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The Perilous Path from Proposal to Practice: A Qualitative Program Evaluation of a Regional Music Program

  • Year: 2010
  • Author: Grimmett, Helen; Rickard, Nikki S; Gill, Anneliese; Murphy, Fintan
  • Journal Name: Australian Journal of Music Education
  • Journal Number: 2
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Victoria

The current paper retrospectively evaluates the efficacy of implementing a large-scale music education program into a regional cluster of Victorian primary schools. The program's primary aim was to increase access and quality of music education for students in these rural schools. The methods utilized to evaluate the program and the discrepancies between intended and implemented program are first described. Thematic analyses from qualitative data from principals, music teachers, parents and students are then reported, revealing that while increased access to music education was indeed achieved, the quality of the program and its impact in schools was not as high as intended. An impact evaluation of the program revealed that the recipient needs and resources were not sufficiently incorporated into the program's goals, and as a result, the program design may not have been the best fit for this community. A set of recommendations for implementing future music education programs is provided, with an emphasis on optimizing sustainability in regional areas.

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