This chapter examines the musical practices and procedures of choruses such as the famous Gay Men’s Chorus within the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities of the United States and Europe, and more specifically the discourse in and around them. It focuses on choral pedagogy as it is found in such ensembles and communities, drawing on the literature and first-hand accounts from singers, conductors and audience members, and examines what they uniquely value in their singing. Specific questions include: what is a good sound for an early MTF (male to female) transgender singer? Is it good to have female tenors in your ensemble, and if so, how many? How does the meaning of a song change for singers and audience when sung by a group of 250 gay men? How does that inflect the way in which that song should be taught to the singers? In short, is there a queer choral pedagogy?
Many of the societal injustices historically perpetrated against persons with disabilities are well known: educational segregation, inaccessible public buildings and programs, and lack of employment opportunities. Less obvious and rarely acknowledged are issues related to the social integration of persons with disabilities and the resulting educational implications. Students with disabilities who are socially accepted and well assimilated into their school and are more likely to graduate and to secure employment. Indicators of social inequities are often subtle and overlooked, thus making teachers powerless to facilitate classroom interactions that contribute to the well-being and educational success of students with disabilities. The ability to embrace diversity in all its facets and to advance social justice requires that educators (1) understand disability culture and its place within the majority culture, (2) recognize stereotypic and stigmatizing views of persons with disability, and (3) create socially and musically inclusive environments for students with disabilities.
When considering teaching and conducting diverse populations in community choirs, one must begin with discussions of the phenomenon itself: a description of the term, a brief history of adult singing ensembles in the United States, and an exploration into the many types of community choirs and issues such as age, gender, exclusivity, purpose, and goals. Examined research on these issues is organized into large topics such as adult learning theories (music literacy and learning styles) and adult physiological concerns (untrained adult singers’ vocal mechanisms and aging voice issues). Personal identity growth or creation as individual musicians must be taken into account, as well as social implications of ensemble identity (among group members and by external community members). Finally motivation for joining and remaining in community choirs will be part of this chapter. That necessary phenomenon is examined through lenses such as choral repertoire preference, social needs, and personal goals fulfillment.
Kari K. Veblen
This article examines current research and practice in formal, nonformal, and informal learning for adult music students. In a formal setting, the teacher controls the materials, pacing, and interactions in a structured environment. Nonformal learning practices involve systematic and deliberate but less regulated pursuits that occur outside of educational structures. Informal practices comprise aspects of knowledge and skill acquisition that are largely experiential.
This article considers the influence of the National Society for the Study of Education Yearbook, Basic Concepts in Music Education (1958), on the actions of music teachers. The Yearbook strongly influenced emerging scholars working towards a doctorate in music education and searching for substantive ideas that would support their own contributions to their chosen vocation. Research-based efforts in music education have fostered impressive growth in further theory, but had little impact on school programs and practices. Several conditions in music education that support the separation of theory from practice are discussed.
Hermione Ruck Keene and Lucy Green
Music summer schools in the United Kingdom offer a holiday context for “serious leisure” for amateurs, and high-level tuition for aspiring professionals. The majority exist in distinct spaces for either the vocational or avocational musician; Dartington International Summer School is anomalous in that it is attended by amateur, aspiring professional and professional musicians. Theories of leisure as symbol, play, and the other, and Bahktin’s theory of the “carnivalesque” are used in this chapter as lenses to view participant experience. Mantie’s concept of the learner-participant dichotomy sheds light on the clashes and complementarity arising from the differing intentions of the participants. The chapter discusses how the leisure-learning context of the summer school impacts on participants’ musical identity, and can serve both to challenge and reinforce hierarchical status relationships between vocational and avocational musicians.
Analyzing Student Data to Inform Instruction and Increase Student Growth: Assessment in American Music Classrooms
This practice-focused chapter describes analyzing student work (ASW), a process used by some music teachers in the United States to assess student work, analyze the results, and modify and improve instructions based on that analysis. Throughout the ASW process, specific qualities of student work are assessed using rubrics (markschemes). For teachers, the ASW process addresses the two questions “What do we do if a student is not proficient?” and “What do we do if a student is proficient and beyond?” The ASW process focuses on one aspect of student work at a time and provides data that enables teachers to modify instruction to improve student learning. Teachers can use data yielded from the ASW process in three ways: (1) to inform instruction and improve student proficiency; (2) to describe student work present and missing to construct a rubric; and (3) build consensus in scoring student work as a data team.
Culturally, many Africans feel that African music must be taught in context and through methods that are specific to Africa. Thus far, “African culture” and instructional practices in Africa have not succeeded in consistently incorporating computer-based technology for music education into regular classroom instruction, even at those few schools that can afford it. Computer-based technology must therefore prove to have a generic role of preservation and advancement of the culture if it is to be integrated in music education. Through discussion of music teaching in Namibia, Ghana, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Kenya, this chapter illustrates how governmental educational policy reflects and relates to expectations for technology in music education.
It seems that many concert programs are presented without enough concern for the overall flow, purpose, and direction of the choral performance itself. Often, many wonderful selections are included, but rarely do they truly work together in tandem or with enough significant diversity and color changes to warrant the audiences complete attention. Several unique models for programming at all levels are discussed. Questions are raised concerning choral programming tendencies (from Psalm choral settings to mixed meter music to Carmina Burana) and how the building of varied repertoires and unorthodox pairings can assist true success. In this age of diminishing crowds, fiscal resources, and rehearsal time, our ability to creatively weave the material to capture our singers and our audiences at the same time is extremely critical. Finally, we touch upon engaging the audience from the moment the ensemble takes the stage until the final ovation.
Peter Gouzouasis and Danny Bakan
This chapter, written creatively as a scripted conversation between a professor and a doctoral student, asks how researchers might study music-making in a plethora of community music settings using arts-based methods. On the surface, arts-based educational research (ABER), art-based research (ABR), creative analytical practices (CAP), and arts inquiry (AI), may seem one and the same, but there are distinctive historical and theoretical nuances between them. We crafted this composition in a reflexive manner with theory and research embedded in the scripted conversation to explore these nuances. We point towards the conclusion that music communities, where participants are actively engaged, are well suited to inquiry through methods that include creative ways of representing and understanding both music and learning. In a conversational way, we explore distinctions, contexts, possibilities, problems, and the power of engaging arts-based research in the study of community music-making.
Abigale D'Amore and Gareth Dylan Smith
The chapter discusses the centrality of music making to the lives of young people, framing teenagers’ out-of-school music making and attendant identity realization as leisure activities. It presents arguments for including in school music classrooms the music that students enjoy outside of school. It describes Musical Futures, an approach to informal music learning developed from understanding how popular musicians learn and adopting these practices for the music classroom. Citing examples of nationwide research on Musical Futures from secondary schools in England, the chapter balances benefits and challenges of adopting the approach, and considers implications of a focus in school on the process rather than the product of music making. The authors argue that framing and aspiring to music making as leisure through this particular pedagogical approach could stand to benefit students, teachers, schools, and society.
Samuel Leong, Pamela Burnard, Neryl Jeanneret, Bo Wah Leung, and Carole Waugh
This article presents six case studies from England, Australia, and Hong Kong, which illustrate the different ways creativity in music is defined and assessed by teachers and learners in various educational contexts. It considers the influence of educational policies on the assessment of musical creativity. It also examines the key features of music creativity assessment in order to draw parallels between various contexts. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications for classroom practice.
In this chapter, pros and cons of assessing young children’s music skills and content knowledge are explored. An integrative literature review is included as well as a thematic review lending support to core themes. Several reasons were identified as to the importance of promoting student assessment as children participate in early childhood music. Use of music assessments in the classroom and for research should consider practices consistent with musical age as well as chronological age. Increased recognition of the importance of music in total development of the child supports need for effective early childhood assessment systems especially by the music education research community as they continue to gather evidence regarding the utilitarian value of music in early childhood. Researchers need to be aware of environmental factors that may impact early music learning and cognizant of current best practices in music education for early childhood. Researcher-developed criterion measures often are not investigated for quality characteristics, and thus rigorous guidelines for such criterion measures are needed. It appears there are no definitive policy or ethics statements regarding early childhood music assessment but both should be considered vital priorities for the profession. Most likely only those scholars with profound interest in assessment and teachers with deep understanding of the role of assessment in teaching and learning will volunteer to respond. Everything developed in such a national network will be useful, providing we start with clearly defined, intended outcomes and then develop assessments to document student attainment of those musical outcomes.
The proliferation of the use of new media and creativities are expanding the ways that humans engage creatively with music in the twenty-first century. As teachers and researchers, our methods of assessing these creativities need to expand as well. In this chapter the author points to some of the ways that music education has traditionally conceived of both creativity and the measurement of compositional activity in the classroom. However, it should be clear that formative, summative, feedback, diagnostic, and evaluative assessment are all necessary and vital to understanding and justifying the place of composition learning in music education, and that we as a profession have not done an adequate job of it in the past. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, Finland, and Australia, have done a better job of creating curricular space for composition than the United States. The rest of the world can learn from these successes.
William I. Bauer
The purpose of this chapter is to describe and discuss ways in which technology may be used to assess student learning outcomes focused on knowledge, skills, processes, and products related to creating, performing, and responding to music. Topics include (1) assessment principles essential to high-quality technology-assisted musical assessment, (2) the design of assessment tasks and procedures facilitated by technology, (3) applications of technology to assessment instruments and assessment management, and (4) technology for assessing learning outcomes related to creating, performing, and responding to music. Technology has the potential to transform assessment in music education, and through that to make a major impact on student learning. Up-to-date links to various technology resources related to this chapter can be accessed at
Music listening is defined as a multifaceted process through which individuals become actively involved in making sense of the sounds, feelings, and associations that are part of the listening experience. This sense-making involves complex mental processes resulting in unique musical experiences created by individual listeners. Listening is a way of doing music. While each listening encounter is highly personalized and covert, various components can be shared through verbal, visual, gestural transductions and these provide a basis for assessing music listening. It is suggested that the emphasis in assessment of music listening be on the degree to which the listener successfully engages in the process of sense-making, rather than being limited to the sounds the listener hears. Examples of assessment strategies are provided.
Ana Lucía Frega and Ramiro Limongi
Spanish-speaking Latin American countries share language, educational history and approaches, and a colonial past. Education was an essential part of a transculturation process that changed the indigenous worldview and inserted European civilization. Along the centuries, music served for catechizing, inculcating cultural and moral values, easing social control, attaining group cohesion, supporting the emerging national spirit, promoting social inclusion, integrating immigrants, stimulating multiculturalism awareness, and achieving social or individual emotional, creative, intellectual, and even physical development. So highly regarded, music education was included in most educational endeavors at any level of schooling. However, hazardous political, institutional, and economic life hindered its effective implementation. Policies changed frequently, and European and North American models randomly mixed with local traditional expressions. Governments issued regulations, looking for improvement, but disjoint efforts, deficient monitoring, and inadequate evaluation often resulted in failure. The culture of assessment is still incipient in the region and poses a great yet unavoidable challenge.
This chapter focuses on various tools and strategies that have been used in research studies for assessing singing voice development, particularly of children. The chapter is organized around the following: A definition of singing development, which includes use of the singing voice (vocal registers) and then pitch accuracy, is provided. An overview of approaches used in research to assess singing development is then presented. These approaches include singing tasks, such as echoing patterns and singing a song, which the children perform to have their singing assessed, human raters using rating scales/rubrics to assess children’s singing, and technology. A more thorough discussion of selected rubrics and rating scales as well as suggested protocols for using them follows. Recommendations for using these tools and strategies for applications in research and classroom settings are included.
This chapter aligns the tenets of critical pedagogy with current practices of assessment in the United States. The author posits that critical pedagogy is an appropriate lens through which to view assessment, and argues against the hegemonic practices that support marginalization of students. Grounded in critical theory and based on Marxist ideals, the content supports the notion of teaching and learning as a partnership where the desire to empower and transform the learner, and open possibilities for the learner to view the world and themselves in that world, are primary goals. Political mandates to evaluate teacher performance and student learning are presented and discussed. In addition to the formative and summative assessments that teachers routinely do to students, the author suggests integrative assessment, where students with the teacher reflect together on the learning experience and its outcomes. The chapter includes specific examples from the author’s own teaching that operationalize the ideas presented.
This essay examines how undergraduate composition teachers assess growth in their students’ work, and shows how assessment frameworks (such as rubrics) can be useful for college composition students and professors alike. The essay presents interviews with university composition faculty to establish the assessment strategies generally used in lessons. Next, it looks critically at existing frameworks and assessment philosophies, considering their strengths and shortcomings for departments whose students are growing ever more diverse in musical style and voice. Finally, it considers the composer’s task of designing an assessment framework for his or her studio, including areas of concern and possible starting points for organization.