Limestone University Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Instrumental Music Dr. Seth Taft recently had a co-written article published in the “Music Reference Services Quarterly” journal.
The article, “Teaching APA Style (Seventh Edition) in the Graduate Music Bibliography Course,” was co-written by University of Colorado Boulder professor Dr. Laurie Sampsel, who is a Professor of Musicology and a Faculty Affiliate in the Center of the American West.
The published article is an American Psychological Association (APA) writing style guide for students and professors. This form of writing research papers is used mainly in the Social Sciences, as well as Education and other fields. The purpose of the article is to synthesize the major changes in the new edition of APA style for instructors of music bibliography courses. Sampsel and Taft provide an overview of major changes, including those to writing style, language, paper formatting, citation, and more. The article suggests resources for Music faculty new to APA style, as well as those who are updating from the sixth edition, specifically those who teach citation as part of a graduate music bibliography course.
“Style guides are a major part of students' academic experiences, especially graduate students,” explained Taft. “When the one you use gets updated, it's important to understand the changes and implement them correctly. This was very different than the kinds of things I usually write. It was nice to do something different and leverage my attention to detail into an article that others can use to help them write in the new APA style. Also, it was a delight, as always, to work with Dr. Sampsel.”
Earlier this year, Taft presented a virtual poster at the Amplify 2020 National Association For Music Education (NAfME) National Conference, which was originally scheduled for November 4-8, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The poster, “Music Teacher Role Stress: A Structural Equation Model,” was based on Taft’s dissertation of the same title. His research involved a sample of 1,576 secondary music teachers who responded to a questionnaire. Using their responses, Taft constructed a model of role stress based on a model by Conley and You (2009, 2014) and included Scheib's (2003) list of six role stressors experienced by music teachers: role conflict, role ambiguity, role overload, underutilization of skills, resource inadequacy, and nonparticipation.
While conducting research, Taft found that all six role stressors contributed to a single construct, called role stress, which strongly predicted music teachers' job satisfaction, and therefore their commitment to their schools and their intent to leave their current jobs. Role overload was the most present individual stressor.
“As a former secondary music teacher, I am acutely aware of the stresses that are inherent in those jobs,” Taft noted. “I am passionate about doing whatever I can to relieve them, especially for our students at Limestone.”
As a music educator, Taft has taught high school band and choir in Virginia, taught music education courses at the University of Colorado Boulder, and led clinics and camps for students of various ages. As an educational researcher and author, he has given numerous research presentations and has articles published in prominent music and music education journals.