Research Question: When did music education appear in elementary/secondary schools, and how advocates’ reasons for music education change over time?
Why this topic deserves to be researched:
Throughout my childhood, instrumental music was something that always took great prominence in my life and in my household. When reflecting on this, I think about the reasons for this importance and why it was so stressed in my family. After attending Trinity for the past year and a half, I realize the importance of music after witnessing those who didn’t have the opportunity to immerse themselves within the musical world as a child. Seeing others not be able to read music or simply the idea that they just don’t know how to play an instrument in the first place, was quite startling for me when attending Trinity; especially when coming from a community in a suburb right out of D.C., where a focus on musicianship and the importance of musical-mental development was so broadly understood by parents, students, and teachers alike. From this perspective and realization, I am intrigued in learning more about where musicianship, as a school course, first developed, and why it did so in the first place.
Through the research I have done thus far, I have learned that the beginning of the 20th century did hold some “music appreciation classes,” where the focus was enjoying and admiring music, but not necessarily the act of performing music the way we do today. This lackadaisical approach is something I plan on exploring further and will help lead me to the shift from this Progressive Era approach of teaching a hands-off approach of musicianship to the more current understanding of music class and the prevalence it holds in today’s educational sphere.
When addressing my research question, I plan on using the techniques my professor, Jack Dougherty, indicated during our previous conversation/meeting earlier last week. As a result, I have found searching strategies like Google Scholar, America: History and Life, JSTOR, and Trinity’s WorldCat database to further examine the rationale behind the evolution of musicianship as a class taught wide amongst contemporary affluent society. I find it more difficult, however, to use our class readings and lectures for this topic because we haven’t studied it too closely in class. This said, based on the sites I have found so far, I doubt there to be much of an issue in finding applicable, scholarly sources for my project. Nonetheless, I have set up an appointment with a research librarian at Raether Library so that a professional can accentuate my current research strategies.
Hodges, Donald A., and Debra S. O’Connell. “The Impact of Music Education on Academic Achievement.” The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Web. http://www.issaquah.wednet.edu/documents/highschool/schedule/arts/achievement.pdf.
Kelstrom, J. M. “The Untapped Power of Music: Its Role in the Curriculum and Its Effect on Academic Achievement.” NASSP Bulletin 82.597 (1998): 34-43. Print.
Hardesty, Jacob. “Canonic Constructions In Early 20Th Century Music Appreciation Classes.” American Educational History Journal 38.1/2 (2011): 289-303. America: History & Life. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=cb69ba68-c3dd-453d-89c9-629943c1b5cf%40sessionmgr4002&vid=12&hid=4202.
Lee, William R. “Music Education and Rural Reform, 1900-1925.” JSTOR. Sage Publications, Inc., 1997. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3345589.