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The state of guitar education in the United States

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Guitar education has emerged as a discipline in K-12 institutions alongside ‘traditional’ music education such as band, orchestra and chorus in recent decades. Despite the substantial body of literature containing practical advice on teaching guitar, research-supported scholarship is lacking. The purpose of this study was to provide an evidentiary-based understanding of the professional profiles of guitar educators. A large sample (n = 1269) of guitar educators participated in the Guitar Educator Questionnaire (GEQ). Findings from the GEQ suggest a low per cent (7.9%) of music educators who teach guitar class consider themselves to be ‘guitar specialists’. A substantial number of respondents (68.5%) indicated that they rarely or never participated in guitar-related professional development, and 76.1% of respondents reported that their pre-service training provided little or no preparation for a career in guitar education.
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Keywords: alternative music education; general music; guitar; guitar education; popular music; teacher profiles

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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