Semester of Graduation

Spring 2023


Master of Music Education (MME)


The School of Music

Document Type



Centering around the purpose of examining the lived experiences and perspectives of self-identified tied-migrant music educators and how the transitory aspects of their personal lives impact their professional careers, this phenomenological case study discusses the findings of both a review of literature and completed original research utilizing two participants who are tied-migrant spouses in the music education field and examine their stories. For this study, tied- migrant spouses are defined as persons who are married to individuals who frequently relocate due to their professional occupation (Mincer, 1978). Participants include tied-migrant military spouses and tied-migrant civilian spouses.

Specific research questions include: 1) How do tied-migrant music educators describe the impact of their personal transitory lifestyle on their professional careers? What are the biggest challenges? 2) What challenges, if any, are unique to the tied-migrant music educator as compared to tied-migrant music educators in other academic disciplines? 3) How does the tied- migrant music educator’s perspective of their transitory status impact their outlook on their current teaching situation and their career trajectory?

Data was collected from digital correspondences, questionnaires, individual interviews, and focus groups. Data was analyzed through thematic coding for findings and the theoretical framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), which aims to interpret motivation and the pursuit of one’s goals in relation to their personal well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2000) to help generate discussion. The emergent themes that appeared through the coding process were then applied to each primary research question. These themes were the basis for a detailed discussion about the lives of these tied-migrant music educators, with a focus on how these findings can be examined through Self-Determination Theory.



Committee Chair

Stanley, Ann Marie