Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Orkideh Mohajeri, PhD

Committee Member

Marci Major, PhD

Committee Member

Adam Gumble, EdD


This qualitative study examines early career music teachers’ perceived self-efficacy following teacher practicum during a global pandemic. I conducted focus group conversations with undergraduate music education alum (N=16) from Southeastern State University (SSU) at the end of 2023. Participants described the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their music teacher practicum and overall experiential learning at SSU. The focus group questions, and subsequent deductive coding of their answers, aligned with the four roles of Bandura’s (1977) Self-Efficacy Theory. Participants reported low perceived self-efficacy in their first year of in-service teaching, with variations based on the stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the timing of their student teaching experiences. Participants shared feelings of ambiguous loss while various parts of their practicum, like classroom management practice, were modified and adapted for pandemic safety restrictions. Participants reported the positive influences of peer mentorship and communal coping during their first year of in-service teaching which increased their perceived self-efficacy. The findings indicate that early career music teachers who experienced a pandemic teacher practicum and found support through peer mentorship and communal coping increased their perceived self-efficacy in the first three years of teaching. Implications for research and practice are explored.