History of Music Education in the USA

Timeline created by Debbie, Zach, Ashley, Catin...
In Music
  • Pilgrims Arrive in Massachusetts

    Pilgrims Arrive in Massachusetts
    The Pilgrims brought their congregational singing traditions with them to the New World. These traditions later influenced early American music education by emphasizing vocal and choral music.
  • Puritans Arrive In Massachusetts

    Puritans Arrive In Massachusetts
    The Puritans brought their congregational singing traditions with them to the New World. These traditions later influenced early American music education by emphasizing vocal and choral music.
  • Massachusetts School Law of 1647

    Massachusetts School Law of 1647
    --Required towns of at least 50 families to appoint a teacher
    --Towns of 100 or more families were required to have a grammar school
    --By law, taxes were used to pay the teachers
    --Other colonies began adapting similar laws
    --Paved the way for public education in the US
  • The Bay Psalm Book--First Edition to Contain Music

    The Bay Psalm Book--First Edition to Contain Music
    --The 9th edition published in 1698 was most likely the first book printed in the colonies that contained music
    --Solmization letters were printed where the text would have been to help the singers find the correct pitch
    --First known example of solmization letters used this way in America
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    Establishment of Singing Schools

    --The singing school movement led to an increase of interest in music education
    --Singing schools were highly attended in towns
    --Showed the value that American society placed on music
    --Music teaching methods and first public school music teachers evolved from singing school movement
  • The Rise of the Singing Schools/An Introduction to the Singing of Psalm Tunes

    The Rise of the Singing Schools/An Introduction to the Singing of Psalm Tunes
    --Reverend John Tufts of Newbury, MA published "An Introduction to the Singing of Psalm Tunes" to help improve the quality of congregational singing (considered the first American music textbook)
    --Tufts created his own system to teach music reading using solmization syllables (important model for later systems)
    --Tufts' ideas led to the development of "singing schools" which influenced music education
  • Pestalozzian Education

    Pestalozzian Education
    -Lived in Switzerland from 1746-1827
    -Educational reformer who believed that one could elevate their social standing through education.

    -Love and understanding of the child was at the center of his beliefs in education.
    -Moral, physical and mental
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    Industrial Revolution

    Inventions of the Industrial Revolution:
    1886- Modern automobile
    1887- Phonograph
    Improvements to musical instruments
  • Revolutionary War Begins

    Revolutionary War Begins
    -America's independence led to the education system developing to reflect American values
  • Shape Notes

    Shape Notes
    -Used by early Americans as a way to quickly and easily learn sacred tunes
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    Lowell Mason

    1832- Co-founded the Boston Academy of Music
    Wrote "Manual of Instruction" which was influenced by Pestalozzi
    1838- Advocated for music to become a curricular subject
    1838- Named superintendent of music in Boston schools
  • Boston Academy of Music

    Boston Academy of Music
    -Lowell Mason and William Channing Woodbridge found the Boston Academy of Music
    -First school in the United States fully devoted to music education
    -Taught not only singing, but the study of music and its theory
  • Music Becomes a Curricular Subject

    -Lowell Mason advocates for a trial, teaching for a year for free
    -Boston School Committee adopts music as a curricular subject
    -Appoints a vocal music teacher for every Boston public school
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    John Dewey

    Viewed music education as an aesthetic "experience."
  • NEA Music Division Created

    NEA Music Division Created
    -National Education Association establishes a music division
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    Development of School Bands & Orchestras

    -Generally just a “productive” activity for boys
    -Parallel with instrument manufacturer “boom”
    -Competed with professional concert bands & amusement parks
  • Music Supervisors Meet in Keokuk, Iowa

    This meeting (organized by Philip Hayden) led to the founding of the Music Supervisors National Conference (MSNC) which provided leadership and advocacy for music education. The organization was known from 1934 to 1998 as the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and after 1998 as the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
  • Academic credit for music suggested to MSNC

    Academic credit for music suggested to MSNC
    -Validated music as an academic subject in schools
  • Music Educators Journal Starts

    Music Educators Journal Starts
    -Scholarly research helps to legitimize the music education field
    -Research can be used by educators as advocacy tools
  • Radio used with music appreciation courses

    Radio used with music appreciation courses
    (Popularized in 1930s)
    -Radio enabled students to have more exposure to different musical ensembles and styles that they might not have heard otherwise
  • Accrediting agencies created to accredit all music degree programs

    Accrediting agencies created to accredit all music degree programs
    Growth of school music programs → demand for licensed music teachers → increased college faculties → stronger programs → made great music schools of the nation viable especially at universities
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    World War II

    -FDR called for “more bands, more parades, more flag waving”
    -MENC conducted classes for training community song leaders
    -MEJ recommended singing national songs/patriotic songs
    -More sharing of North American music with Latin America and vice versa
    -War shortens school day: students do homework during longer periods, saved electricity in the evenings. Scheduling choir/orchestra was difficult
    -Military bought most instruments, travel restrictions for performing groups
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    David J. Elliott and Praxialism

    The praxial philosophy emphasized the importance of "musicing" (singing, playing instruments, composing, improvising, etc.) in music class. Elliott emphasized the importance of active, student-centered lessons and for students to understand musical context.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    --US Supreme Court ruled that legalized racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional
    --Civil Rights movement and more diversity in schools led to greater interest in multicultural education
  • Soviet Union Launches Sputnik

    Soviet Union Launches Sputnik
    --The launch of Sputnik brought reforms to education in the United States in an effort to keep up with the Soviet Union.
  • Tanglewood Symposium

    Tanglewood Symposium
    Event sponsored by MENC in an effort to discuss and define the role of music in America's public schools. Unlike past conferences, this one brought in music teachers to be part of the discussion unlike the Yale Seminar in 1963.
  • The Ann Arbor Symposium

    Study the application of psychology to the teaching and learning of music. Placed emphasis on children using motor learning, auditory learning, cognitive skills, and motivation from music classes.
  • MENC Creates National Music Standards

    Throughout the 1980s there was a call for educational reform as SAT scores continued to trend down. This led to the creation of National Standards in an effort to create unity throughout the music curriculum in the United States.
  • Vision 2020: The Housewright Symposium on the Future of Music Education

    Vision 2020: The Housewright Symposium on the Future of Music Education
    --Similar to Tanglewood Symposium
    --More than 150 music educators met to review the status of music education and to discuss its future
    --Led to the Housewright Declaration which contained recommendations for music education moving into the 21st century
  • No Child Left Behind

    No Child Left Behind
    --Academic success is defined by performance in reading & math.
    --Music is not mentioned as a stand-alone subject.
    --Standardized state tests are used to show a school's performance.
  • Every Student Succeeds Act

    Every Student Succeeds Act
    --Music is mentioned as a stand-alone subject
    --Emphasis placed on schools offering a "well rounded" education.