Session 7.1. Music Education

Session 7.1 Music Education
Room 11-452. Chair: Chandelle Rimmer

Friday|vendredi 25 May|mai 2018. 9:00 - 11:00AM.


7.1.1. Peer Teaching in Online Courses: Fostering a Positive Sense of Community among Graduate-Level Music Educators

Kristin Harney, Montana State University 

At Montana State University, because practicing music teachers can earn their master’s degree 100% online, I wanted to foster a positive sense of community among students in the program (Reyes, et al., 2012).  I also wanted to provide graduate students with opportunities to have first-hand teaching experiences, complete peer observations, and give and receive feedback (Barry, 1992).  

In this qualitative, multiple case-study, I examined the perceptions of eight practicing music teachers regarding their participation in General Music Practicum.  Every week, each graduate student selected a portion of their written lesson to teach in their own schools, video record, and upload.  I collected lesson transcripts, written lesson plans, and peer feedback for each participant.  Additionally, participants completed guided journal reflections each week and I interviewed individuals before and after the course.

Student response to the course was overwhelmingly positive.  While many students began the course feeling somewhat intimidated about posting examples of their teaching for a cohort of their peers, each participant commented that their fears were replaced by a sense of support.  Video-recorded lessons gave my online graduate students the opportunity to “visit” each other’s classrooms, gain first-hand experiences with teaching techniques and strategies, engage in reflective thinking, provide constructive criticism, and develop a positive sense of community.

I am excited about the possibilities suggested by the alternative structuring of General Music Practicum and believe that the model can be applied to many online graduate level education courses at Montana State University and beyond. 

Barry, N. H. (1992). Music and education in the elementary music methods class. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 2(1), 16-23. 
Reyes, M. R., Brackett, M. A., Rivers, S. E., White, M., & Salovey, P. (2012). Classroom emotional climate, student engagement, and academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(3), 700-712.


7.1.2. Disability, Hacking, and Music Education

Adam Patrick Bell, University of Calgary

The aim of this study is to examine ways to make music education practices more accessible and inclusive for people who identify as being disabled in music-making contexts. The researchers problematize the medical model of disability (disability as an individual “problem”) (Lubet, 2010), and instead subscribe to the social model (Howe et al., 2016), questioning the music-making contexts that lead to peoples’ experiences of disability. 

An ethnographic case study approach was used to examine the ways that instruments can be created or changed through the process of hacking to fit the needs of those experiencing disability in music. The researchers attended Monthly Music Hackathon NYC (MMHNYC) events that focused on creating new musical instruments. MMHNYC is a reoccurring, non-competitive event where coders, software\hardware designers, educators, and musicians gather to engage in the process of hacking; this means that participants form small groups and work together to try and come up with a solution to a problem, such as designing accessible instruments. The research team video-recorded groups engaged in the process of hacking, from the brainstorming stage through to the prototype and presentation stages. Following data collection, the “thick description” procedure prescribed by Goldman (2007) was used for data analysis. 

It is evident that disability experiences in music can be hacked and music education can be made more accessible and inclusive with hacking practices. Workshops that emulate the non-competitive hackathon environment could also be held to teach music educators about music-hacking practices, and how to implement such events in their respective communities. 


7.1.3. Towards an Inclusive Early Music Course

Eric Hung, Music of Asian America Research Centre


In Race and Popular Fantasy Literature: Habits of Whiteness (2015), Helen Young posits that racism has been a central strain in some people’s love of the Middle Ages since at least the 18th century.  Recently, the words, symbols and dress of people in European anti-Islamic marches, the Charlottesville rallies, and the anti-Muslim murderer in Portland, Oregon have made the connection between white supremacy and medievalphilia impossible to ignore.  As historian David M. Perry wrote, “White supremacists explicitly celebrate Europe in the Middle Ages because they imagine that it was a pure, white, Christian place organized wholesomely around military resistance to outside, non-white, non-Christian, forces.” 

With its heavy emphasis on northwestern Europe, including some Christian crusade music, the traditional early music history course can unfortunately lead students to form notions of pre- and early-modern Europe that are not far from those held by white supremacists.  It can also lead students to believe that developments in European music are much more unique than they actually are.

In this presentation, I offer an outline of an inclusive early music course.  Organized in five three-week modules, each focuses on how a particular musical development or issue affect three different musical traditions some time between the 10th and 16th centuries.  These include notation and musical transmission, changing notions of appropriate worship music, polyphonies across the world, gender and sexuality, and disability in music.


7.1.4. MusicCohort: Assessing Music Student Health

Christine Guptill, University of Alberta


Introduction: Research has demonstrated that over 80% of professional musicians experience playing-related health problems during their career, and 79% of music students have already encountered these problems before they start post-secondary training. Identifying student musicians at risk of playing-related physical and mental health problems is an important means of reducing the impact of these problems during training, and in their future careers. 

1. Successfully deploy the protocol in a Canadian setting and present the first results of this pilot sample.
2. Investigate the physical and psychological health profile of first year Canadian university music students.

Methods: This study used a cross-sectional design with a control group. The protocol examined demographics and history of pain; pain intensity and interference; performance anxiety; and mental health concerns using paper-based. Physical testing included pain perception (algometer), active range of motion of the upper extremity, cervical spine and hips, and general mobility. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics24.

Results: 16 student musicians and 40 non-music students were tested in this pilot study. Implementing the assessment in Canada was successful and effective with minor adjustments. Data analysis is ongoing at the time of submission.

Conclusions: The updated assessment protocol is feasible in Canada. Identifying student musicians at risk of playing-related physical and mental health problems is an important means of reducing the impact of these problems during training and in their careers. We will present the results of a Canadian pilot validation and English translation of an assessment protocol for student musicians. 

MusCan Office

MusCan is led by a committed community of volunteers from across Canada. You can contact our secretariat by mail, phone, or email.

10 Morrow Avenue, Suite 202
Toronto, ON
M6R 2J1
office [AT]