Mentoring is a critical element in the well-being, socialization, and professional identity development of graduate students. Yet in music education, little is known about the graduate student mentoring experience from the mentors’ perspective. Therefore, the purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine music teacher educators’ perspectives on and experiences with graduate student mentoring. We used a concurrent nested approach to mixed-methods phenomenological research (QUAN + PHEN) with a survey of a national sample of music teacher educators (N = 142) and a phenomenology built from a three-interview series with individuals (n = 6) at various career stages. After analyzing each phase separately, we engaged in data integration and interpretation of study findings to reveal a description of current mentoring practices and beliefs. Key elements include relationship building, a multilayered community of practice, and intentional acts of anticipatory socialization that empower students as they transition to the role of colleague.
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