Batten College of Arts and Letters


M.M.E. Music

Publication Date

Spring 2020




The purpose of this study was to provide insight on the impact of gender-specific mentorship for aspiring female collegiate wind band conductors. The areas of focus included impactful mentorship methods, identifying mentors, and potential improvements for the wind band field. This research project was approved for an IRB exemption by the Old Dominion University College of Arts and Letters Human Subjects Review Committee. Two Qualtrics surveys were created for this study to reflect the differences in the level of experience of wind band conductors. Female collegiate/university band conductors and current/former music education or conducting graduate students completed Survey A (N = 97). Female undergraduate instrumental music education students completed Survey B (N = 93). The survey questions addressed impactful mentors and methods of mentorship, preferred gender for mentors, the importance of mentorship, potential improvements for mentorship, and perceptions of the wind band conducting field. The Survey B subjects reported their likelihood to pursue graduate studies and collegiate level careers. The Survey A subjects reported the potential influence of their gender in their experiences conducting collegiate level bands. The data were analyzed using statistical mean, mode, and standard deviation, and through the use of thematic category tables. The results from this study were compared to Elizabeth Grant’s (2000) study on gender-specific mentorship. The results indicate that mentorship is viewed as important for aspiring wind band conductors, with a variety of responses on the types of mentor and the methods of impactful mentorship.

The results demonstrate a male-dominated perception of the wind band conductor field, with subjects from Survey A and Survey B reporting fewer female mentors and previous female teachers in their experiences. The comparisons demonstrate the potential implications of gender-specific mentorship and the potential present-day gender inequities in the wind band community that may impact aspiring female wind band conductors.


Band directors, Gender-specific mentorship, Women


Higher Education | Music Education | Women's Studies



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Gender-Specific Mentorship  for Collegiate Female Band Directors