of journals/publishers publishing candidate's work 3.11 1.30 Other factors—that candidate have a national or international reputation 3.23 1.15 Other factors—that candidate have won music competitions 3.33 1.05 Publications—publication of articles 3.47 1.10 Publications—publication of music 3.64 1.10 Other factors—that candidate be able to submit commercial recordings 3.66 1.16 Publications—publication of books 3.80 1.06 Teaching experience—that candidate have held rank above Instructor level 3.81 1.21 Publications—number of publications by candidate 3.87 .96
In considering data from all schools, no factors received mean responses of 4.00-5.00.
Responses from state and private schools differ significantly for six items (significant is defined as p ≤ .01). Compared to private schools, state schools attach more importance to publications and to three "other factors" (Table 13).
Comparison of Factors for Private and State Schools
mean resp. std. dev.
Publications—reputation of journals/publishers publishing candidate's work Private 3.36 1.30 State 2.91 1.26 Other factors—that candidate have a national or international reputation Private 3.48 1.13 State 2.96 1.12 Other factors—that candidate have won music competitions Private 3.58 1.07 State 3.08 1.00 Publications—publication of articles Private 3.66 1.08 State 3.26 1.12 Other factors—that candidate be able to submit commercial recordings Private 3.85 1.17 State 3.44 1.17 Publications—number of publications by candidate Private 4.06 .87 State 3.70 1.01
Five of these same six items are rated as more important by conservatories than by universities and more important by universities than colleges. It is most important that candidates applying for conservatory positions, as opposed to college or university positions, have a national or international reputation and that they be able to submit commercial recordings. A significant difference also exists concerning the importance of the publication of articles (Table 14).
Comparison of Factors for Colleges, Universities, and Conservatories
mean resp. std. dev.
Publications—content of candidate's publications Colleges* 3.46 1.29 Universities* 2.78 1.37 Conservatories 2.50 1.38 Publications—reputation of journals/publishers publishing candidate's work Colleges* 3.60 1.18 Universities* 2.88 1.27 Conservatories 2.50 1.97 Other factors—that candidate have a national or international reputation Colleges*‡ 3.71 1.05 Universities‡ 2.98 1.12 Conservatories* 2.16 1.33 Other factors—that candidate have won music competitions Colleges*‡ 3.71 1.00 Universities‡ 3.12 1.02 Conservatories* 2.50 1.05 Publications—publication of articles Colleges* 3.72 1.04 Universities* 3.29 1.33 Conservatories 3.83 1.17 Other factors—that candidate be able to submit commercial recordings Colleges*‡ 4.00 1.01 Universities‡ 3.46 1.20 Conservatories* 2.33 1.21
*, ‡ Denotes pairs of groups which are significantly different (p ≤ .05), using the Scheffé procedure.
Respondent Ranking of Eight Overall Factors
Respondents ranked the importance of eight general factors in evaluating a candidate for an applied teaching position. Based on mean responses, all schools and each demographic subgroup ranked teaching ability as the most important factor and performing ability as second in importance (Table 15).
mean resp.* std. dev.
1. Teaching Ability 1.78 1.28 2. Performing Ability 2.29 1.32 3. Teaching Experience 3.75 1.41 4. Education 3.89 1.74 5. Performing Experience 4.24 1.49 6. References 4.88 1.66 7. Other Factors 6.73‡ 2.23 8. Publications 6.83 1.18
*"1" is most important. "8" is least important. ‡175 respondents did not rank "other factors." Were these responses interpreted as a ranking of "8" (least important), then "other factors" would have been ranked eighth overall (mean response: 7.43, standard deviation: 1.62).
Demographic subgroups (private versus state; college versus university versus conservatory) demonstrated remarkable agreement in ranking the eight factors. No subgroup ranked an individual factor more than one level higher or lower than any other subgroup.
Narrative Comments for Eight Overall Factors
Respondents added many comments regarding the eight general factors listed on the survey. For each factor, respondents were asked "Are there any other factors that are important in evaluating the candidate?" The responses to this question are difficult to quantify, but they shed light on many critical issues in evaluating a candidate. A sampling of these comments appears below.
A wide variety of concerns were voiced by 175 respondents regarding a candidate's education. In 25 comments, respondents stated that candidates should have sufficient training for a second teaching area. Candidates are sought who can demonstrate "breadth of education." Other educational factors include:
—"Attitude, enthusiasm; whether he or she has done the 'homework.' (In other words, [has he or she] bothered to look at the curriculum here.)" (a state university)
—"General cultural background and the candidate's enthusiasm and vitality." (a state college)
—"Intangibles and variables of all sorts." (demographics unknown)
—"Did they do all degrees in a single school (less desirable)? Do they have any liberal-arts background (important to understanding our campus)?" (a private college)
—"Participation in post-graduate work, e.g., workshop, master classes, etc." (a private college)
—"Personality, ability to recruit and retain students, ability to perform, ability to build a studio." (a state college)
—"Since performance faculty also teach other music courses, the ability to speak and write well are paramount." (a private university)
—"The best blend in a faculty at a comprehensive university is achieved by having performer-scholars and scholar-performers. We give preference to those with academic as well as performance interests." (a state university)
Respondents added 170 comments in this area. Many schools stated an interest in the "achievements and success" of the candidate's former students (28 comments), public school teaching experience (10 comments), student teaching evaluations (8 comments), ability to teach other courses (7 comments), candidate's personality (6 comments), and, most important, proven success and quality of teaching (35 comments). Comments included the following:
—"A candidate for an applied position which involves pedagogy instruction must provide evidence of extensive knowledge and skill in pedagogy. Our department's primary mission is teacher education, so we also inspect the candidate's knowledge of and commitment to public school music." (a state university)
—"Ability to discipline students and gain their respect." (a private university)
—"An understanding of and respect for the importance of teaching." (a state university)
—"Classroom experience (and interest) is very important for performers on viola, oboe, bassoon, or any instrument where the studio load is highly likely to be perpetually low." (a state university)
—"Evidence of involvement with pedagogy through writing, research, paper presentations, etc." (a private university)
—"In some instances (wind/percussion) public school experience may be helpful in teaching class instrument courses to music education majors." (a state university)
—"Personal qualities in interactive situations with students." (a state university)
—"The success of [the candidate's] students is extraordinarily important; do students of the candidate participate in major summer festivals (Aspen, Tanglewood, etc.); do they become accepted for post-graduate training at leading institutions; are they successful in auditions for orchestras, etc.?" (a private university)
The ideal teacher is difficult to describe. One respondent seeks teachers with the ability
—"(a) to motivate, (b) to inspire self-directed learning, (c) to make relationships between history and theory and the performance process, and (d) to free students to make their own musical judgments." (a state university)
Of 145 other comments, nearly a third (45 comments) stressed the importance of the candidate's personality, communication skills, and ability to form good relationships with students. Also mentioned were the candidate's "ability to relate to students of varying ability" (10 comments) and a knowledge of pedagogy and literature for their performance areas (8 comments). Other comments:
—"We pose hypothetical questions and problems, expecting the candidate to respond with a rational answer or a realistic solution. Half of our candidates fail this part of the interview. They are not trained to think critically." (a state university)
—"How does applicant relate to the student as a person, e.g., how does she handle the proverbial 'small but ugly' voice, while not making the same feel 'small and ugly' as a person?" (demographics unknown)
—"Ability to establish a rapport with students and get along with professional peers." (a state college)
—"An approach that evidences a command of material and an ability for the personal approach to wear well over a long period of time. We are not interested in the clinicianit doesn't wear well." (a private college)
—"Communication skills, demeanor, manners, attitude towards teaching and the welfare of the student." (a state university)
—"Demonstrate knowledge of the pedagogy of the instrument." (a state university)
—"The ability to adapt to the particular [student] body profile without compromising excellence." (a private college)
Respondents expressed an interest in the breadth and quality of the candidate's performing experience. Among 123 comments were the following:
—"Prefer principal chairs whenever possible." (demographics unknown)
—"Needs to be well-rounded, i.e., solo, chamber ensemble and varieties of large ensembles when appropriate." (a state university-conservatory)
—"Number of performances and quality level of performance engagements: Carnegie Hall vs. Bunky vs. alma mater U." (demographics unknown)
—"Honesty and clarity of resumé." (a private university)
"—P.R. materials reflect management skill too often; reviews are usually small time. The important factor is going to be where were the recitals heldwere they by invitation, was a performance fee charged, etc. All playing opportunities are not equal by any means." (a state university)
Regarding performing ability, one respondent mentioned the importance of
—"Appearance. Stage presence. Everything." (demographics unknown)
Of the other 88 comments, 16 mentioned the importance of stage presence and 5 mentioned the "ability to work musically with others." Other comments included:
—"As a chamber music performer, it is important for candidates to have a documentable record of compatibility with other performers." (a state university)
—"How readily a performer can perform on short notice." (a private college)
—"Intellectual understanding of musical structure and style and the ability to project them in the performance." (a private college)
—"Intonation, rhythmic precision, variety of repertoire, styles presented." (a state university)
—"[Audition] tape need only be good enough to represent the performer. A too highly engineered tape can give rise to speculation about editing. Prefer a live recital tape of adequate quality." (a state university)
Most schools stated little interest in whether or not candidates have published. Ten respondents stated that publication is neither expected nor required of most applied faculty. The remaining 31 comments included the following:
—"Publication is not a requirement since performance is the measure. However, if publications are submitted, they should be of the first quality. Anything less gives rise to questions about the individual's standards." (a state university)
—"A fine performer/teacher is not expected to divert energy to publishing." (a private university)
—"Publications or writing should not interfere with teaching." (a private college)
—"Publications will help a candidate but lack of them will not hurt." (demographics unknown)
Of 92 comments, twenty emphasized the need to telephone those persons writing references. Other considerations include: confidentiality of references (10 comments); importance of the length and type of association between the candidate and reference person (9 comments); and that references should include "specific facts about the candidate as opposed to generalities" (5 comments). Other comments included the following:
—"Are the recommendations 'guarded'do we need to read between the lines?" (a private university)
—"Do not send courtesy letters, to whom it may concern references from summer programs, etc. There is too much fluff in many applied applicant's files." (a state university)
—"I rarely 'believe' written references; I rely almost entirely on networking with people I know and trust." (a private college)
—"In this time of 'open' reference, letters cannot be depended upon." (a state university)
—"It is very unusual that any candidate gets less than 'rave' references because of our litigious society." (a private college)
—"References [should] detail each pertinent area (solo performance, chamber music, large ensemble, recruiting)." (a state university)
—"Variety—a 'geographic' distribution is better than all references being from same location." (demographics unknown)
—"What they don't say!" (a state college)
Of 115 respondent comments, several listed as many as five or six other factors when evaluating a candidate. Respondents pay great attention to the personality of the candidate (33 comments), and to the candidate's sense of collegiality, that is, the ability to get along well with other members of the department (31 comments). Respondents also mentioned a candidate's ability to recruit and retain students (8 comments), church affiliation (7 comments), appearance (5 comments), eagerness for the position (3 comments), and "agreement with the stated mission, goals and objectives of the institution." Other comments included:
—"Personal stability, ability to communicate with students at varying levels of achievement, ability to work easily with colleagues." (a state university)
—"Very, very important is the candidate's ability to recruit and retain a quality and quantity of students commensurate with the mission and objectives of the institution." (a private university)
—"Ability to 'get along.' Outgoing personality. Neatly dressed and appropriate appearance." (demographics unknown)
—"Ability to interact collegially with colleagues; ability to work well with students; self-confidence without arrogance...." (a state college)
—"Ability to interact and take part in departmental and university committees." (a state university)
—"Affirmative action; collegiality." (a state university)
—"Age, sex (e.g., female vocalist needed), appearance, attitude, housing—these factors may determine the choice." (a private college)
—"Agreement with the stated mission, goals and objectives of the institution." (a private college)
—"Appearance, moral character, enthusiasm, energy." (demographics unknown)
A candidate's collegiality and personality were most frequently mentioned (26 comments). The 61 comments in the overall evaluation included the following:
—"General literacy and interest in being in an academic setting because of a belief in education, not because there is no place else to make a living. A performing faculty member is far more than a performer on a faculty. He/she is an educator and should be able to share, or at least relate to, the values of the education faculty, the theorists and/or the historians. If they cannot, they should seek a conservatory position or stay in public performance." (Respondent ranked this "other factor" as 7 out of 8 in importance.) (a state university)
—"Helpful note: The quality of paper and the printed format of the candidate's vita have an effect (visual) in causing a search committee to look twice at the candidate's credentials. I have observed this from having served on numerous search committees over the past 20 years." (a state university)
—"I find it difficult to answer your questions accurately, for the mix of persons/positions defies such codification. So here's my list of criteria: (1) superb preparation (really knows subject; performs well; etc.); (2) potential for outstanding teaching (we put each candidate through the paces with classes, lessons to teach); (3) a good human being (warm, congenial, relates well to others, sincere, humble); (4) a hard-worker (will give 150%!)" (This respondent did not rank "other factors," but ranked all factors other than "other factors" as 1 out of 8 in importance.) (a state university)
—"Impossible to so prioritize." (demographics unknown)
—"There are particular situation considerations. For example, a pianist to perform with our piano quartet would be expected to perform very well; a class piano specialist would not be expected to be a concert artist but to have the requisite pedagogical skills." (This respondent ranked this "other factor" as 6 out of 8 in importance.) (a state university)
—"Sorry, these are all critical factors and cannot be in rank order. For us to hire an applied faculty member, all the qualifications must be in place." (Respondent ranked all factors except publications and "other factors" as 1 out of 8 in importance.) (a state university)
Advice to Students Based on Survey Results
Based on the data obtained from this survey, a person who aspires to teach applied music at a college or university should:
1. Earn at least a master's degree and, if possible, a doctorate.
2. Probably choose a B.M., very likely choose a M.M., and probably choose a D.M.A.
3. Acquire two to three years of applied teaching experience. (In order to obtain the position of one's dreams, it might be necessary to hold a position at a less desirable institution, to teach during summers, or to teach part-time.)
4. Acquire one to three years of classroom teaching experience if possible.
5. Be prepared to teach at least one area outside of applied music, especially music theory, music history, music education, or music appreciation.
Schools look for candidates who are both excellent performers and teachers. They seek individuals with a proven track record—teachers who can demonstrate that their former students have been successful in the world of music. They weigh very heavily the candidate's personality and potential for establishing a good rapport with colleagues and students.
In the years before musicians look for applied teaching jobs, they must practice diligently, perform often, earn the right degrees, and acquire an outstanding ability and true love for teaching music.
Applied Music Faculty Selection Process
at U.S. Colleges and Universities
Please answer the following questions as they pertain to evaluating a candidate for an applied music faculty position. Your answers should reflect what your policies might be if a search were begun at your school today.
1. How important is each of the following in evaluating the candidate? very not important important the reputation of the schools where the candidate received post-secondary education: 1 2 3 4 5 the post-secondary G.P.A.'s earned by the candidate: 1 2 3 4 5 the specific course work done by the candidate: 1 2 3 4 5 the reputation of the applied teachers with whom the candidate has studied: 1 2 3 4 5 2. What is the most advanced degree that you require a candidate to possess? ∼ No specific requirement ∼ Bachelors ∼ Masters ∼ Doctorate ∼ Other: 3. Indicate your preference for each type of degree at each level: Bachelors: ∼ No preference ∼ B.M. ∼ B.M.E. ∼ Other: Masters: ∼ No preference ∼ B.M. ∼ B.M.E. ∼ Other: Doctorate: ∼ No preference ∼ B.M. ∼ B.M.E. ∼ Other: 4. Are there other other educational factors that are important in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
5. What is the minimum number of years of applied music teaching experience that you require of the candidate? ∼ Not a consideration ∼ 0-1 ∼ 2-3 ∼ 4-5 ∼ 6 or more ∼ Other: 6. What is the minimum number of years of classroom teaching experience that you require of the candidate? ∼ Not a consideration ∼ 0-1 ∼ 2-3 ∼ 4-5 ∼ 6 or more ∼ Other: very not important important 7. How important is it that the candidate... have taught at a post-secondary institution: 1 2 3 4 5 have held rank above the Instructor level: 1 2 3 4 5 8. Are there other factors regarding teaching experience that are important in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
9. As part of the in-person evaluation process, is the candidate required to teach an applied music lesson or present a master class? ∼ No. (Please skip the following question.) ∼ Yes. 10. In evaluating the candidate, how important is the teaching very not ability of the candidate as demonstrated in the on-campus important important lesson or master class? 1 2 3 4 5 11. Are there other factors regarding teaching ability that are important in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
12. How important is the reputation of the music ensembles in very not which the candidate has performed (for candidates other important important than keyboard players)? 1 2 3 4 5 13. How important is it that the candidate be able to submit the following? performance reviews: 1 2 3 4 5 commercial recordings: 1 2 3 4 5 14. Are there other factors regarding performing experience that are important in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
Please answer the following questions as they relate to the performing ability of the candidate, as demonstrated by a tape, commercial recording or live performance: 15. How important is the candidate's... very not important important musicality: 1 2 3 4 5 technical ability: 1 2 3 4 5 choice of music: 1 2 3 4 5 16. If evaluation is done by tape recording, how important is tape fidelity? 17. Are there other factors regarding performing ability that are important in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
18. How important is each of the following? very not important important publication of articles: 1 2 3 4 5 publication of books: 1 2 3 4 5 publication of music: 1 2 3 4 5 the number of publications by the candidate: 1 2 3 4 5 the content of candidate's publications: 1 2 3 4 5 the reputation of the journals (for articles) or publishers (for books and music) which have published the candidate's work: 1 2 3 4 5 19. Are there other factors regarding publications that are important in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
20. How important is each of the following? very not important important the reputation of the persons writing the candidate's references: 1 2 3 4 5 the content of the candidate's references: 1 2 3 4 5 how long ago the references were written: 1 2 3 4 5 21. Are there other factors regarding references that are important in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
22. How important is it that the candidate... very not important important have a national or international reputation: 1 2 3 4 5 have won music competitions: 1 2 3 4 5 be willing to teach outside of his or her applied area: 1 2 3 4 5 23. What areas outside of his or her applied area would a candidate most often be required to teach? ∼ None ∼ Music Theory ∼ Music History ∼ Music Education ∼ Other: 24. Are there any other factors that would be considered in evaluating the candidate? ∼ No ∼ Yes. If yes, please specify:
25. Please rank (1-8) the importance of the following factors in evaluating the candidate. (1 is most important. 8 is least important. Use each number only once.) _____ Education _____ Performing Ability _____ Teaching Experience _____ Publications _____ Teaching Ability _____ References _____ Performing Experience _____ Other Factors:
26. Is your institution private or state affiliated? ∼ Private ∼ State affiliated ∼ Other: 27. Which of the following best describes your institution? ∼ College ∼ University ∼ Conservatory ∼ Other: 28. How many full time students attend your institution? ∼ Under 1500 ∼ 1500-2999 ∼ 3000-9999 ∼ 10,000 or more 29. What is the most advanced degree offered at your institution? ∼ Bachelors ∼ Masters ∼ Doctorate ∼ Other: 30. What is the distance between your institution and the nearest major metropolitan center (population of at least 500,000)? ∼ Institution is located in or within 1 mile of a city of this size ∼ 2-9 miles ∼ 10-49 miles ∼ 50-99 miles ∼ 100 or more miles
Department/School of Music Profile
31. Which of the following best describes your department/school of music? ∼ Department of Music ∼ School of Music ∼ Conservatory of Music ∼ Other: 32. What is the most advanced degree offered by your department/school of music? ∼ Bachelors ∼ Masters ∼ Doctorate ∼ Other: 33. How many full time faculty teach at your department/school of music? ∼ 0-4 ∼ 5-9 ∼ 10-19 ∼ 20-29 ∼ 30 or more 34. How many music majors are currently enrolled in your department/school of music? ∼ 0-24 ∼ 25-99 ∼ 100-199 ∼ 200 or more 35. When is the last time your department/school conducted a search for a full time faculty member in applied music? ∼ Search currently in progress ∼ 1989-90 school year ∼ 1988-89 ∼ 1987-88 ∼ 1986-87 or earlier
1David Boe, "Faculty Hiring," N.A.S.M. Proceedings 69 (1981): 82-89. Robert A. Cutietta, "Where College Teaching Jobs Are and What it Takes to Get Them," Music Educators Journal 73 (January 1987): 42-47. Marceau C. Myers, "Selection and Appointment of Faculty Members at the North Texas State University School of Music," N.A.S.M. Proceedings 69 (1981): 90-100. Ronald D. Ross, "The Fine Art of Faculty Recruitment," Music Educators Journal 67 (May 1981): 49-51.
2LeRoy Pogemiller, "College Teaching Jobs and The Marketplace," American Music Teacher 41:3 (December/January 1991-92): 32-35, 80-81.
3Based on the 1990 N.A.S.M. Directory.
4Respondent comments have been edited without affecting content. Spelling, capitalization, and the like have been changed when appropriate.