Each course member will be able to apply a personal knowledge of the sociology of music education to a deeper understanding of music education’s social contexts and to the improvement of his or her own music teaching.
Specifically, I would like each member to apply their new understandings of issues in the sociology of music education to a real-life situation in our profession (i.e., to effect a policy change in their school music program; to propose a solution to an issue of inequity of access to music instruction; to comment on a national education policy issue impacting music education), with the final product being one of the following: a publishable paper for a policy or research journal; an opinion/editorial piece for a newspaper or magazine; a presentation for a school board, booster group or community organization; a poster or session for a professional development conference (i.e., MMC or other state education or music education conference)
Course documents, project descriptions, and readings are posted on mitchellrobinson.net. Please check back often for updates and messages.
Schedule of Topics and Reading Assignments
June 29 Course Overview: What is sociology?
Green, L. Research in the sociology of music education.
Olsson, B. (2007). Social issues in music education. In L. Bresler (Ed.), International Handbook of Research in Arts Education (pp. 989-1002). New York: Springer.
July 1 A Brief History of the Sociology of Music Education
Mark, M. L. The evolution of music education philosophy from utilitarian to aesthetic.
Conflict Over Sociologist's Narrative Puts Spotlight on Ethnography
July 3 No Class, July 4 Holiday
July 6 Music Teacher Identity: Pre-Service Teachers
Roberts, B.A. (1991). Music teacher education as identity construction. International Journal of Music Education, 18, 30-39.
Isbell, D. S. (2008). Musicians and teachers: The socialization and occupational identity of preservice music teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 56, 162-178.
Draves, Tami J. "Under Construction: Undergraduates’ Perceptions of their Music Teacher Role-Identities." Research Studies in Music Education 36.2 (2014): 199-214.
July 8 Music Teacher Identity: In-Service Teachers
[Debate #1: On Teacher Tenure]
Russell, J. A. (2012). The occupational identity of in-service secondary music educators: Formative interpersonal interactions and activities. Journal of Research in Music Education, 60, 145-165.
Draves, Tami J., and Lisa Huisman Koops. "Peer Mentoring: Key to New Music Teacher Educator Success." Journal of music teacher education 20.2 (2011): 66-77.
July 10 Music Performance & Performers
Guest speaker: Mark Adams
After completing the readings below, please write a brief reading response. There is no need for a summary. Instead, take time to discuss different feelings/ideas/agreements/disagreements/personal experiences/questions that you thought of while reading. Email your responses before midnight prior to the class meeting to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Small, C. (1998). A separate world. In, Musicking: The meanings of performing and listening (pp. 64-74). Hanover, NH: University Press of New England [for] Wesleyan University Press.
Turino, T. (2008). Participatory and presentational performance. In, Music as social life: The politics of participation (pp. 23-36). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
July 13 Music Education and Inequality, Lightning Talks, Round 1
Guest Speaker: Adam Kruse
Listen and Read: Who Counts?
Bourdieu, P (2007). The forms of capital. In A. R. Sadovik (Ed.) Sociology of education: A critical reader (2nd ed.) (pp. 83-95). New York: Routledge.
Kruse, I Always Had My Instrument
Langston & Barrett, Capitalizing on Community Music
July 15 Readings: Lightning Talks, Round 1
Costa-Giomi, E. (2008). Characteristics of elementary music programs in urban schools: What money can buy. Council for Research in Music Education, 177, 19-28.
Albert, D. J. (2006). Socioeconomic status and instrumental music: What does the research say about the relationship and its implications? Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, 25 (1) 39-45.
July 17 Readings: Lightning Talks, Round 1
Brändström, S. (1999). Music education as investment in cultural capital. Research Studies in Music Education, 12 (1), 49-57.
July 20 Gender and Music Education
Guest Speaker: Josh Palkki
Palkki, J. (forthcoming, 2015, November). Choral music’s Gender Trouble: Males, adolescence, and masculinity. Choral Journal.
Bennetts, K. S. (2013). Boys’ music? School context and middle-school boys’ musical choices. Music Education Research, 15(2), 214–230. doi:10.1080/14613808.2012.759550
Koza, J. E. (1993b). The “missing males” and other gender issues in music education: Evidence from the “Music Supervisors’ Journal,” 1914-1924. Journal of Research in Music Education, 41(3), 212–232. doi:10.2307/3345326
Hoffman, A. R. (2008). Gender, identity, and the sixth grade band classroom. GEMS – Gender, Education, Music & Society, 4, 1-12. http://www.queensu.ca/music/links/gems/hoffman5.pdf
July 22 Gender and Music Education
Guest Speaker: Patricia O'Toole
O’Toole, P. (1998). A missing chapter from choral methods books: How choirs neglect girls. Choral Journal, 39(5), 9–32.
Nichols, J. (2013). Rie’s story, Ryan’s journey: Music in the life of a transgender student. Journal of Research in Music Education, 61(3), 262–279. doi:10.1177/0022429413498259
July 24 Gender and Music Education
Hall, C. (2005). Gender and boys' singing in early childhood. British Journal of Music Education, 22, 5-20.
O'Toole, I Sing in a Choir But I Have No Voice.
Kennedy, M. A. (2002). “It's cool because we like to sing:” Junior high school boys' experience of choral music as an elective. Research Studies in Music Education, 18 (1), 26-36.
Week 5 [Debate #2: Date and Topic TBD]
July 27 Music Education Policy and Politics
Guest Speaker: Ryan Shaw
Ladson-Billings, G. From the Achievement Gap to the Education Debt
Karpinski, C. F. And the Band Played On? Justice and the Wilson Middle School Arts Program
SEADAE. Roles of Certified Arts Educators, Certified Non-Arts Educators & Providers of Supplemental Arts Instruction
July 29 Race and Ethnicity in Music Education
Guest Speaker: Juliet Hess
July 31 Lightning Talks on Final Project Topic
Janice Krum, Poverty and music education
Steven Wideman, How to make MS general music relevant and beneficial for our students
Brian Massey, Collaboration among music faculty members
Michelle Nuffer, Stereotypes and women in secondary music education
Ellen Blumhardt, Educational objectives
Zan Thrasher, Work and Life for Music Educators: Attempting Balance
Elpus, K. (2011). Merit pay and the music teacher Routledge. , 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
Robinson, M. (2015). The inchworm and the nightingale: On the (mis)use of data in music teacher evaluation. Arts Education Policy Review, 116(1), 9-21.
August 3 Lightning Talks on Final Project Topic
Brian Cook, PBIS in the music classroom
Tianna Doe, Special education student in the large ensemble setting: Ideas for seamless inclusion
Leslie Nielsen, Social media and the music educator
James Jones, School of Choice: Friend of Public Education or Foe
Rebecca McWilliams, Atlanta Public Schools: school reform in the most unequal city in America
Tiffany Mosier, Supporting Students with Autism in the Music Classroom
Dustin Stoner, Bringing informal learning experiences to high school students
Monique Green, Intersectionality: African American, Woman, Straight "Christian" Ally
August 5 Lightning Talks on Final Project Topic
Kristy Buche, Special education and the music classroom
Abby Lewis-Lakin, The new national standards in music
Matt Nix, Gender Inclusive Concert Dress
Noah Hamrick, Music: The Sports Analogy
Claire Strachan, After-School Programs in Music
Caity Biermann, Children with autisim in the elementary music classroom
Joseph Glase, Sexual Orientation and Music Education
August 7 Lightning Talks on Final Project Topic
Melissa Holso, The importance of collaborating with the school community
Kristen Terreri, Approaching learners from diverse cultural backgrounds
Steven Vecchio, Adapting MLT for the middle school choral classroom
Matt Tippetts, Helping administrators understand how to evaluate music teachers
Lisa Ebener, Adaptations for blind students in the elementary general music classroom
Kristen Donnelly, Child development and gender identity
Scott Walker, Developing musical identity in students
Additional Readings, by topic:
Abril, C. R., & Gault, B. M. (2006). The state of music in the elementary school: The principal's perspective. Journal of Research in Music Education, 54, 6-20.
Abril, C. R., & Gault, B. M. (2008). The state of music in secondary schools: The principal's perspective. Journal of Research in Music Education, 56, 68-81.
Musical cultures in schools
Lum, C. H., & Campbell, P. S. (2007). The sonic surrounds of an elementary school. Journal of Research in Music Education, 55, 31-47.
Adderley, C., Kennedy, M., & Berz, W. (2003). “A home away from home”: The world of the high school music classroom. Journal of Research in Music Education, 51, 190-205.
Morrison, S. J. (2001). The school ensemble: A culture of our own. Music Educators Journal, 88 (2), 24-28.
The experience of music in and out of school
Boal-Palheiros, G. M. , & Hargreaves, D. J. (2001). Listening to music at home and at school. British Journal of Music Education, 18, 103-118.
Griffin, S. M. (2009). Listening to children’s music perspectives: In- and out-of-school thoughts. Research Studies in Music Education, 31 (2), 161-177.
Campbell, P. S., Connell, C., & Beegle, A. (2007). Adolescents’ expressed meanings of music in and out of school. Journal of Research in Music Education, 55,220-236.
Themes in the Sociology of Music Education
Riedel, J. (1964). The function of sociability in the sociology of music and music education. Journal of Research in Music Education, 12, 149-158.
Sadovnik, A. R (2007). Theory and research in the sociology of education. In A. R. Sadovik (Ed.) Sociology of education: A critical reader (2nd ed.) (pp. 3-21). New York: Routledge.
Informal music learning
Cope, P. (2002). Informal learning of musical instruments: The importance of social context. Music Education Research, 4, 93-104.
Batt-Rawden, K, & Denora, T. (2005). Music and informal learning in everyday life, Music Education Research, 7, 289-304.
Folkestad, G. (2006). Formal and informal learning situations or practices vs formal and informal ways of learning. British Journal of Music Education, 23, 135-145.
New possibilities for music in schools
Wright, R., & Froehlich, H. (2012): Basil Bernstein's theory of the pedagogic device and formal music schooling: Putting the theory into practice. Theory Into Practice, 51, 212-220.
Allsup, R. (2003). Mutual learning and democratic action in instrumental music education. Journal of Research in Music Education, 51, 24-37.
Westerlund, H. (2006). Garage rock bands: A future model for developing musical expertise?International Journal of Music Education, 24 (2), 119-125.
Making music with others
Seddon, F., & Biasuttivol, M. (2009). A comparison of modes of communication between members of a string quartet and a jazz sextet. Psychology of Music, 37, 395-415.
Burnard, P. (2002). Investigating children's meaning-making and the emergence of musical interaction in group improvisation. British Journal of Music Education, 19, 157-172.
Allsup, R. E. (2012): The moral ends of band. Theory Into Practice, 51, 179-187.
Mills, M. (2010). Being a musician: Musical identity and the adolescent singer. Council for Research in Music Education, 186, 43-54.
Persson, R. S. (1996). Studying with a musical maestro: A case study of commonsense teaching in artistic training. Creativity Research Journal, 9, 33-46.
Dabback, W. M. (2010). Music and identity formation in older adults. Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education, 9, 60-69. http://act.maydaygroup.org//articles/Dabback9_2.pdf
The role of the family in music learning
Davidson, J. W., & Borthwick, S. J. (2002). Family dynamics and family scripts: A case study of musical development. Psychology of Music, 30 (1), 121-136
Sichivitsa, V. O. (2007). The influences of parents, teachers, peers and other factors on students' motivation in music. Research Studies in Music Education, 29 (1) 55-68.
McPherson, G. E. (2009). The role of parents in children's musical development. Psychology of Music, 37 (1) 91-110.
Music learning and the Internet
Miikka Salavuo (2006). Open and informal online communities as forums of collaborative musical activities and learning. British Journal of Music Education, 23, 253-271
Waldron, J. (2009). Exploring a virtual music community of practice: Informal music learning on the Internet. Journal of Music, Technology and Education, 2, 97-112.
Partti, H., & Karlsen, S. (2010). Reconceptualising musical learning: new media, identity and community in music education. Music Education Research, 12 (4), 369-382.
There will be several assignments during the semester which are designed to apply information gleaned from the readings and class discussions to your own personal experiences and situations. The assignments are described below:
1. Questions (required, not graded)
For each class, you are to write a question based on either the assigned reading for the class, or a related study or article that you have come across in your preparations for class. Send the questions to me in the body of an email message, not as an attachment, the night before each class meeting. It is my hope that this will solidify learning for you each week, and provide interesting food for thought for our class discussions. I will select one or two questions with which to begin each class.
Your questions may take one of several different forms:
2. Mock Debates on Education Reform Issues (50 points each = 100)
These debates are intended to help students research and develop their thinking on some of the important issues of the day concerning school reform. The hope is that these debates will be useful in terms of understanding the rationale from both “sides” of the issue; to craft justifications and “talking points” for opposing point of view; and learning how to support your argument by using evidence from various sociological/philosophical stances.
There will be two debates scheduled this summer. The first debate will focus on the topic of "Teacher Tenure," will take place during Week 2 (July 8), and will follow the format below.
The second debate will take place during Week 5, on a date and topic to be determined.
4 Corners Debate Format
This debate strategy gets people thinking and moving.
• listen to a statement on a controversial topic (teacher tenure) and then be assigned to one of 4 “Stakeholder Groups”: Teachers, Parents, Administrators, Business Owners.
• work in groups to record information in support of their position.
• reconsider their stance in light of new information.
• write a concise set of “Talking Points” expressing their opinion about the statement.
Before the Debate
Create four stations in the room corresponding to the following categories:
• Business Owners
Place each group in a different corner of the classroom.
The Debate Topic
After a probationary period and a system of mutually agreed upon evaluation, teachers should be granted tenure, a form of job protection and security. According to Wikipedia, “Teacher tenure is a policy that restricts the ability to fire teachers, requiring a ‘just cause’ rationale for firing. The individual states each have established their own tenure systems. Tenure provides teachers with protections by making it difficult to fire teachers who earn tenure.”
After listening to the statement, participants have 20-30 minutes to work within their groups to formulate ideas and information about the topic. Information may be searched for using Internet resources, from class readings, or other sources. Each group will appoint one person to be the group’s note taker, and participants will discuss with the other persons in their corner the reasons why people from their assigned stakeholder group (teachers, parents, administrators, business owners) might agree or disagree with the original statement, and why persons from other stakeholder groups may hold opinions and beliefs that differ and what reasons persons in these groups may have for these beliefs.
At the end of the discussion period, each group’s note taker will share with the full class some of the ideas discussed in their group. Perhaps one of the four groups made such a strong case that some participants in other groups have changed their minds about their initial reaction to the statement. If that is the case, at this point in the activity give participants an opportunity to change corners.
Provide 15 more minutes for participants to continue their group discussions. At this point, every person in each group should be taking notes. At the end of the discussion time, each participant uses those notes to write a set of “Talking Points” stating his or her position on the issue. (for example, I strongly agree with the statement [statement goes here] because [minimum of 4 reasons here].) Participants should craft a statement including the four strongest points supporting their position and email that statement to email@example.com. The statement should include the participant’s name, group ID (i.e., teacher, parent, etc.) and their four strongest “Talking Points.”
• Have participants come up with their own discussion topics
• Over a couple of class periods, use the four corners strategy to discuss three or four different statements. Then have participants write a position paper on the statement they have the strongest feelings about.
• Provide time for participants to read aloud their statements. Then provide time for peer reaction. First, ask participants to share only positive comments about their classmates' papers; then provide time for participants to share only constructive criticism. ("You might have done this differently")
Participants’ “Talking Points” are research-based and/or based on professional “best practices”, include citations, and include at least four solid reasons supporting their position on the topic of discussion.
3. Lightning Talks (100 points each = 200)
(from CMS) What are Lightning Talks?
Lightning Talks differ substantially from a delivered paper. They are presentations in which imagery supports the message. They are not simply PowerPoint or Keynote slides with bullet points to deliver content, but are a creative endeavor through which thinking is supported and made manifest. Lightning Talks are brief, 5-minute presentations that focus on a single topic, example, idea, project, or technique. Lightning Talks do not attempt to cover all aspects of their subject matter, but present one facet of the idea clearly and succinctly.
For an example of an award-winning Lightning Talk, given in 3 minutes, 30 seconds, please watch the following YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hghpuxCHTc
For further information on giving Lightning Talks, please access: http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2004/07/30/lightningtalk.html
For our purposes, think of your Lightning Talk as something that you might present at a school board meeting, for a parent group or music booster presentation, or offer as a pre-concert talk for parents. Don't be too concerned with explaining all of the details regarding your policy issue or topic--get to the "big picture" right away, and keep the discussion focused tightly on your main point. Think about your intended audience and craft your message so that it is easily understandable and jargon-free.
There will be two opportunities to present Lightning Talks, one during Week 3 (on a topic or issue of your choice) and the other during Week 6 (on the topic or issue you are addressing for your Final Project). Sign up information will be provided in class.
Tips for an entertaining, joyous, and informative lightning talk:
4. Final Project: Position Paper/Policy Statement or Paper/"White Paper" (125 points)
The Final Project for our course may take a number of forms. Most importantly, this paper should focus on a topic or issue that you believe is important and meaningful to you and our profession. Here is an example of a "White Paper" or Policy Statement that I was asked to write for the American String Teachers Association on "why music matters."
The Power and Promise of Music Education in the Accountability Era
Some general guidelines and tips:
The Final Project is due on the last day of class. No extensions will be approved.
For any three- or six-week class, you are allowed two absences without an impact on your final grade. A third absence will lower your final grade by .5 and every subsequent absence will lower your final grade by an additional .5. Individual instructors may adopt more specific grading policies (for example, missing a required presentation or exam). If you know that you will have to miss class for ANY reason during the summer, please let the instructor know as soon as possible.
We understand that you may have professional or personal commitments that require you to miss class. But because so much learning takes place during class time and because the class time is so compressed during the Summer Session, we also believe that absences beyond the two permitted must have an impact on your final grade for the course.
Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that “The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.” In addition, the School of Music adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site: www.msu.edu.) Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are not authorized to use the www.allmsu.com Web site to complete any course work in MUS277. Students who violate MSU rules may receive a penalty grade, including but not limited to a failing grade on the assignment or in the course.
Accommodations for Disabilities
Students with disabilities will need to contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (353-9642 or http://www.rcpd.msu.edu/Home/) and work with me to arrange any needed accommodations, per the Center's recommendation. It is the student’s responsibility to register with the RCPD and to inform faculty of any special accommodations needed by the student as determined by Disability Specialists at the RCPD; Faculty do not determine accommodations.
Sexual Harassment Policy
As your teacher, I wish to create a positive, comfortable learning environment. Each student has different boundaries emotionally and physically. The teaching of music has traditionally embraced a wide range of methods and techniques that may include physical contact between teacher and learner with the arms, shoulders, abdomen, head, neck and lower back. There is no music teaching technique that requires and physical contact with the student’s breast/chest, pubic area or buttocks. I will not initiate physical contact with a student without express permission from the student, and any such contact would be for pedagogical purposes only. We can also discuss any pedagogical interventions with which you are personally uncomfortable, and seek alternative strategies to accomplish these goals. Further, anatomical and physiological discussions may occur during the course of instruction, given the nature of music teaching and learning. These discussions should never include anything that is inappropriately sensual, sexual or suggestive in nature.
Should you believe that any violations of this policy occur in or out of class, you are encouraged to contact the following resources:
1. Office of Student Affairs, Student Judiciary: 432-2471
2. Dean of the College of Music: 355-4583
3. Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives: 432-3898
Assignments & Course Assessment
Students not handing in assignments on time will receive an “Incomplete” until the assignments are submitted. Grades on individual assignments and projects will be reduced by .5 for every day that they are late. You may revise written work once before the end of the term, attaching copies of previous versions, so long as the original assignment was handed in on time. Final work should be submitted as attachments via email (preferred format: Microsoft Word, sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org).
There will be frequent class activities based on the readings that require participation, and students are expected to be prepared. This means doing the require reading every day before class so that discussion can be as meaningful as possible. Every student is expected to participate in class discussions and activities, and failure to do so will be considered in the grading process.
Class participation and discussion = 75 points
Class assignments = 425 points
450 – 500 4.0
425 - 449 3.5
400 - 424 3.0
375 - 399 2.5
350 - 374 2.0
325 - 349 1.5
300 - 324 1.0
0 - 300 0.0
Failure to complete any portion of the above requirements may result in failure of the course.
Office Hours and Contact Info
other times by appointment
Mitchell Robinson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair of Music Education
School phone: 355.7555
Office: MPB 208