Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

James I Penrod

Committee Member

Robert O. Riggs

Committee Member

Jack T. Cooper

Committee Member

John S. Wasileski


The purpose of this study is to determine the necessary elements and important factors in a “Plan to Plan” to create a Master’s Degree in Commercial Music that will lead to eventual accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). This study poses the question: What essential elements and salient factors are considered important by Music Industry Leaders, Academic Music Executives, previous Commercial Music Graduates, and the appropriate accrediting body for the creation of a Master’s degree program in Commercial Music? The creation of a new graduate program of study, such as this, must include the ability for managing change while creating an environment conducive for life-long learning and the pursuit of knowledge. Results from the literature review on new program creation suggested many Schools of Music have created programs based on a reactionary approach that does not address planning for inevitable change. The literature recommends that program creation should be strategically planned to manage change including the use of a vision shared by all constituents thus helping to avoid past mistakes made by other institutions. The “Plan to Plan” created in this study helps to address many of these issues.The results from research utilizing the three groups chosen for participation identified 31 factors suggested by these groups as necessary for the creation of the new program. All 31 factors were placed in one of the eight categories identified as necessary by NASM. The categories set forth by NASM as required criteria for plan and final approval are strengthened and possibly made more specific by the results of this study. Real world instruction and real world interaction was supported by Music Industry Leaders and former graduates; and Music Executives emphasize the need to maintain artistic standards. NASM requires inclusion of both. Results of this study seem to indicate the need for collaborative work between industry leaders and higher education institutions in a possible consortium relationship. The need for a shared vision for all constituents, as discussed in the literature, was reinforced through the research. This collaboration may be the most necessary factor for creation of the Master’s degree in Commercial Music.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.