Alternative Approaches in Music Education: Case Studies from the Field
Edited by Ann C. Clements Rowman and Littlefield

Chapter 16: O Passo (The Step): A Critical Pedagogy for Music Education from Brazil This chapter presents a music-teaching method from Brazil called O Passo (the Step). Developed by Lucas Ciavatta, the method connects to critical pedagogy for music education by providing the tools that empower children to be musicians. Grounded on the precept that musical experiences always engage the body, the method presents students with graphic, oral, and written notations, sight-singing using numbers, and group experiences in music making that include a specific type of movement or step. The music studied and performed is situated in the cultural context of the performers. The process bridges a gap between what children listen to and enjoy outside school and the musical content in the general-music classroom. It is a catalyst for children to make autonomous musical decisions. American music teachers using O Passo in their classrooms report an enthusiasm on the part of their students and note the improvements in their musical skills and attitudes toward the general music class.

The Practice of Assessment in Music Education: Frameworks, Models and Designs
Timothy S. Brophy, editor
Making the Grade: Assessing Preservice Teachers and Facilitators for School and Community Music Programs

This chapter considers the perspectives on assessment from two institutions in two countries, the United Kingdom and the United States. At one institution, Lee Higgins applied a rubric to assess work of graduate students in a Master of Arts degree in Community Music. At the other institution, Frank Abrahams adapted measures of validity to assess portfolios prepared by sophomore music education majors. As a result of dialogue between the authors, the chapter suggests that methods of assessment closely reflect the world of work and the changing environments where music teachers are engaged. Alongside robust rationales and institutional support, these approaches need to be explored in the light of the changing world of the music educator.

Educare a Educare
Edited by Michele Biasutti

Chapter 6: Ri-pensare il metodo migliore per la formazione degli insegnanti di musica” (Re-Thinking Best Practice for Pre-Service Music Teacher Education) in

This chapter outlines a framework for a best practice in pre-service music teacher education. It advocates a model that combines the philosophy of critical theory with the psychology of learning theories that are set in constructivism, connectivism and experiential learning. The author proposes engagements that are rich in problem posing and problem solving strategies that engage pre-service teachers in critical thinking, critical action, critical feeling and self-reflection always with the goal of empowering musicianship. It poses new questions where pre-service music teachers learn (in Freirian terms) to read or “music” the world.

Exploring Social Justice: How Music Education Might Matter
edited by Elizabeth Gould, June Countryman, Charlene Morton and Leslie Stewart Rose
Canadian Music Educators’/ Association Publishers

Chapter 23: Hosanna, Hanukah and Hegemony: Anti-Semitism in the Music Classroom

Throughout history, Jews have encountered anti-Semitism and prejudice. This chapter explores the issue of anti-Semitism in the music classroom, particularly as it marginalizes Jewish students, perpetuates hegemonic practices, and reinforces stereotypes. The discussion considers the presentation and impact of religion-based decisions music teachers make and suggests how critical pedagogy may provide a helpful model for choices in music education. It concludes with suggestions for music teachers and for the music industry to engage in practice consistent with the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam – the repair of the world.

Case Studies in Music Education, 2nd edition
Frank Abrahams and Paul D. Head
GIA Publishers

Case Studies in Music Education is about making the journey as a music teacher--about the critical real-world issues music teachers face but rarely seem to get the notice of college or graduate school music courses.

How should a music teacher balance learning and performing? What is the best way to handle an angry parent? What are the consequences of the grades teachers assign? What are the best ways to discipline students? How should teachers relate to the administrators? To other teachers? What if the school is breaking the copyright law? These are just a few of the issues covered in this book.

Critical Pedagogy Where Are We Now
Peter McLaren & Joe Kincheloe, editors
Peter Lang, Publishers

In Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now? the contributors discuss how the field of critical pedagogy should respond to such dire conditions in a way that is theoretically savvy and visionary, while concurrently contributing to the struggle to improve the lives of those most hurt by them.

Chapter 12: Musicing Paulo Freire: A Critical Pedagogy for Music Education

Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, Volume 1
compiled and edited by Heather J. Buchanan and Matthew W. Mehaffey
GIA Publishers

Chapter 5: Meeting National Standards for Music Education Through Choral Performance

Compiled by scholars with a wealth of teaching and conducting experience, Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume 1 covers such topics as breath control, stylistic awareness from polyphony through the Classical period, the challenges of modern music, "Performance Practice in the African American Slave Song," and "Meeting the National Standards through Choral Performance."

Part II establishes a new system for grading the difficulty of choral repertoire, and contains nuts-and-bolts analysis of more than 100 of the most significant works for choir composed, Levels 1 through 5. Repertoire Resource Guides include information on the composer and composition, historical background, technical requirements, stylistic considerations, musical elements, suggestions for additional listening, and a guide to selected references.

Teaching Music in the Urban Classroom: A Guide to Survival, Success, and Reform, Volume 1
edited by Carol Frierson-Campbell
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Chapter 12: A New Sound for Urban Schools: Rethinking How We Plan
Frank Abrahams & Patrick K. Schmidt

The change needed in urban music education not only relates to the idea that music should be at the center of the curriculum; rather, it is that culturally relevant music should be a creative force at the center of reform in urban education. Teaching Music in the Urban Classroom: A Guide to Survival, Success, and Reform is the start of a national-level conversation aimed at making that goal a reality. Its diverse authors range from classroom music teachers to inner city arts administrators to well-known academics and policy-makers from across the United States and Canada. This first of two volumes includes topics such as Cultural Responsivity, Music Teacher Stories, Teaching Strategies, and Alternative Teaching Models.

Training Music Teachers
edited by Michele Biasutti
Cleup, Padova Italy

Blogging to Uncover The Emerging Dispositions of Pre-Service Music Teachers: A Critical Phenomeonology

"Blogging" per scoprire le disposizioni all'insegnamento emergenti da insegnanti di musica in formazione: una fenomenologia critica.

Policies and Practices: Rethinking Music Teacher Preparation in the 21st Century
complied and edited by Roger R. Rideout
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Critical Pedagogy for Music Education: A Best Practice for Pre-Service Music Teacher Curricula

  Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Choir
compiled and edited by Frank Abrahams and Paul D. Head
GIA Publishers (forthcoming)

Chapter 1: Teaching and Learning Music through Performance in Middle School Choir

What does it mean to teach music through performance? What can conductors teach during the moments of performance? When and what do singers learn through performance? How does the conductor prepare a choir for learning experiences that come during the performance? If teaching music happens during the moments of performance, what happens in the months of rehearsals before the performance? What should happen in rehearsal if teaching and learning are reserved for the performance? How are teaching and learning connected?

Coming Soon with Chapters by Frank Abrahams, Judith Bowers, Paul D. Head, James Jordan, Patrick Liebergen, Nicholas McBride, Sherri Porterfield, and 75 recommended pieces of music with complete analyses and suggestions for performance.

Other Publications

Frank Abrahams, Senior Editor
  • “Examining the Preservice Practicum Experience of Undergraduate Music Education Majors— Exploring Connections and Dispositions Through Multiple Perspectives: A Critical Grounded Theory” Journal of Music Teacher Education, 19 (1), 80-92. (September, 2009) doi: 10.1177/1057083709344044
  • “Critical Pedagogy in the Community Music Education Programs of Brazil” International Journal of Community Music (1) 1, 2008 pp. 117-126
  • “Critical Pedagogy in the Community Music Education Programs of Brazil” International Journal of Community Music (3), 2005.
  • “The Application of Critical Pedagogy to Music Teaching and Learning” Visions of Research in Music Education, (6), (January, 2005).
  • “The Application of Critical Pedagogy to Music Teaching and Learning: A Literature Review.” Update: Applications of Research to Music Teaching. Music Educators National Conference, Spring/Summer, 2005.
  • “Transforming Classroom Music Instruction with Ideas from Critical Pedagogy” Music Educators Journal. Reston , Va. : Music Educators National Conference, (29) 1, September, 2005.
  • “Applicação de Pedagogia Crítica ao Ensino e Aprendizagem de Música.” Revista da Associação Brasileira de Educação Musical. March, 2005.
  • “The Application of Critical Theory to a Sixth Grade General Music Class” Visions of Research in Music Education, (4), (February, 2004).
  • “National Standards for Music Education and College Pre-Service Music Teacher Education: A New Balance” Arts Education Policy Review, 102 (2) (September/October 2000).
  • “Meeting National Standards For Music Education Through Choral Performance” in Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir Volume 1 G.I.A. 2005.
  • Implementing the National Standards for Music Education in Pre-Service Teacher Education Programs: A Qualitative Study of Two Schools (Doctoral dissertation, Temple University, 2000). UMI 9965947.
  • “Music Education in the 21st Century” Yamaha New Ways in Music Education, 11 (1).
  • “Portfolios in Student Teaching,” MENC Special Research Interest Group: Measurement and Evaluation 17 (Summer, 1994).
  • “Using A Learning Styles Approach to Help ‘At-Risk’ Youth in Music,” General Music Today (Fall, 1992).
  • “Works of Edwin Gordon: An Appraisal” The Quarterly 2, (Spring/Summer 1991). Co-author with Richard Colwell

Westminster Conservatory Youth Chorale: Jewish Music Series

Frank Abrahams, Series Editor, Published by Transcontinental Music Publications and distributed by Hal Leonard Music Publishers.
Publications include:
  • Eight Candles for Chanukah (Kawarsky) 99329
  • Chanukah Traditions (Flummerfelt): Mi Y’Maleil 993104 / S’vivon 993105
  • Celebrate Chanukah (Phillips) 993106
  • Hanerot Halalu (Hemmel) 993100
  • Shalom Rav (Contzius) 993101
  • More Than Enough (Isaacson) 993107
  • Psalm 108 (Phillips) 993108
  • Psalm 13 (Collins) 993109
  • Al Hanissim (Kawarsky) 993149
  • Psalm 121 (Hemmel) 993148
  • The Dreydl Variations (Orr) 993212
  • Maoz Tzur (Roter) 993150

Work Cited In

  • Green, Lucy. Music, Informal Learning and the School: A New Classroom Pedagogy. Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2008.
  • Conway, Colleen. “The Case Method and Music Teacher Education,” Update: Applications of Research in Music Education (Spring/Summer, 1999) 20.
  • Conway, Colleen M. “The Development of Teaching Cases for Instrumental Music Methods Courses,” Journal of Research in Music Education (47), 4: 343-356.
  • Bluestein, Eric. The Ways Children Learn Music. Chicago: GIA., 1995.
  • Jorgensen, Estelle. Transforming Music Education. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2003.
  • Cooper, Lynn G. Teaching Band and Orchestra: Methods and Materials. Chicago: GIA, 2004.