Training for music administration: meeting the needs of future music faculty

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Description

Department chairs or school directors, as the bridge between administration and faculty, and closely associated with the teaching and learning at the heart of the institution, hold very important roles

Department chairs or school directors, as the bridge between administration and faculty, and closely associated with the teaching and learning at the heart of the institution, hold very important roles in the departments or schools they oversee. Many chairs and department administrators in music schools and departments are selected from the faculty of the department and asked to serve as the chief administrator. They assume a set of duties that, to that point, have been beyond the purview of their academic training and professional experience--particularly for those with training in the performance disciplines. While usually successful as teachers, these new chairs and department heads face a difficult transition into administrative work because the skills required for an effective administrator are very different from those necessary to be an effective teacher.

The purpose of this research was to ascertain the knowledge and skills that would be most practical for individuals aspiring to administrative or leadership roles in schools or departments of music, and to design a doctoral cognate that would supply that knowledge. The author reviewed the available research into administrative training for individuals pursuing administrative work in schools and departments of music. Interviews were then conducted with current or former music administrators from across the United States, inquiring about their experiences as administrators, any administrative training they received, and the types of things they wished they had known when first working in an administrative capacity. The author used this information to make recommendations concerning the creation of a doctoral cognate in administration for graduate students preparing to become music faculty so that they are equipped to undertake administrative responsibilities.

The resulting cognate area consists of four courses: a course in finance, budgeting, and development; a course on organizational structure and behavior; a course on management and leadership theory; and a practicum or independent study in administration, in which students spend time observing and shadowing their department administrator(s) to apply the principles learned in the previous three courses.