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MUSIC 4V03 Issues In Music Educ

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Office Hours: Monday 12:30-1:30

Course Objectives:

This course will provide you with an introduction to key selected questions and issues in music education theory and practice. The aim is to provide a stimulating and challenging environment in which you are encouraged to think about the nature and roles of music education in schools and society at large. Effective teachers are reflective practitioners who are continuously learning from their experiences because they have developed a disposition toward ongoing inquiry and reflection. A large portion of class time will be devoted to examining and discussing major issues, ideas, methodologies, and approaches to music education in schools and also to encouraging self-examination of your own experiences and the values you bring to your studies in music education.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and discuss key debates in music education theory and practice, relating them to relevant literature and personal experience
  • Present an in-class talk on a topic of interest to your research and discussion.
  • Analyze the strengths and areas for development in readiness for music teaching and plan future learning to address areas of weakness for both yourself and others
  • Critically assess scholarly music education literature and utilize it to facilitate your growth as an emerging music educator.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • Music in the School- Janet Mills (Oxford Press)
  • Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire-  Rafael Esquith (Penguin Books)

Method of Assessment:

Teaching Resource Review (20 %), due October 24 (and will be graded prior to Nov. 4)

Select a recently-published teaching resource for your area of expertise (band, strings, jazz, choir, general music, etc.), and review it indicating how the content and approach have been influenced by , and support, or do not support, current Educational concerns—Multiple Intelligences, Authentic Assessment, National/Provincial Standards, etc. Comment on how this publication might (or might not) assist teachers in achieving the goals specified in the Ontario Curriculum. The teaching resource selected might include a method book, supplementary technique book, teacher’s reference book, performance piece, performance folio, etc. Your review should begin with a concise description of content, and an appraisal of the publication’s purpose. Submit a copy of the publication reviewed with your assignment. Please consult with the instructor before beginning this project.

Seminar: (45%)     To be scheduled in the month of November          

Present a 30-minute seminar (25 minutes for presentation/10 minutes for discussion).  Students are encouraged to suggest other topics, however, please consult with the instructor before beginning work on any presentation. It is recommended that you select a topic that is of considerable interest to you personally. Presentations should relate seminar topics as closely as possible to current concerns in education as outlined in the introductory lectures, and initial seminars.

Teaching Outline (20 %) Due November 28

The creation of a teaching outline, is meant to help you assess your strengths and weakness as a music educator in your chosen field of music education. Think about who you are as a musician and leader, and a potential music educator. What attributes do you possess and which ones need attention? Based on the previous sentences, what kind of learning environment would you construct for music making to occur? What kind of music programs do you hope to instruct? Why? Create a personal collection of strategies that will contribute to your effectiveness as an educator (a teacher repertoire). As you create the list, think about what you have observed in multiple musical learning environments as well as discussions that have occurred thus far in class.

Professionalism (15 %)

One of the hallmarks of a good teacher is professionalism and reliability. This portion of the course is designed to help you to model these traits, and includes prompt attendance at all class meetings, being prepared for class, active engagement in class activities.

Al written work must be submitted directly to the professor.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

If you are unable to attend a class, please make every effort to let the instructor know in advance by email (preferably). If you miss a class, be sure to check your email for any instructions/reading which you will need to complete prior to the following class. Full attendance at all classes is expected.  Unexplained absences will result in a reduction in your professionalism grade. Students with medical documentation or an acceptable excuse for an absence will not be penalized and will be permitted to reschedule a presentation. Late written assignments will only be accepted and graded if permission has been granted by the instructor in advance of the deadline, with a rdeduction of 5% per day from the grade for each day the work is submitted past the deadline.

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:

Focus of lectures and discussions will be posted on Avenue to Learn.

Other Course Information:

Student Evaluations and Comments/Suggestions
You will have the opportunity to evaluate the course formally at the end of the term. However, if at any time during the course you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to discuss them with me so that we can try to find a mutually beneficial solution. Please do not hesitate to see me if you are having any problems with the course material or assignments.