Abstract

Following more than half a century of resistance to popular music in the classroom, modern band programs have proliferated in the United States since the early 2000s. Supported in part by the music education nonprofit Little Kids Rock (LKR), proponents of modern band aim to engage more students in school music and to support creative, student-centered music-making. The present study examined responses to the 2019 LKR end-of-year teacher survey and found that program participation has grown substantially in recent years, but is concentrated in a few urban areas. Teachers perceived that modern band expanded access to music education by engaging more students while also making themselves more committed to the teaching profession. With respect to student learning, teachers perceived that modern band allowed for nonmusical outcomes, including academic motivation and the creation of classroom social bonds. To a lesser extent, teachers perceived that students achieved creative outcomes, such as composition and improvisation.

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