Health and Wellness a part of Texas K-12 Music Teachers Competency Exam

Melissa Hatheway, B.M.E. July 2014

In many states across the country, marching band can serve as a substitute for traditional physical education courses. These ensemble-based classes are taught by band directors, who are certified to teach K-12 Music. However, these teachers are not certified in physical education, despite being in charge of a class that provides students with P.E. credit. This disparity can also be seen within the K-12 Music teacher certification tests, which do not provide the public school music teacher with the information needed to effectively manage a physical activity such as marching band.

Texas is the only state that mentions musicians wellness and injury prevention in its K-12 Music teacher competency exam. Although it is just the barest of mentions, it is a step in the right direction. In addition, Texas will be adding a Health and Wellness component to the state mandated curriculum or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in 2015. The new components will be added to existing music curriculum at both the middle and high school levels. The topics covered include: hand position, hearing protection, vocal health, hydration, appropriate hygienic practices, repetitive motion injury prevention, first aide, and body mechanics. In addition, existing elementary school music curriculum includes movement components, which could fulfill other physical education requirements. Other states might be interested in following Texas’ example, and including musician health and wellness components at the secondary level curriculum and teacher certification tests.

The full Texas Fine Arts curriculum can be seen at:

The author of this summary, Melissa Hatheway, is currently working on a full analysis of public secondary school teacher competency tests as it relates to marching band and musician wellness.

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