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date: 16 February 2020

(p. xi) Preface

(p. xi) Preface

Formal and systematic scholarship on music teacher education in the United States is a relatively recent development compared with the longer history of music education in this country. One of the earliest scholarly publications on music teacher education was put forth by the Music Educator’s National Conference (now called the National Association for Music Education [NAfME]) in 1987. The report, entitled Music Teacher Education: Partnership and Process: The Report of a Task Force on Music Teacher Education, discussed: (a) recruitment, selection, and retention of music teachers; (b) design and structure of music teacher certification programs; and (c) professional development of the music teacher. Written more than 30 years ago the postscript to that document asked the following questions.

  • *Should undergraduate certification programs be designed for four or five years?

  • *Should certification programs be planned after the conclusion of a four-year baccalaureate program?

  • *Are there too many colleges in the business of teacher preparation?

  • *Will teacher salaries be increased sufficiently to enable education to compete with business and industry for leaders?

  • *When will teachers be given the full professional responsibility to design curricula and evaluate learning?

  • *Can an effective system for rewards, recognition, and advancement be developed for teachers in the nation’s schools?

  • *When will college professors be rewarded and promoted for outstanding service to teacher preparation programs? (p. 55)

Many of these questions are still relevant today, and some (i.e., teacher reward systems) are even more prevalent in today’s educational culture. The Oxford Handbook of Preservice Music Teacher Education in the United States will address many of these more-han-30-year-old questions.

When Colwell edited the first Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning in 1992, only one chapter in the book addressed issues of teacher education (Verrastro & Leglar, 1992). Verrastro and Leglar suggested that although some research had been done in the 1970s and 1980s, the body of research in music teacher education had little focus:

The establishment of a clearinghouse for research in teacher training would make a lasting contribution to the profession. An effort is needed to establish research (p. xii) priorities in order to build a coherent body of knowledge about the questions deemed most vital.

(p. 691)

Ten years later, in The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning (Colwell & Richardson, 2002), Wing and Barrett edited a complete section that included eight chapters devoted to topics about music teacher education. Each chapter inthat handbook was coauthored by a music teacher educator and a researcher from general teacher education. This resource served as an introduction to the larger field of research in teacher education and provided a springboard for a more focused research agenda in music teacher education.

Several organizations within music education exist chiefly to study the development of the preservice music teacher and to initiate dialogue on broad issues concerning music teacher education. The Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), founded in 1982, includes all higher education members in NAfME ( The Journal of Music Teacher Education, begun in 1990, publishes much of the work of SMTE members. With the 2005 advent of the biannual National Symposium on Music Teacher Education, members of SMTE have become active in studying teacher education, presenting promising practices in teacher education, and setting agendas for research. SMTE is the clearinghouse for the work of smaller groups named Areas for Strategic Planning and Action (ASPAs), which exist to support and disseminate the work of members interested in investigating particular subtopics within music teacher education. Figure 0.1 includes the 2017 ASPA list.

General music teacher educators have met since 1991 at the Mountain Lake colloquia (, held every other year in Virginia. Years of subsequent discussions and collaborations between colloquia have led to the publication of a journal: the Mountain Lake Reader. Members of this group share research on and experiences with the teaching of elementary and secondary general music methods courses. The 2017 call for Mountain Lake invited papers in the following strands:

1. Biological: The Stages and Ways of Teaching General Music Methods

Papers are welcome that describe the various stages and ways of teaching general music (i.e., graduate students, PK-12, fixed-term, tenure track, mid-career, late-career, retired).

2. Environmental: Where We Connect and Interact

Papers are welcome that describe the spaces and places in which we work and teach.

3. Demographic: Who We Influence and Shape

Papers are welcome that describe who we are as educators, learners, researchers, musicians, and humans and who we influence and shape in relation to our work.

4. Technical: Conditions That Affect and Form

Papers are welcome that address how we teach. This can include specific techniques, methodological approaches, and ideas that have changed or have the potential to change our thinking and/or practice. (

(p. xiii) Instrumental music teacher educators met at the first Instrumental Music Teacher Educators (IMTE) retreat in Deer Creek, Ohio, in 2005 and continue to meet every other year ( The most recent call for proposals for the IMTE retreat, in 2017, stated:

We welcome proposals related to instrumental music teacher educators’ roles in developing/influencing pre- and in-service instrumental music teachers’ philosophical, curricular, pedagogical, and assessment practices related to the following topics.

  • Meaningful assessment that facilitates student learning (K-12 and collegiate levels)

  • Music advocacy that values music as a unique form of knowing

  • Applications of informal learning to instrumental music education

  • Incorporating creative music learning outcomes into instrumental music education

  • Access and social justice issues relevant to instrumental music (teacher) education

  • Curricular structures (courses, experiences, curricula) for pre- and in-service (instrumental) music teacher education

  • Curricular structures (courses, experiences, curricula) for K-12 instrumental music education

  • Strategies for activating change and evolving instrumental music education practice

  • Work/life balance and the health of music teacher educators and instrumental music educators

Because of the burgeoning amount of important scholarship in music teacher education, there was a pressing need for a resource that codifies and synthesizes this large—and growing—body of literature. The Oxford Handbook of Preservice Music Teacher Education in the United States provides this resource. It includes research literature reviews and discussions of promising practices in all the topics outlined by the national music teacher education organizations mentioned here. It is a core text for graduate music teacher education courses and a supplementary resource for the growing body of music teacher education researchers. Because music teacher education is by definition a more targeted field than the larger discipline of music education, we have limited authorship in this book to scholars who have presented at one or more of the leading music teacher education events mentioned (SMTE, IMTE, Mountain Lake) and/or have published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education. The authors are representative of the impressive group of researchers who specialize in the study of music teacher education. Certainly, there are important and accomplished music education researchers who have investigated related topics but are not included in this volume; the criteria for authorship here are an established research focus on the education of music teachers, and a strong history of publications or presentations about how music teachers are prepared.

(p. xiv) As with any large project, it is important to consider what this Handbook does not include. Even within its 43 chapters, the Handbook addresses only “preservice” teacher education; no chapters are devoted to in-service teacher development. There is a rich and valuable body of extant literature on, for example, the experiences of beginning music teachers, mentoring, induction, national board certification, professional development, graduate school experiences, second-stage career experiences, core reflection, teacher inquiry, and the lives of music teachers throughout their careers. However, all these worthy topics fall within the field of in-service teacher education and therefore are outside the scope of this volume. There is also a body of literature regarding the recruitment of high school students into the music education degree, which likewise is not included in this volume.

These 43 chapters address only music teacher education for music education majors. We know that many readers in our audience teach courses for nonmajors, but we deemed those courses as outside the boundaries of music teacher education. Finally, the title reflects the notion that the book addresses teacher education in the United States. Once again, there is a rich body of international literature on the preparation of music teachers, much of which is relevant for teacher education in the United States; however, in order to streamline the literature in this book, we have opted to include only matters of teacher preparation in the United States.

Overview of the Volume

The Oxford Handbook of Preservice Music Teacher Education in the United States challenges music teacher educators to work from within our profession to push the boundaries of P-12 music education. In order for music education to truly be for all students, we suggest that music teacher educators work to broaden diversity in our profession and to include diverse learning strategies, experiences, and perspectives. This Handbook provides a resource for all of those working towards this in music teacher education: music education faculty and administrators, music researchers, graduate students, department of education faculty and administrators, and state-level certification agencies.

The authors of the opening chapters address philosophical views toward change in teacher education (chapters 2 and 4), along with historical accounts (chapter 3) and visions for the future in the work of various music teacher educators and organizations (chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8). Chapter 9 is devoted to meeting demands of policy stakeholders, and other chapters provide descriptions of various music teacher education curricular frameworks (chapter 10), student teaching policies (chapter 11), and pathways to certification (chapter 12).

Authors in Section III delineate undergraduate development in the areas of identity (chapter 13), musicianship (chapter 14), dispositions toward teaching (chapter 15), secondary instruments (chapter 16), technology (chapter 17), core practices (chapter 18), (p. xv) lesson planning (chapter 19), assessment (chapter 20), administrative duties (chapter 21), conducting (chapter 22), preservice fieldwork (chapter 23), and student teaching (chapter 24). Individual learners and learning contexts are discussed, including learners with special needs (chapter 25), English language learners (chapter 26), gender and sexuality (chapter 27), culturally relevant pedagogy and race (chapter 28), early childhood settings (chapter 29), and learners in community music (chapter 30). Authors in chapters 31 through 42 discuss pushing the boundaries of music teacher education within traditional structures (such as band, jazz band, marching band, orchestra, choir, musical theater, and general music), as well as less common or newer areas (guitar, songwriting, and vernacular/popular music).

This volume has been structured to provide a research-based look at ways music teacher educators may do the following: (a) prepare teachers to enter the music education profession, (b) work well within and adapt to changes in contemporary schools, and (c) use their knowledge and expertise to push for positive change in P-12 education. All authors provide suggestions for ways in which preservice teachers might be prepared to engage in multiple, differing interactions with their students while expanding the types of “musics” that may be used in schools. Authors pay special attention to research-based pedagogies that will help future music teachers broaden the types of musical venues and contexts available to students. Finally, each author offers guidance for ways in which teacher education methods and practices must transform in order to accomplish a reform-oriented push of current music education boundaries.

Conway, C. M., Albert, D., Hibbard, S., & Hourigan, R. (2005). Arts education and professional development. Arts Education Policy Review, 107(1), 3–9, doi:10.3200Find this resource:

Colwell, R. (Ed.). (1992). The handbook of research on music teaching and learning. New York, NY: Schirmer.Find this resource:

Colwell, R., & Richardson, C. P. (Eds.). (2002). The new handbook of research on music teaching and learning. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Music Educators National Conference. (1987). Music teacher education: Partnership and process. Reston, VA: Author.Find this resource:

National Arts Standards. (2014).

Verrastro, R., & Leglar, M. (1992). Music teacher education. In R. Colwell (Ed.), Handbook of research on music teaching and learning (pp. 676–696). New York, NY: Schirmer Books.Find this resource:

Wing, L., & Barrett, J. R. (Eds.). (2002). Music teacher education. In R. Colwell & C. P. Richardson (Eds.), The new handbook of research on music teaching and learning (pp. 757–904). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Find this resource: