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date: 03 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the history of music teacher education in the United States from its humble beginnings in the 19th century through the varied preservice and advanced programs offered today. The chapter describes the evolution of the field over the past 200 years and speculates on the future of the profession through a historical lens. Most music teachers of the 18th and early 19th centuries received little formal preparation in either music or pedagogy and earned most of their living in a trade. Around 1830, music teacher education began on an institutional basis in singing conventions, teacher institutes, and private academies. State normal schools and some conservatories extended this work in the mid-19th century by offering instruction in pedagogy and “public school music.” Colleges and universities followed suit around 1900 and, two decades later, began awarding undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education. These programs expanded a great deal through World War II and continued to develop in response to changing needs, values, and priorities of society. Today, initial preparation is highly accessible through public and private colleges and universities throughout the country. The same is true of graduate-level instruction, which will likely become more prevalent as institutions continue to develop fully online master’s and doctoral programs.

Keywords: history, music teacher education, teacher preparation, college/university, normal schools

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