Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Education



First Advisor

Audrey Cardany


This research study identified and targeted two research questions pertaining to string bass instruction within the context of ensemble-based music education in the public schools of Rhode Island: 1) What challenges do public music educators experience in teaching the string bass? and 2) How do public music educators address and contend with those challenges? Using qualitative methods the researcher designed and interviewed current secondary-level instrumental music directors who have experience leading ensembles with string bass players. Data analysis of interviews of four participants revealed four distinct challenge themes and four respective solution themes: teacher expertise challenges/solutions, instructional challenges/solutions, bass-specific challenges/solutions, and genre-specific challenges/solutions. Findings included teachers expressing apprehension concerning their individual experience with the instrument and the need to balance group instruction with individual instruction in a variety of genres. Recommendations for addressing barriers predominantly included private study, along with professional examples, peer mentoring, technology, and continued professional development specific to the instrument.



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