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Tyler Wiernusz/Michigan State University Expanding Instrumental Music Education: A Literature Review

This literature review presents methods for expanding cur- ricular opportunities in instrumental music ensembles. In- strumental music, including its literature,


practices, and education, has enjoyed a prolonged period of consistency. Professional, amateur, and scholastic bands uphold century old traditions, including literature, top-down instruction and formal concerts.

However, the hegemony

of this institution has troubled some within the instrumental music community, who call for diversification in instrumen- tal music.

Allsup and Benedict (2008) synthesized long-

standing concerns in their critique of the instrumental music paradigm. The authors established eight “problems” that in- strumental music faced under critical evaluation: Problems of tradition, pedagogy, change, reciprocity, fear, social his- tory, method, and legitimacy.

Opportunities for expanded curricular opportunities are vital if instrumental music education is to address aforementioned discourse. Jaffurs (2006) organized Bowman’s (2004) aims

for education in respect to music education. Theses aims, according to Jaffurs, are development of musicality, trans- mission of culture through music education, and nurturing of democratic processes in musical settings. Consequently, an expanded instrumental music education deepens the stu- dent/teacher relationship, focuses on developing collabora- tive and student centered learning environments, and fosters knowledge applicable beyond formal education.

With those goals in mind, four philosophical frames emerged as foundations for addressing the problems of instrumental music education: Critical pedagogy, constructivism, demo- cratic education, and creativity.

Three additional ideas

emerge within these frames, composition, improvisation, and informal learning. When taken in combination, these foundations help broaden curricular opportunities and, con- sequently, address the problems of instrumental music edu- cation. However, two questions about an expanded instru- mental music curriculum remained: What does an expanded instrumental music education classroom look like, and how are teachers positioned within these classrooms? Future re- search should seek to identify rich cases of expanded instru- mental music curriculums to explore these questions.

Advocacy Day Press Release

The Michigan Music Education Association (MMEA), in collaboration with the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) and the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA), celebrated Music Education Advocacy Day on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 at the State Capitol (Lansing). Representatives from each of these three associations, along with leaders from the Partnership for Music Education Policy Development (PMEPD), met with legislators throughout the day to discuss the importance of music education in Michigan schools. A performance featuring three ensembles from K-12 Michigan schools was presented from 12-1 PM in the Glass Floor Rotunda, including: • Thurston Elementary School 5th Grade Choir (Ann Arbor), directed by Yael Rothfeld • Hunter O’Brien, Shepherd High School Flute Soloist (Shepherd), directed by Jo Ann Gross • Okemos High School Freshman Brass Quintet (Okemos), featuring Paul McKinley & Arya Kale (trumpet), Eva Schwarz (French horn), Luca Lorenz (trombone) & Evan McNall (tuba), directed by Mark Stice • Haslett High School Men’s Chorale (Haslett), directed by Adam Boyce

MMEA, MSVMA and MSBOA are united in their support for quality music education in Michigan. With help from our colleagues at the Partnership for Music Education Policy Development (PMEPD), we proudly asked lawmakers to consider the following legislative initiatives: 1. Mandate for elementary music instruction, as prescribed in current HB 5284 & SB 718 2. Requirement that all music classes PreK-12 be taught by a JX or JQ certified music educator

The mission of the Michigan Music Education Association is to advance the quality of music education in Michigan. MMEA offers professional development workshops throughout the state and performance opportunities for elementary, middle & high school students. MMEA has a strong history of providing state and national advocacy/legislative support and outreach to pre-service, current and retired Michigan music educators of all experience levels. MMEA is a proud state- affiliate of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).


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