A Brief History of Music Education in America

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  1. 1. B R I A N D . E B I E , P H . D A Brief History of Choral Music Education In The United States (concluding with a brief look at current trends in music education)
  2. 2. Group Singing in Colonial America (1600-1800) 1620-Pilgrims established the Plymouth Colony in America. They brought with them Henry Ainsworths Book of Psalms, containing 39 psalm songs. 1630-The Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony and brought Stemhold and Hopkins Whole Book of Psalms. 1639-The Puritans were dissatisfied with some of the translations and number of meters in the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalm Book, so they published the Bay Psalm Book.
  3. 3. The Whole Book of PsalmesAinsworth
  4. 4. Singing by Rote vs. Note 1630-A common practice in the early colonial church was rote singing. Rote singing was accomplished by a process called lining out, where a priest would sing a line of psalm to the congregation, and they would repeat it. 1720-The importance of reading music became apparent when Thomas Symmes wrote a pamphlet entitled: The Reasonableness of Regular Singing or Singing by Note. 1723-Symmes suggested the establishment of Singing Schools to improve the musical skills of the church populace. 1721- Cotton Mather delivers a sermon entitled The Accomplished Singer. The process for lining out is outlined.
  5. 5. The Accomplished Singer Cotton Mather
  6. 6. Music Textbooks John Tufts John Tufts wrote the Introduction to the Singing of Psalm Tunes. It was the first American music textbook. The selling of this book was considered the beginning of organized music education in the United States.
  7. 7. William Billings William Billings (October 7, 1746 September 26, 1800) is regarded as the first American choral composer Billings was involved in teaching singing schools throughout his life. Billings' work was very popular in its heyday, but his career was hampered by the primitive state of copyright law in America at the time. By the time the copyright laws had been strengthened, it was too late for Billings: the favorites among his tunes had already been widely reprinted in other people's hymnals, permanently copyright-free. From Wikipedia: William Billings
  8. 8. The Singing Masters Assistant Billings
  9. 9. The Singing School Movement 1725-1800s The Singing School Movement Flourished during the Great Awakening, which can best be described as a revitalization of religious piety that swept through the American colonies between the 1730s and the 1770s. Religions growing out of the Second Great Awakening are the Churches of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada. Singing Schools, operated by itinerant music teachers, taught people to sing by note. They used a four syllable system called fa-sol-la to teach sight-singing skills.
  10. 10. Second Great Awakening: LDS Hymnal, 1835
  11. 11. Music In The Schools 1787-1789- Ratification of the Constitution by the states reflected ideas of education as a function of government. August 24, 1830- After observing the instructional principles of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, William Channing Woodbridge (also a signer of the US Constitution) delivered a speech entitled On Vocal Music as a Branch of Common Education to the American Institute of Instruction. Click the link above to read more
  12. 12. Music in the Schools 1831- Elam Ives and Lowell Mason publish the Juvenile Lyre, which Mason described as the first school song book published in this country. 1832- Lowell Mason, George Webb and other Boston musicians founded the Boston Academy of Music.
  13. 13. The Juvenile Lyre1835
  14. 14. Lowell Mason The Boston Academy of Music was dedicated to improving the quality of music in the church and promoting general music education. The Manual of the Boston Academy of Music for Instruction in the Elements of Vocal Music on the System of Pestalozzi, a translation of an earlier German publication, was published under Masons name and became the official text for the academys music teacher training course. Boston Academy, the countrys leading independent music education institution, offered instruction for adults and children, but its leaders were strongly in favor of music in common school.
  15. 15. The First Vocal Music Program in a public school Boston Academy associates and other prominent citizens submitted two proposals to the Massachusetts School Board urging that vocal music instruction be made part of the primary school curriculum. Following the second proposal (1837) the board agreed to an experimental inclusion of vocal music at Hawes Primary School. Lowell Mason volunteered his services as an instructor. 1838- The Boston School Board voted to include music in public elementary schools, marking the first time in American history that music was officially given a place in the school curriculum. 1838-1860- 50 other school districts follow Bostons example.
  16. 16. Curricular Development 1870- Luther Whiting Masons graded music series entitled The National Music Course was published and became a model for future graded series. Considered the founder of School music methodology. Recognized for his instruction materials for early grades. Many music education textbooks today have their roots in Masons original works.
  17. 17. National Music CourseLuther Whiting Mason
  18. 18. Other Popular Music Courses 1885- The Normal Music Course, co authored by Hosea Edson Holt and John Wheeler Tufts, was published and became the standard for school music series by 1893. The Natural Music Course, by Thomas Tapper and Frederick Ripley was published containing some new and innovative approaches to simplify instruction.
  19. 19. Frances Elliott Clark 1891 music supervisor at Monmouth, Illinois. she began giving a series of ten minute lectures before her choir rehearsals on topics such as the Rise of Opera, J.S.Bach, Chopin, and living composers. These were some of the first efforts of teaching music appreciation. 1903 Supervisor of Music in the schools. While in Milwaukee she organized children's music programs at the elementary level to teach children how to sing and read music. She also pioneered a plan to encourage ear-training at the kindergarten level. Interested in technology and formed a strong relationship with the Victor Talking Machine company. Pioneered the use of using recordings in the classroom to teach music. Used the phonograph as an educational tool, allowing students to hear music they were singing performed by professional musicians. Under her leadership music of the world as well as American folk songs were recorded for use in the classroom.
  20. 20. Frances Elliott Clark Her work with the Victor record company led to the Victor Company publishing its first educational catalog in 1911 and she endorsed one of the first music appreciation books, What We Hear in Music, by Anne Faulkner, a member of the Victor staff. Source: http://www.public.asu.edu/~aajth/history/clark~f.c/clark~f.c.html
  21. 21. MENC / NAfME The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is an organization of American music educators dedicated to advancing and preserving music education and as part of the core curriculum of schools in the United States. Founded in 1907 as the Music Supervisors National Conference (MSNC), the organization was known from 1934 to 1998 as the Music Educators National Conference (origin of the MENC acronym). From 1998 to 2011 it was known as "MENC: The National Association for Music Education." On September 1, 2011, the organization changed its acronym from MENC to NAfME. On March 8, 2012, the organization's name legally became National Association for Music Education. The acronym "NAfME" is used. With more than 130,000 members, NAfME headquarters are located in Reston, Virginia. From Wikipedia: MENC
  22. 22. Contemporary Music Education in America 1959-American Association of School Administrators expresses support for more complete curriculum including arts instruction. 1962- MENC works to change perception in music as non- academic. Theme of biennial meeting is The Study of Music: An Academic discipline. 1965- National Assessment of Educational Progress develops music objectives (later evolved into the National Standards) 1967- Tanglewood Symposium, sponsored by MENC to discuss and define the role of music education. Results in the Tanglewood Declaration.
  23. 23. Contemporary Music Education in America 1983- A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform echoes reform cry from post-Sputnik philosophies that focused on the subjects of math and science. Includes the arts and music as fundamental subject areas. 1985- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards instituted. MENC introduces Professional Certification Program. 1994-Goals 2000 (Improving Americas Schools Act) legislation passes. MENC introduces National Standards for Music Education.
  24. 24. Contemporary Music Education in America 1994-Goals 2000 (Improving Americas Schools Act) legislation passes. MENC introduces National Standards for Music Education. 2001- No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige wrote in 2004 to superintendents that the arts, perhaps more than any other subject, help students to understand themselves and others, whether they lived in the past or are living in the present. asdf
  25. 25. Contemporary Music Education in America NCLB has not typically benefited arts education programs. The long-term effects of NCLB are not yet evident, but the short-term effects have been detrimental to all nontested subjects, especially those courses that are typically considered electives. ARTS EDUCATION POLICY REVIEW, 111: 47, 2010 Some principals strive to hire arts teachers who are trained in reading and mathematics integration. This trend could endanger the arts, especially music, from being recognized as a distinct and separate subject matter with its own skills and concepts. ARTS EDUCATION POLICY REVIEW, 111: 47, 2010
  26. 26. Contemporary Music Education in America Common Core The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an educational initiative in the United States that details what K12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The potential for music knowledge to be used extensively as part of instruction exists, however, information on actual implementation is scarce. See the College Board Report on Arts Education and Common Core.
  27. 27. Conclusion There is always a danger that music education and other arts will be relegated to the sidelines in favor of math and science and more standardized testing. Despite countless studies indicating significant positive correlations between music study and academic achievement, well being, emotional health, and more, because the arts are subjective and better measured in the affective domain, they will lose ground to even more math and science. In the 58 years since Sputnik, and Admiral Hyman Rickovers report on the state of American education, music has had to fight for its place in the school. This is not likely to change. Communities, parents, teachers, and supportive administrators are key to keeping the programs alive in public schools. A Principal supportive of music education, along with good teaching is without equal in enabling the endurance of successful programs.