The Interaction of Personality Traits In Applied Music Teaching

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Sherman Hong

Advisor Department



The interaction of personalities of students and teachers was investigated in this study to determine if personality traits affect success in applied music teaching. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was administered to seven teachers and sixty-one students in the final sample. The instructors evaluated their students using seven parameters of musical achievement: (1) pitch accuracy, (2) tone production, (3) rhythmic sense and accuracy, (4) technical facility, (5) sight-reading ability, (6) vitality and intensity, and (7) musicality and interpretation. Teacher-student relationship were categorized into four personality groups for analysis: (1) teachers/students with similar extraverted types, (2) teachers/students with dissimilar types, extravert teachers/introvert students, (3) teachers/students with dissimilar types, introvert teachers/extravert students, and (4) teachers/students with similar introverted types. An ancillary goal was to investigate the effect of three other categories indicated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. These were sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling, and judging-perceiving. Analysis of covariance was utilized to compare the results on an evaluation form in pretests and posttests with personality types, and a Chi-square test of independence to investigate the relationships between the four personality groups and type of musical instrument. Personality variables measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and rate of progress were compared for significant differences in the groups. In measuring progress in musicality and interpretation, relating to extraversion and introversion, results indicated a.042 level of significance, compared to.05. Students with extravert type teachers made more progress than those with introvert type teachers. No other significant difference was noted in extraversion-introversion. In sensing-intuition, one parameter showed significance, rhythmic sense and accuracy, observed at.045. Intuitive type teachers paired with sensing type students produced the highest scores. Rhythmic sense and accuracy showed a.003 level significance in thinking-feeling. Students with thinking traits paired with teachers with feeling traits achieved more than other combinations. No significant differences were found in the judgment-perception category. In the distribution of type characteristics, a majority of teachers were introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging types, while students were approximately evenly divided in categories.