Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Ruth V. Brittin

First Committee Member

Elizabeth H. Keithcart

Second Committee Member

Rachelle K. Hackett


This study investigates the influence of preschool teachers’ perceptions of the adequacy of their undergraduate piano skills training on the frequency of their use of piano skills with their students in Shanghai, China. In addition, the study explores the possible influence of these adequacy perceptions regarding their piano skills training on their usage of various piano skills in the classroom. The researcher-designed questionnaire covered twelve specific functional piano skills including improvisation, playing piano repertoire, accompaniment, sight reading, solo singing with self-accompaniment, composition, score reading, techniques, chord progressions, harmonization, transposition and modulation. They also reported on their perceived use and training adequacy of piano skills as a whole. Cluster sampling was used to recruit preschool teacher participants who graduated between 2013 and 2018 from six Shanghai preschool teacher preparation programs and had at least one year’s teaching experience. There were 567 participants who returned usable, completed surveys.

Using descriptive statistical analyses and sequential multiple regression, the researcher found that nearly all (99.1%) of the preschool teachers reported receiving less than three years of piano training before college. The analysis suggests that preschool teachers’ overall perception of the adequacy of college-level piano training they received affects their overall frequency of using piano skills in preschool teaching, after controlling for the amount of time spent on training received prior to entering college. Not only was this true for their perceptions regarding their training as a whole, but the same was found for 11 of the 12 specific skills investigated. That is, as perceptions of adequacy increased, so did usage of the particular skill in preschool teaching. The one exception was “score reading” which was not statistically significant. Specifically, 9.1% of the variation in piano skills usage, overall, can be predicted from their perceptions of undergraduate piano training adequacy, as a whole. Implications for college trainers and in-service teachers are discussed and suggestions for further research are offered. Caution is advised, however, when inferring cause from non-experimental designs such as the survey research employed in this study.





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