Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMUS)




A review of literature indicates that education in the United States has been based on the great Greek and Roman philosophers' model of education that included the arts as a core subject. Yet, current models often exclude music and the arts, despite the Greco-Roman model and current research that implies a study of music may improve a range of essential cognitive abilities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of Nebraska superintendents regarding the relative importance of music in the curriculum. A questionnaire was devised and sent to a random sample of 80 Nebraska superintendents in K-12 districts. Eighty percent of the superintendents responded. While superintendents generally find the arts valuable, they are also among the most likely of subjects to be cut due to the tax lid enacted by the Nebraska Legislature, and eighty percent of school districts responding anticipate having to make program or staff cuts in the near future. Superintendents resoundingly agreed that the four "core" courses in the Nebraska State Department of Education Model are not the only things a student "must" know in order to be considered educated, and indicated an education should include a "well-rounded experience of study" including among other subjects, the arts.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Music and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Music University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1999 Kathleen E. McArdle-Knudsen.

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