• SAMUEL AGBENYO Department of Music, University of Mississippi, Mississippi, USA.
  • EMMANUEL OBED ACQUAH Department of Music Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana.
  • AUGUSTA ARKO-MENSAH Department of Music Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana.


competence, Effutu, generalist, creative arts, music and dance


Teaching Music and Dance in Ghanaian primary schools has been a responsibility of the generalist teachers, who are usually ignorant about the subject and therefore, cannot interpret the Music and Dance syllabus. These teachers usually received their music training during the few years of their initial training at the Colleges of Education. Considering the specialized nature of music, we have raised concerns about the quality of music training education offered in the primary schools, especially with regards to teacher competence in the content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and the general level of musicianship. Through an inductive research procedure, using five newly trained teachers posted to primary schools in Winneba, this case study, rooted in the Confucian philosophical underpinning, sought to investigate how the Music and Dance aspect of the Creative Arts curriculum was being handled by the generalist teachers. We also explored various ways teachers could be empowered to achieve success in teaching the subject. The study revealed that the generalist teachers did not possess adequate content and pedagogical abilities to teach Music and Dance. They therefore, resorted to unconventional ways of engaging learners which could not promote conceptualization of musical knowledge, skills and attitudes among learners. Our recommendations then included extension of duration for the pre-service music and dance curriculum, encouraging more student-teachers to major in music and dance specialty teacher preparation and participation in periodic in-service training programmes, through which they could be equipped with the necessary competences to augment their output.


Adjepong, B. (2018): Teaching the performing arts in Ghanaian primary schools: A dilemma for pre-service generalist teachers. – European Journal of Education Studies 4(12): 265-275.

Arthur, K.K. (2014): The Performing Arts in Ghanaian Education: Junior High School and Beyond. – Globus 3: 119-132.

Babbie, E. (2007): The practice of social research Belmont. – Wadsworth/Thomson 511p.

Ball, D.L., Bass, H. (2000): Interweaving content and pedagogy in teaching and learning to teach: Knowing and using mathematics. – Multiple perspectives on the teaching and learning of mathematics 4(1): 83-104.

Baltusite, R., Katane, I. (2014): The structural model of the pedagogy students’ readiness for professional activities in the educational environment. – Rural Environment, Education, Personality 7: 29-41.

Blackburn, A. (2017): Performing online: Approaches to teaching performance studies in higher education within a fully online environment. – Australian Journal of Music Education 51(1): 63p.

Borko, H., Putnam, R. (1998): Professional development and reform-based teaching: Introduction to the theme issue. – Teaching and teacher education 14(1): 1-3.

Branscome, E.E. (2012): The impact of education reform on music education: Paradigm shifts in music education curriculum, advocacy, and philosophy from Sputnik to Race to the Top. – Arts Education Policy Review 113(3): 112-118.

Calderhead, J. (1989): Reflective teaching and teacher education. – Teaching and Teacher Education 5(1): 43-51.

Campbell, M.R., Thompson, L.K., Barrett, J.R. (2012): Supporting and sustaining a personal orientation to music teaching: Implications for music teacher education. – Journal of Music Teacher Education 22(1): 75-90.

Choksy, L., Abramson, R., Gillespie, A., Woods, D., York, F. (2001): Teaching music in the twenty-first century. – Prentice Hall 360p.

Collins, D.L. (1999): Teaching choral music. – Pearson College Division 528p.

Curriculum Research and Development Division of Ghana (2007): Creative Arts Syllabus for Primary 1 to 6. – Accra: Ministry of Education and Sports 87p.

Elliott, D. (1995): Music matters: A philosophy of music education. – Oxford University Press 568p.

Flolu, J. (2004): Music teacher education in Ghana: Training for churches or for the schools. – Sounds of Change: Social and Political Features of Music in Africa 12: 164-179.

Flolu, J., Amuah, I.R. (2003): An introduction to music education in Ghana: For universities and colleges. – Black Mask Limited 154p.

Fouché, C.B., De Vos, A.S. (2005): Quantitative research designs. – Research at Grass Roots For the Social Science and Human Service Professions 13p.

Fullan, M. (2001): Whole school reform: Problems and promises. – Chicago Community Trust 17p.

Georgii-Hemming, E., Westvall, M. (2010): Teaching music in our time: student music teachers' reflections on music education, teacher education and becoming a teacher. – Music Education Research 12(4): 353-367.

Gess-Newsome, J. (2002): The use and impact of explicit instruction about the nature of science and science inquiry in an elementary science methods course. – Science & Education 11(1): 55-67.

Grossman, P.L. (1990): The making of a teacher: Teacher knowledge and teacher education. – New York: Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University 185p.

Gupta, A. (2006): Early experiences and personal funds of knowledge and beliefs of immigrant and minority teacher candidates dialog with theories of child development in a teacher education classroom. – Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 27(1): 3-18.

Hennessy, S. (2000): Overcoming the red-feeling: The development of confidence to teach music in primary school amongst student teachers. – British Journal of Music Education 17(2): 183-196.

Houlahan, M., Tacka, P. (2015): Kodály today: A cognitive approach to elementary music education. – Oxford University Press 672p.

Jeanneret, N., Stevens-Ballenger, J. (2013): The Generalist and the Specialist: Serendipity in Preservice Education. – Australian Journal of Music Education 1: 64-75.

Kankam, G., Abroampa, W.K. (2016): Early childhood education pre-service teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge in teaching psychosocial skills across the kindergarten curriculum in Ghana. – Asia-Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education 10(1): 67-86.

Kilic, H. (2009): Pedagogical content knowledge of preservice secondary mathematics teachers. – University of Georgia 159p.

Kong, Z.C., Liao, J.F., Dong, Y.J., Xu, Y.F., Chen, H.Y., Kuang, D.B., Su, C.Y. (2018): Core@ shell CsPbBr3@ zeolitic imidazolate framework nanocomposite for efficient photocatalytic CO2 reduction. – ACS Energy Letters 3(11): 2656-2662.

Lau, F. (2008): Music in China. – New York: Oxford University Press 208p.

Leedy, P.D., Ormrod, J.E. (2005): Practical research. Planning and design. – Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall 319p.

Mohamed, Z., Valcke, M., De Wever, B. (2017): Are they ready to teach? Student teachers’ readiness for the job with reference to teacher competence frameworks. – Journal of Education for Teaching 43(2): 151-170.

Morgan, R., Klaric, J. (2007): AP® Students in College: An Analysis of Five-Year Academic Careers. Research Report No. 2007-4. – College Board 22p.

Morrow, S.L. (2007): Qualitative research in counseling psychology: Conceptual foundations. – The counseling psychologist 35(2): 209-235.

Nketia, J.K. (1999): A guide for the preparation of primary school African music teaching manuals. – Afram Publications. Available on:


Rideout, R. (2005): Whose music? Music education and cultural issues. – Music Educators Journal 91(4): 39-41.

Samuel, M. (2008): Accountability to whom? For what? Teacher identity and the force field model of teacher development. – Perspectives in Education 26(2): 3-16.

Santiago, J.A., Morales, J., Disch, J.G., Morrow Jr, J.R. (2016): Preservice physical education teachers' content knowledge of physical activity and health-related fitness. – The Ichper-Sd Journal of Research 44(1): 86-100.

Selvi, K. (2010): Teachers’ competencies. – Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology 7(1): 167-175.

Shulman, L. (1987): Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. – Harvard Educational Review 57(1): 1-23.

Swars, S., Hart, L.C., Smith, S.Z., Smith, M.E., Tolar, T. (2007): A longitudinal study of elementary pre‐service teachers' mathematics beliefs and content knowledge. – School Science and Mathematics 107(8): 325-335.




How to Cite

AGBENYO, S., ACQUAH, E. O., & ARKO-MENSAH, A. (2021). TEACHER COMPETENCE FOR THE MUSIC AND DANCE CURRICULUM IN GHANA. Quantum Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2(3), 20–30. Retrieved from https://qjssh.com/index.php/qjssh/article/view/78