Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Clint Randles


Creativity, Identity



The purpose of this study was to examine the phenomenon of what arranging music in the large instrumental ensemble music setting came to mean to the teachers doing the arranging. Four secondary music teachers (N=4) were asked to create a musical arrangement for one of their school ensembles. Over a period of seven weeks, participants rehearsed their arrangement with their students. This study was guided by research on creative identity, the self, and various identity theories from the field of the social sciences. Data were collected by way of in depth semi-constructed interviews, field observations, and journals; and were analyzed Patton's phenomenological method (Patton, 2002).

In analyzing the data, five major themes emerged: a) time and preparation, b) pre-service teacher training, c) educational/curricular design, d) professional development, and e) teacher/student relations. The findings suggest that participants created their arrangements with a focus on their students' needs and that arrangements were revised several times over the rehearsal phase of the study. They did not follow on particular teaching model, but rather a combination of teaching models to rehearse their arrangement. The act of arranging music opened new doors to learning for both the participants and their students. They appeared to have increased interactions during rehearsals and participants reported improved personal relations with their students. Participants seemed to find a balance between their teacher and musician identities by molding these identities together to create their music teacher identity. They also reported an increase in knowledge of musical instrument pedagogy.