The Music History Classroom  book cover
1st Edition

The Music History Classroom

Edited By

James A. Davis

ISBN 9781409436591
Published September 5, 2012 by Routledge
222 Pages

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Book Description

The Music History Classroom brings together essays written by recognized and experienced teachers to assist in the design, implementation, and revision of college-level music history courses. This includes the traditional music history survey for music majors, but the materials presented here are applicable to other music history courses for music majors and general education students alike, including period classes, composer or repertory courses, and special topics classes and seminars. The authors bring current thought on the scholarship of teaching and learning together with practical experience into the unique environment of the music history classroom. While many of the issues confronting teachers in other disciplines are pertinent to music history classes, this collection addresses the unique nature of musical materials and the challenges involved in negotiating between historical information, complex technical musical issues, and the aesthetics of performing and listening. This single volume provides a systematic outline of practical teaching advice on all facets of music history pedagogy, including course design, classroom technology, listening and writing assignments, and more. The Music History Classroom presents the 'nuts-and-bolts' of teaching music history suitable for graduate students, junior faculty, and seasoned teachers alike.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Foreword by Susan McClary; Creating a music history course: course design, textbooks and syllabi, William A. Everett; Classroom activities, Mary Natvig; Lecturing, Edward Nowacki; Listening in the classroom, Melanie Lowe; Assignments and homework, Eleonora M. Beck; Technology in and out of the classroom, José Antonio Bowen; Evaluation and assessment, Elizabeth A. Wells; The research paper, Scott Warfield; Music as a liberal art: teaching music to non-majors, Marjorie Roth; On being and becoming: the first year of teaching on the clock, Michael Markham; Professional development, Jessie Fillerup; Bibliography; Index.

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James A. Davis is Professor of Musicology and Chair of the Music History Area at the School of Music, State University of New York at Fredonia. His primary research focuses on the music and musicians of the American Civil War. He has also worked in the areas of music history pedagogy, American popular music of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the history of bands.


'This book presents a wealth of practical, down-to-earth advice from music history teachers at a variety of institutions. It's just the kind of book I wish I had had as a first-year faculty member, and one that I know I will dip into as I continue to refine my teaching approach in the coming years and decades. From managing one's first semester on the tenure track to creating strategies for renewal in every semester thereafter, the essays collected here can serve as a jumping-off point to reflect on the reasons why we musicologists do what we do and how we can do it better.’ Marie Sumner-Lott, Georgia State University, USA

 'This collection is an important, if long overdue, handbook that will be of use to both beginning and experienced teachers. Readers will find themselves enlightened by these contributions no matter what classes they teach, from non-major classes to graduate seminars. They will find specific, concrete ideas to improve their teaching from revising entire courses to tweaking specific class presentations. Many of the ideas presented in The Music History Classroom can be integrated into the current structure of the class a teacher is using, and the volume can be referred to again and again over time for specific ideas as one’s teaching evolves.’ Matthew Balensuela, DePauw University, USA

‘Music history pedagogy in the classroom is always a challenge - to find the right mix of lecture, discussion, listening, and score analysis so as to be able to impart a relevant mix of essential facts and historical signposts without swamping our students, and to instill a set of critical and interpretive strategies they can make part of their skill set for lifelong learning. The Music History Classroom fills a longstanding need, providing sage, practical advice - from a distinguished roster of experienced teachers who are also active research musicologists - on the nuts and bolts of course design, out-of-class assignments, lecturing and other classroom-based activities, grading, and more. Such material will be of the greatest value, as well, to an additional audience: the adjuncts and part-timers, and the uncredentialled (by whom I have in mind professional performers and applied studio teachers) who are doing an ever increasing amount of the teaching of music history in higher education today.’ Peter M. Lefferts, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

‘Although aimed at college providers of music history courses, there is much practical teaching advice on a range of topics which the classroom teacher should find useful and interesting… A fascinating book which the teacher will want to dip into for day-to-day teaching ideas - and for when they might want to sit back and reflect on the bigger picture.' Music Teacher Magazine

The Music History Classroom offers direct and practical approaches to teaching music history in the twenty-first century. This collection represents a valuable new addition to the pedagogical publications addressing the unique situations and challenges music history presents. Its direct style and inclusion of examples, explanations, and anecdotes provide teachers with resources and inspiration for new directions their courses may explore.' Notes