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Reviewed by:
  • Musician and Teacher: An Orientation to Music Education
  • Brent Gault
Patricia Shehan Campbell (with chapters contributed by Steven M. Demorest and Steven J. Morrison), Musician and Teacher: An Orientation to Music Education (New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, 2008)

If one were to review the course content of undergraduate music education programs at various colleges and universities, an "Introduction to Music Education" or "Foundations of Music Education" course would most likely be included. This course often serves a variety of functions for a given program. It can provide students with an overview of the various instructional settings found in the music education profession and introduce theoretical information regarding student development and learning. Foundation courses often review historical and philosophical information, allow students to develop their own justifications regarding why music should be part of a school program, and present information regarding practical issues in the music teaching profession including assessment, planning for instruction, use of technology, and working with diverse learning situations.

Because the curricular content within given foundation courses can be quite varied, finding a text that is broad enough to cover the myriad of topics that might be addressed in this type of course yet detailed enough to make each topic meaningful is a true challenge. While no single text can truly meet all needs [End Page 213] that are unique to each instructional setting, Patricia Shehan Campbell's Musician and Teacher: An Orientation to Music Education is an example of a text that succeeds in both providing a broad view of the music education profession while also presenting specific and meaningful information related to each topic addressed within its pages.

One of the unique aspects of this book is Campbell's attempt throughout the text to discuss music education from personal, theoretical, and global perspectives. Many of the chapters utilize case descriptions of music education students and practicing teachers to highlight the theoretical ideas discussed in the text. In addition, Campbell relates learning theories and instructional approaches not only to instructional settings within the United States but throughout the world so that the reader can see both similarities and differences in how music is experienced in each setting.

The first six chapters of the text deal with general principles related to the music education profession. An opening chapter sets the stage by discussing the decision to become a music educator, relating this decision to the personal stories of five individuals, and describing the qualities that can lead to a successful career in music education. The second chapter, "Great Minds on Music Education," provides an overview of the philosophical arguments for music education. Campbell uses this chapter to relay the ideas of perennial figures commonly identified with music education philosophy including John Blacking, Christopher Small, Bennett Reimer, Keith Swanwick, David Elliott, and Estelle Jorgensen, and adds to this a description of the views of political leaders, scholars, and thinkers throughout the world. In addition to discussing the views of Plato, Aristotle, Boethius, and Lowell Mason, Campbell also includes the ideas of Hildegard von Bingen, Akbar the Great (India), Chulalongkorn (Thailand), and Nelson Mandela to provide a richer portrait of how members of cultural communities throughout the world experience and value music.

Continuing with this global perspective, Campbell uses the third chapter to discuss the ways that communities transmit music via formal, nonformal, and natural learning. These three ways of transmitting knowledge are similar to the ideas she described related to Bateson (Learning I, II, and III) and Merriam (enculturation, training, and schooling) in Lessons from the World. 11 After defining these approaches to learning, Campbell describes several learning contexts both past (Medieval Europe) and present (West Africa) to illustrate how formal, nonformal, and/or natural learning is utilized. The cross cultural comparison continues in Chapter Four, as Campbell describes various systems of music education in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America to illustrate similarities and differences related to standards for education, goals for instruction, and allotment of instructional time and resources.

After providing this global view related to approaches to learning and systems [End Page 214] of instruction, the fifth chapter attempts to personalize music education through vignettes of music programs...


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