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Critical Issues in Music Education

Contemporary Theory and Practice

Edited by Harold F. Abeles and Lori A. Custodero

Publication Date - October 2009

ISBN: 9780195388152

368 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $103.95

An examination of critical issues that links theory and practice from educators at the highly regarded Teachers College of Columbia University


Critical Issues in Music Education: Contemporary Theory and Practice examines the rich and challenging complexities of music teaching and learning from a variety of perspectives. With individual expertise in fields including assessment, philosophical foundations, technology, mentoring, critical theory, and musical development, the contributing authors are graduates or faculty at the highly regarded Teachers College of Columbia University. In this text, they link current educational theory to pedagogical inquiry of current educational practice, calling for teachers to critically reflect on such professional activities as lesson planning, curriculum design, repertoire choice, and student evaluation.

Designed for upper-level undergraduate and introductory graduate courses, Critical Issues in Music Education provides beginning music educators with comprehensive grounding in research-based practice. It also gives more experienced teachers new lenses to help them innovate, interpret, and lead in their profession.


* Links theory to teaching practice through a variety of perspectives
* Traces the historical, philosophical, and social underpinnings of current beliefs, theories, and practices
* Suggests reflective tools and professional development strategies for music teachers
* Includes discussion starters, project ideas, and suggested readings at the end of each chapter

About the Author(s)

Harold F. Abeles is Professor of Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is Co-Director of the Center for Arts Education Research and has served on the editorial boards of several journals including Journal of Research in Music Education, Psychomusicology, Dialogue in Instrumental Music Education, and Update. He has also coauthored the Foundations of Music Education.

Lori A. Custodero is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Program in Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has published numerous articles in Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Aesthetic Education, Music Education Research, British Journal of Music Education, and Applied Developmental Psychology.

Table of Contents

    1. Historical Contexts of Music Education, Harold F. Abeles
    Music Education in the First Half of the 20th Century
    Federal Education Policy and Music Education: 1950-Present
    Equity Issues in Music Education: 1950-Present
    2. Music as Socio-cultural Phenomenon, Roberta Lamb
    Introduction: "A Framework of Explanations"
    Sociology in Education, Music, and Music Education
    Formalism: Functionalist (Durkheim) and Rationalized (Weber)
    Critical Theory, The Frankfurt School, and Critical Pedagogy
    Interaction Theories in Education and Music
    Social Justice: Interactions with Webs of Difference
    Web of Postmodernism in Education
    Technology Transforming Music Education
    3. Philosophical Perspectives of Music Education, Randall Allsup
    Philosophy and Education
    Aesthetic Philosophy
    Philosophical Rationales for Music in the Schools
    4. Meaning and Experience: The Music Learner, Lori Custodero
    Musical Meaning and Embodiment
    Processing Experience: Cognitive Structures and Connections
    The "Creating" Mind: Meanings through Constructing and Interpreting Music
    Key Issues in Music Learning
    Meaningful Engagement in Music Teaching and Learning
    5. The Learner in Community, Patricia St. John
    The Community of Learners
    Learning Strategies in Community
    Communities of Musical Learning
    6. Music Learning and Musical Development, Lori Custodero
    Key Issues in Musical Developmental
    General Theories of Development and Musical Applications
    Pathways and Patterns of Musical Development
    Developmental Characteristics of Music Learners
    Summary: On Being and Becoming Musical
    7. Curriculum, Cathy Benedict
    Scientific and Technical Rationality
    Curriculum Reconceptualized
    "Multicultural" Curriculum
    Some Concluding Remarks
    8. Assessing Music Learning, Harold Abeles
    Considerations of Assessment
    Assessing the Outcomes of Music Instruction
    Alternative Approaches to Assessing the Outcomes of Music Instruction
    Standardized Testing in Music
    State and National Assessments of the Outcomes of Music Instruction
    Evaluating School Music Programs
    9. Methods and Approaches, Cathy Benedict
    Emile Jacques-Dalcroze
    Carl Orff
    Shinichi Suzuki
    Edwin Gordon
    General Issues and Lingering Thoughts
    10. Choosing Music Literature, Randall Allsup
    The Problems of Tradition
    The Problems of Change
    Teacher Judgment
    11. Music Education Technology, James Frankel
    Technology in the Music Classroom
    Classroom Environments
    Computer-Aided Instruction
    Music Production Software
    New Instruments
    New Media--New Directions
    12. Music Teacher Education in the 21st Century: Developing Leaders in the Field, Colleen Conway
    Music Teacher Education Research Context
    Music Teacher Education Policy Context
    Recruitment of Music Education Majors into the Preservice Program
    General Issues in Music Teacher Education Curriculum
    Supporting Beginning Music Teachers
    Challenges of the First Years
    13. The Inquiring Music Teacher, Harold Abeles and Colleen Conway
    Sources of Research in Music Education
    Approaches to Research
    Quantitative Approaches to Research
    Historical Research
    Qualitative Research
    Action Research and Teachers as Researchers
    14. Framing a Professional Life: Collaboration and Leadership, Harold Abeles, Colleen Conway, and Lori Custodero
    Involvement in Local, State, Regional, and National Professional Music
    International Opportunities for Professional Development
    Envisioning a Career Path
    Advocating and Initiating Change: Providing Leadership
    Developing as a Professional