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Critical Perspectives in Canadian Music Education

Edited by Carol A. Beynon & Kari K. Veblen
Subjects Music, Education
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Paperback : 9781554583669, 230 pages, March 2012
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554583874, 230 pages, September 2012
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554583867, 230 pages, September 2012

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Critical Perspectives in Canadian Music Education, edited by Carol A. Beynon and Kari K. Veblen
Foreword: Questioning Traditional Teaching and Learning in Canadian Music Education | R. Murray Schafer
Preface and Acknowledgments | Carol Beynon and Kari Veblen
Chapter 1: The “Roots†of Canadian Music Education: Expanding Our Understanding | Betty Hanley
Chapter 2: Cross-Country Checkup: A Survey of Music Education in Canada’s Schools | Benjamin Bolden
Chapter 3: Canadian Music in Education: “Sounds Like Canada†| Patricia Martin Shand
Chapter 4: Manitoba’s Success Story: What Constitutes Successful Music Education in the Twenty-First Century? | Wayne D. Bowman
Chapter 5: Traditional Indigenous Knowledge: An Ethnographic Study of Its Application in the Teaching and Learning of Traditional Inuit Drum Dances in Arviat, Nunavut | Mary Piercey
Chapter 6: Looking Back at Choral Music Education in Canada: A Narrative Perspective | Carol Beynon
Chapter 7: Re-Membering Bands in North America: Gendered Paradoxes and Potentialities | Elizabeth Gould
Chapter 8: Community Music Making: Challenging the Stereotypes of Conventional Music Education | Kari Veblen
Chapter 9: Still Wary after All These Years: Popular Music and the School Music Curriculum | June Countryman
Chapter 10: E-Teaching and Learning in Music Education: A Case Study from Newfoundland and Labrador | Andrea Rose, Alex Hickey, and Andrew Mercer
Chapter 11: Focusing on Critical Practice and Insights in the Music Teacher Education Curriculum | Betty Anne Younker
Chapter 12: Marching to the World Beats: Globalization in the Context of Canadian Music Education | Carol Beynon, Kari Veblen, and David Elliott
Chapter 13: Epistemological Spinning: What Do We Really Know about Music Education in Canada? | Carol Beynon, Kari Veblen, and Anne Kinsella
About the Authors
Contributors’ Bios
Carol Beynon is Associate Vice Provost of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and former Acting Dean of Education at the University of Western Ontario. She is the founding co-artistic director of the renowned and award-winning Amabile Boys and Men's Choirs. Her research focuses on teacher development, teacher identity, and gender issues in music education; she is the first author of the book Learning to Teach (Pearson, 2001). She is currently a co-investigator on two federally funded SSHRC funded projects in music education and singing. Carol was named the Woman of Excellence in Arts, Culture and Heritage 2007.
Benjamin Bolden, music educator and composer, is an Assistant Professor of music education at Queen's University. His research interests include the teaching and learning of composing, community music, and Web 2.0 technologies in education. As a teacher, Ben has worked with preschool, elementary, secondary, and university students in Canada, England, and Taiwan. An associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, Ben has seen his works performed by a variety of professional and amateur performing ensembles. He is editor of the Canadian Music Educator, official journal of the Canadian Music Educators' Association/L'Association canadienne des musiciens éducateurs.
Wayne D. Bowman's work is extensively informed by pragmatism, critical theory, and conceptions of music and music education as social practices. He is particularly concerned with music's socio-political power and ethically informed understandings of musical practice. His publications include Philosophical Perspectives on Music (1998), the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education (2012), numerous book chapters, and articles in prominent scholarly journals. The former editor of the journal Action, Criticism, and Theory [ACT] for Music Education, his university teaching experience includes positions at Brandon University (Manitoba), Mars Hill College (North Carolina), the University of Toronto, and New York University.
June Countryman teaches aural skills and music education courses in the Music Department at UPEI. She holds B.Mus., B.A., and B.Ed. degrees (Mount Allison), M.Mus. (UWO), and Ed.D (OISE/UT). She has lengthy experience as an elementary music teacher, a curriculum writer and program consultant, and a high school choral teacher. Her research interests include improvisation as a tool for musical growth, children's informal musicking on school playgrounds, sharing power in teaching contexts, and teacher professional development. Dr. Countryman was awarded UPEI's Hessian Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008.
David J. Elliott joined NYU in 2002 after twenty-eight years as Professor and Chair of Music Education at the University of Toronto. He has also served as a Visiting Professor of Music Education at Northwestern University, the University of North Texas, Indiana University, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Limerick. He is the author of Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education (1995) and editor of Praxial Music Education: Reflections and Dialogues (2005/2009). He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters and presented more than 200 invited lectures and conference papers worldwide.
Elizabeth Gould serves as Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Her research in gender and sexuality in the context of feminisms and queer theory has been published widely, including Philosophy of Music Education Review, Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, Educational Philosophy and Theory, and the Brazilian journal labrys: études féministes estudos feministas. She served as lead editor for the book Exploring Social Justice: How Music Education Might Matter (2009) and organized the conference musica ficta: A Conference on Engagements and Exclusions in Music, Education, and the Arts (2008).
Betty Hanley is Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. An outstanding contributor to arts and music education in Canada, Dr. Hanley has organized symposia and conferences, written and edited books, and conducted research in music pedagogy and arts policy. She has published articles in the Canadian Music Educator, British Journal of Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review, Canadian Journal of Education, International Journal of Community Music, Journal of Music Teacher Education, and Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies. She is an honorary member of the Canadian Music Educators Association and has received its Jubilate Award.
Alex Hickey has a broad scope of experience in K-12 education and teaches part-time in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University. He has worked as a sole-charge teacher in a one-room school, as a high school art teacher, as an art and technology education coordinator at the school district level, and as a curriculum consultant at Department of Education. He is a former Director of Program Development (English and French) for the Department of Education in Newfoundland and Labrador and is currently Coordinator of the Virtual Teacher Centre, an online professional development entity for teachers. Alex is a practising visual artist with a fascination for digital technology, media education, and peering over the horizon of invisibility.
Elizabeth Anne Kinsella is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her work draws on social science perspectives in the study of professional education and practice, with a particular focus on the health professions, epistemologies of practice, and reflexivity in professional life.
Andrew Mercer has taught music in Newfoundland and Labrador since 1994 and has been involved with Internet-based music education since 1995. In 2004 he joined the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovations, where he pioneered the practice of teaching of high school music via the Internet. His work on Internet-based music education has been featured in Canadian Music Educator, Popular Science, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Nippon TV, and elsewhere. He has presented his work on web-based music education at numerous conferences, including the 2008 ISME Conference, the MTNA National Conference, and the MENC. Andrew's most recent work explores the educational uses of such new technologies as Second Life and Apple's iPhone.
Mary Piercey is a Ph.D candidate in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research explores how the Inuit of Arviat, Nunavut, use their musical practices to negotiate social diversity within the community in response to the massive sociocultural changes caused by resettlement in the 1950s. Ms. Piercey lived and taught music at Qitiqliq High School in Arviat, Nunavut, founding and directing the Arviat Imngitingit Community Choir, a mixed-voiced group specializing in traditional and contemporary Inuit music originating from the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. Mary now lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where she directs the Inuksuk Drum Dancers and teaches music at Inuksuk High School.
Andrea Rose is Professor of Music Education at the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Artistic Director of Festival 500 International Choral Festival and Co-Director of The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposia, Dr. Rose is active as musician, educator, lecturer, and collaborator. Her primary research interests include the development of critical pedagogy, leadership, and citizenship in music/ arts education, the nature and role of indigenous music/arts in school curricula, the development of web-based contexts for music/arts education and dialogue-based education.
R. Murray Schafer is a noted Canadian composer of interdisciplinary works performed worldwide. Author, iconoclast, and founder of soundscape ecology, R. Murray Schaefer has contributed to educational thought and practice. Murray's books The Composer in the Classroom (1965), Ear Cleaning (1967), The New Soundscape (1969), The Tuning of the World (1977), A Sound Education, and The Thinking Ear: On Music Education continue to catalyze educational thinking in Canada and elsewhere.
Patricia Martin Shand taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music from 1968 to 2011. She has published ten books and more than fifty articles on Canadian music in education, music curriculum, string pedagogy, and music performance. She has served on the boards of OMEA, CMEA, and ISME, and has chaired the ISME Music in Schools and Teacher Education Commission. She received the Jubilate Award of Merit for outstanding contribution to music education in Canada, and the Friends of Canadian Music Award for lifetime achievement in Canadian music scholarship.
Kari Veblen, Assistant Dean of Research, teaches cultural perspectives in music education, elementary methods, and graduate courses at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario. Musician and educator, Veblen studies international trends in Community Music. She also pursues a twenty-five-year fascination with transmission of traditional Irish/Celtic/diasporic musics. Lectures and learning have taken her worldwide.
Betty Anne Younker is Dean and Professor of Music Education of the Don Wright Faculty, University of Western Ontario. Previously, Betty Anne was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include critical and creative thinking within the disciplines of music philosophy and psychology. Publications include articles in national/international journals and chapters in several books. Dr. Younker was teacher in band, choral, and general music settings in the public school system. Presently she serves on several editorial boards and committees for a variety of professional organizations.


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.


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, July-August 2012, 2012 June

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, 2012 February

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, 41, no. 3, November 2013, 2013 December

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, 2012 February