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Critical Perspectives in Canadian Music Education

Carol A. Beynon and Kari K. Veblen, editors

Paper 230 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-366-9

Release Date: March 2012

Online discount: 25%

$39.99  $29.99


eBook availability

Music education in Canada is a vast enterprise that encompasses teaching and learning in thousands of public and private schools, community groups, and colleges and universities. It involves participants from infancy to the elderly in formal and informal settings. Nevertheless, as post-secondary faculties of music and programs are growing significantly, academic books and materials grounded in a Canadian perspective are scarce. This book attempts to fill that need by offering a collection of essays that look critically at various global issues in music education from a Canadian perspective. Topics range from a discussion of the roots of music education in Canada and analysis of music education practices across the country to perspectives on popular music, distance education, technology, gender, globalization, Indigenous traditions, and community music in music education. Foreword by composer R. Murray Schafer.

Musician, educator, researcher, and advocate, Carol Beynon serves as the vice provost of graduate and post-doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario. She is co-artistic director of the award-winning Amabile Boys Choirs. Her research interests include Canadian music education, arts education, teacher identity, and gender issues.

Kari Veblen, the associate dean of graduate studies and research at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario, teaches cultural perspectives in music education, elementary methods, and graduate courses. Musician and educator, Veblen studies international trends in community music.


“From the maxims of R. Murray Schafer that launch the book to the culminating epistemology of music education that brings it to a close, this insightful collection represents a landmark contribution that challenges the status quo and bridges the past, present, and future of Canadian music education. Beynon and Veblen convene a stellar group of Canada’s leading researchers in music education to examine critically and prompt questions on a broad range of topics. Collectively, the authors reveal the geographical uniqueness and cultural diversity of Canadian landscapes of music education.... An outstanding model for building a sense of shared commitment among music educators at the national level while acknowledging the diverse perspectives within regions.”

— Marie McCarthy, School of Music, Theatre and Dance, University of Michigan

“The examination of the work of school music teachers ... is incisive, thoughtful, and exciting. A foreword by R. Murray Schafer sets the tone, as he points out that many of the difficulties encountered in the school system cannot be solved by purchases and possessions, but will be swept aside by the excitement of creative activity.... Passion and commitment to sharing a love for music underlies each of the essays. The authors question attitudes about popular music, Canadian music, gender roles in bands, e-teaching of music, music in non-European establishment traditions, native transmission of musical knowledge, the place of choral groups in society, the role of class and gender stereotypes in the choice of instrumental and voice options, the need for music specialists, and the tentative nature of the support given to music programs.... The Canadian perspective comes through loud and clear in each article and is necessary to understanding the points of view presented. It also allows for the kind of attitude that will best serve young musicians. In the words of R. Murray Schafer, “Allowing children to become creative does not require genius; it requires humility.”

— E.A. Breen, The Music Times

“Anyone committed to music education would profit greatly from this book. But clearly it is a call for change and therefore must be a topic of discussion among policy makers.”

— John J. Picone, Canadian Association of Music Libraries Review

“There is plenty here to inform, challenge, and inspire even the most experienced educator! Carol Beynon and Kari Veblen are to be congratulated on compiling such a rich collection of perspectives on Canadian music education. Insights into specific historical and cultural issues are considered alongside more global aspects concerning the content and methodology of the music curriculum in the twenty-first century, making the book of interest to an international readership. The negative experience of formal education in the 1960s reported by Murray Schafer highlights the importance of asking ‘real’ questions. This book goes a long way to addressing that concern.”

— Jonathan Stephens, Professor of Music and Music Education, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

“A collective work of impressive seminal scholarship, Critical Perspectives in Canadian Music Education is a unique and strongly recommended addition to academic library World Music History collections in general, and Canadian Music History in particular.”

Midwest Book Review