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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 1

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff



Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: by appointment online (see link in Avenue to Learn)

Course Objectives:

Course Objectives
This course is designed to provide an open forum for you to explore your ideas about music teaching and learning and
to situate those ideas within the broader context of music education philosophy, history and current practices and
trends. Throughout the term, you will be invited, through readings, class discussions and in writing, to reflect critically
on the topics outlined below.

Course Topics
Historical & Philosophical Viewpoints, Cross-cultural Comparisons
Theories of Learning, Curriculum Development, Models of Assessment, Pedagogical Approaches
Music in Action, Developing your own Philosophy of Music Education, Looking Ahead

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:



Method of Assessment:

Course Activities
Assignments are designed to flesh out the ideas presented in each of the three key topic areas of the
course. Details and dates for each assignment are posted in Avenue to Learn.
a) A Letter of Invitation to Participate in Music 15%
The purpose of this assignment is to provide you the opportunity to engage with historical &
contemporary viewpoints in the development of your own perspective on music education. Write a
one-page (single-spaced) letter of student recruitment to parents. In discussing the importance of
music to the holistic development of children, cite the perspectives of at least three notable historical
or contemporary figures.
b) Journal Article Critique 15%
The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize you with the literature on music education research
and to strengthen your critical skills. Summarize and critique a scholarly article covering a topic related
to our class readings and discussions on Perspectives in Music Education. See list of articles in Avenue.
McMaster University School of the Arts. 2013-2014. Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff.
c) Micro-Teaching Session & Reflection 15%
Lesson planning helps teachers organize content, materials and methods and is one of the most
important skills a teacher can acquire. Teach an eight-minute ‘how-to’ lesson. Devise a lesson plan that
consists of a brief introduction, a “doing” section, and a conclusion and then deliver you lesson to the
class. Spend no less than six, and no more than eight minutes teaching the class how to do anything!
This can be simple, musical, non-musical, humorous, something of which we’ve never heard, or
something familiar to us. The choice is up to you! If your lesson requires materials, please be sure to
bring enough for the entire class. In the planning stages, think of clearly communicating the learning
content in a creative, engaging and motivating way. Organize your interaction with the group and plan
well by asking yourself: How can I best help the class to achieve my desired music learning outcomes in
a short amount of time? While teaching, be a ‘noticer’: How do you feel? What are you thinking? How
is the class responding to your instruction? Submit your lesson plan on the day of your teaching
session and submit a reflection the week following. Both templates will be available in Avenue.
d) Youtube Teaching Observation & Diagnosis 10%
This assignment will give you an opportunity to observe and critique a teaching episode
while also applying your own teaching strategies. Find a video clip approximately 2 minutes
in length (ie. youtube) that represents a real (non-fiction) music-learning context or
teaching approach that differs from what you have experienced in your own music learning
journey. The clip must contain both a teacher and at least one learner. This clip may or
may not reflect your intended field of music education. Present the clip to the class using
the questions posted in Avenue as your guide. Your responses to these questions must be
handed in before you begin your presentation (which will be 5 minutes in length – 2
minutes to show the clip, 3 to present your critique). You will not be given more than 5
minutes so please be efficient in your presentation! As well, submit your clips to Avenue
before midnight on Tuesday.
e) Field Study 15%
Arrange to observe a teacher or conductor in action (must be off-campus and may not be someone
with whom you have studied or performed). Prepare a written report of your observations. See
Avenue to Learn for guiding questions.
a) Interview no grade
Have a conversation with a non-music major. Ask him or her to share their music story with you—
both in school and out of school. See guiding questions in Avenue. Come to class ready to share.
b) Teacher contact no grade
Express your gratitude by contacting a former teacher or mentor by email. Tell them how they
inspired you or perhaps influenced your decision to study music.
McMaster University School of the Arts. 2013-2014. Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff.
Activities DUE
Sept. 11 Who Am I?
Sept. 18 Historical & Philosophical
“Music Education Philosophy: Changing Times”
by Marie McCarthy & J. Scott Goble in Music
Educators’ Journal (ATL)
Sept. 25 Cross-cultural
“Systems & Standards of Music Education” in
Musician and Teacher by Patricia Campbell
Letter of Invitation
Oct. 2 Theories of Learning Ch. 1 of Robert Duke “
Precision in Language and Thought”
Oct. 9 Curriculum Development Ch. 2 of Robert Duke
“What to Teach”
Oct. 16 Models of Assessment Ch. 3 of Robert Duke
Journal Article Critique
Oct. 23 Pedagogical Approaches Ch. 4-5 of Robert Duke
“Sequencing Instruction” and “Feedback”
Oct. 30 Pedagogical Approaches
Ch. 6 of Robert Duke
Nov. 6 Assignment: Teaching Diagnosis Presentations Presenters A-M
Nov. 13 Assignment: Teaching Diagnosis Presentations Presenters N-Z
Nov. 20 Music in Action “Freeing Music Education from Schooling” by
David Myers in International Journal of
Community Music (ATL)
Peer Interview
Nov. 27 Developing Your Own
Philosophy of Music
Ch. 7-8 of Robert Duke
“Effecting Change” & “A Teaching Life” (ATL)
Field Study Report
Dec. 4 Looking Ahead Reading tbd (ATL) Activity:
Teacher Contact
Dec. 11 Take-home Exam
due before 3 pm.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Intelligent Music Teaching by Robert A. Duke (available for purchase in the bookstore)
Readings posted in Avenue to Learn. Please print readings for class and compile them in a notebook.


Student membership in Ontario Music Educators’ Association (OMEA) with Canadian Music Educators’ Association.
For more information, visit
Membership benefits include:
Discounts at workshops and conferences sponsored by OMEA
A subscription to the OMEA journal, The Recorder
A subscription to journals and newsletters from CMEA
Full access to OMEA resources and supports

Other Course Information: