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Sean Michael Jackman, DMA

Applicant for Faculty Position
May 2011

Portfolio Table of Contents

1. Curriculum Vitae THUMBNAIL PAGE 4

2. Academic Transcripts THUMBNAIL PAGE 19

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University
of Toronto (OISE/UT), Toronto
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

3. Examples of Performing Experience THUMBNAIL PAGE 33

a. Organ Concert Program and Program Notes THUMBNAIL PAGE 34
Ed.D. Required Concert October 2010

b. Portfolio CD Guide THUMBNAIL PAGE 47

4. Examples of Teaching Experiences (K-12, College) THUMBNAIL PAGE 49

a. Statement of Teaching Philosophy THUMBNAIL PAGE 50

b. Course Syllabus – Elementary Music Methods Course THUMBNAIL PAGE 54
for Non-Majors

c. Sample of Feedback to Student Teacher THUMBNAIL PAGE 61
Undergraduate music education major

d. Middle School Choral Syllabus THUMBNAIL PAGE 65

e. Administrator Formal Evaluations THUMBNAIL PAGE 75
Elementary General Music
High School Choral

5. Examples of Scholarship/Research THUMBNAIL PAGE 80

a. Ed.D. Dissertation Proposal – Positionality and the THUMBNAIL PAGE 81
Lives of Elementary General Music Teachers

b. Sample of Other Scholarly Writing – A Literature Review: THUMBNAIL PAGE 127
Teacher Discourse in the Classroom

6. Three Letters of Reference: B. Younker, H. Abeles, S. Kelty THUMBNAIL PAGE 159


Curriculum Vitae
Sean Michael Jackman, DMA

2950 Hubbard Street (313) 562-0136
Dearborn, Michigan 48124

Boctoi of Euucation
Teacheis College, Columbia 0niveisity, New Yoik, New Yoik
Auvisoi: Bi. Loii Custoueio
Nastei of Nusic in Nusic Euucation
0niveisity of Nichigan, Ann Aiboi, Nichigan!
Apiil 2uuS
Boctoi of Nusical Aits in Nusic Peifoimance
0niveisity of Nichigan
Najoi: Chuich Nusic¡0igan
Auvisoi: Bi. Naiilyn Nason!
August 2uu2!
Nastei of Nusic in Peifoimance
0niveisity of Toionto, Toionto, 0ntaiio, Canaua
Najoi: 0igan
0igan Teachei: }ohn Tuttle!
}une 199S!
Bacheloi of Nusic Euucation, Fiist Class
Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu, St. }ohn's, Newfounulanu, Canaua
Instiumental, vocal anu ueneial Nusic Emphasis with K-12 Ceitification!
Nay 1992!
Bacheloi of Nusic, Fiist Class
School of Nusic
Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu
Piincipal Instiument: 0igan
0igan Teachei: Bi. B.F. Cook!
Nay 199u

Teaching Certifications

Nichigan Ceitifieu Teachei (2uuS - piesent)
!!!!!"#$%&'!()*&#+#,- to teach: Nusic (}X) in uiaues K-12
Nathematics (EX) in uiaues 6-12
English as a Seconu Language (NS) in uiaues 6-12
Classioom - All Subjects in uiaues K-S

0ntaiio Ceitifieu Teachei (1992 - piesent)
Teaching Enuoisements: Elementaiy anu Seconuaiy Nusic - Instiumental, vocal anu
Nathematics in uiaues 7-1u
English as a Seconu Language (ESL)
Special Euucation - Pait 0ne
Coie Classioom (All subjects, K-S)
Post Baccalaureate Teacher Training/Continuing Education
Auuitional Qualifications Couises
0ntaiio Institute foi Stuuies in Euucation of the 0niveisity of Toionto

Piincipals' Ceitification Couise - Pait 1
Piimaiy Teaching (Lowei Elementaiy uiaues) Pait 2
}unioi (0ppei Elementaiy uiaues) - Basic
Piimaiy Teaching (Lowei Elementaiy uiaues) Pait 1
Piimaiy Teaching (Lowei Elementaiy uiaues) Basic
Special Euucation (Behavioi elective)
English as a Seconu Language
Inteimeuiate Nath (uiaues 7-1u)

}uly 1999
Naich 1999
}uly 1998
Naich 1998
}uly 1997
}uly 1994
}uly 1994
Naich 199S

St. Nichael's College, 0niveisity of Toionto

Themes in Chiistian Ethics
Lettei to the Colossians

}uly 1998

Biake 0niveisity, Bes Noines, Iowa (in coopeiation with the 0ntaiio
Teacheis' Feueiation in Nississauga, 0ntaiio, Canaua)

Coopeiative Leaining
Teaching the Skills of the 21


Professional Development

Confeience of the Centei foi Applieu Reseaich in Nusic Teaching anu
Leaining (CARN0), 0aklanu 0niveisity, Rochestei, NI

Nichigan Nusic Confeience, uianu Rapius, NI' }anuaiy
College Nusic Society, Ninneapolis, NN' Sept. 2u1u

9$:';()/<'=#>>"2?3'Chiist Episcopal Chuich, Beaiboin, NI'
Sept. 2u1u
Episcopal Chuich, Beaiboin, NI'
Nay 2u1u
Nichigan Nusic Confeience, uianu Rapius, NI' }anuaiy

Ameiican uuilu of 0iganists (Au0) National Confeience, Washington, B.C. }uly 2u1u

Nichigan Nusic Confeience, uianu Rapius, NI }anuaiy

Nichigan Nusic Confeience, uianu Rapius, NI }anuaiy

Nichigan Nusic Confeience, uianu Rapius, NI }anuaiy

Ameiican uuilu of 0iganists (Au0) National Confeience, Chicago, IL }uly 2uu6

Nichigan Reauing Association Confeience (NRA), Betioit, NI Naich 2uu6

Nichigan Nusic Confeience, uianu Rapius, NI }anuaiy

Nichigan School vocal Nusic Association (NSvNA) Summei Woikshop,
Lansing, NI
}uly 2uu4

National Confeience on Lituigy anu Woiship (ELCA Chuich), Chicago, IL }uly 2uuu

Teaching foi Biveisity anu Social }ustice (Peel Bistiict School Boaiu, 0N,
1998 -

Academic Honors and Awards
}ames Baiiis Scholaiship, 0niveisity of Nichigan 2uuu

Palmei Chiistian & NcIntosh Nemoiial Scholaiships, 0niveisity of

Boctoial Scholaiship ($1u,uuu), 0ntaiio Teacheis' Feueiation 1999

Numeious awaius - St. }ohn's Kiwanis Nusic Festival, St. }ohn's incluuing
Runnei-up in the Senioi Rose Bowl Competition (1989)
1986 -

Robeit uillespie Reiu Nemoiial Scholaiships
Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu
1989 &

Bi. Ignatius A. Rumbolut Scholaiship in Nusic
Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu

Centenaiy of Responsible uoveinment Scholaiship, uoveinment of

Aichuiocese of St. }ohn's (Newfounulanu) Scholaiship in 0igan 198S
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Professional Employment Experience
Adjunct Instructor, Music and Music Education
Department of Arts & Humanities, Teachers College, Columbia University

2002 – 2003

Graduate Student Instructor, Music Education
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
2000 – 2002
Teacher, Elementary General Music (K-5) and Middle School Choir (2008-
2009 only)

Daily classroom instruction and assessment
Public performances
Middle school students participated in Michigan School Vocal Music
Association (MSVMA) Choir Festival, fundraising, recruitment activities
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
Plymouth, Michigan

Additional Activities:
Host teacher, Michigan Philharmonic and Plymouth-Canton Community
Schools composer-in-the-classroom project entitled The Composer in Me
with Dr. Andrea Reinkemeyer, freelance composer (Winter 2011)
2005 –

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2003 – 2005

Teacher, Vocal Music (Grades 6-12) & Math (Pre-Algebra, Algebra A and
Algebra One)

Daily classroom instruction and assessment
Public performances
Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) - Choir Festival,
Solo & Ensemble Festival, All-State Honors Choir
Fundraising, Recruitment activities
White Lake Middle School and Lakeland High School, White Lake,

Teacher, Elementary General Music (K-5), Primary Choir, Elementary
Choir, First and Second Grade (All core subjects), Remedial Reading

Daily classroom instruction and assessment
Public performances
Coordinated All-School Musical Assignment Earth by Roger Emerson
Peel District School Board, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
2002 – 2003
1994 – 1999

Substitute Teacher
Peel District School Board
1992 – 1994
Director of Music and Organist, Christ Episcopal Church, Dearborn, Michigan

Organist, Adult Choir Director, Children’s Music Programs
Responsibilities for worship planning with the Rector
Supervisor of Paid Music Assistant (Children’s Music)
Coordinator of Music Volunteers (Choir librarians, Assistants)
Director of Christ Church Summer Arts Camp (Intensive, one-week experience in
the arts for students K-8 with paid staff and volunteers)
Adult Education Program Contributor: Worship and Music Planning, An
Introduction to the Pipe Organ, Finding your Singing Voice, Creating and
Improvising Musical Accompaniments in Worship
Coordinator for special music events, fundraisers and concerts included annual
events with the combined church choirs of West Dearborn
Director of Music and Jazz Pianist, Journey of Faith Church (Episcopal),

Pianist, Song Leader
Responsibilities for worship planning with the Rector
Leader of Jazz Music Ensemble (piano, bass, drums)
Coordinator for special music events, fundraisers and concerts such as Blue Sky
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Mass and U2charist
Director of Music and Organist, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Millington, New

Organist, Adult Choir Director, Responsible for Children’s Music Programs
Responsibilities for worship planning with the Rector
Director of Summer Arts Camp (Intensive, one-week experience in the arts for
students K-8 with paid staff and volunteers)
Director of Music Ministries and Organist, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA), Livonia, Michigan (full-time)

Organist, Adult Choir Director, Adult Bell Choir Director
Responsible for Children’s Music Programs (two children’s choirs – primary and
Leader of Contemporary Ensemble (guitars, keyboards, vocals, drums)
Responsibilities for worship planning with the pastors and staff
Director of Summer Arts Camp (Intensive, one-week experience in the arts for
students K-8 with paid staff and volunteers)
Supervisor of Paid Music Assistant/Accompanist
Coordinator of Music Volunteers (Volunteer Bell Choir Leader, Choir Librarians)
Director of Concert Series (Four concerts per season)
Director of Music and Organist, Asbury and West United Church, Toronto

Organist, Adult Choir Director
Responsibilities for worship planning with the pastor
Cantor and Pianist, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Toronto

Pianist, Song Leader, Music planning
Director of Music and Organist, Martin Grove United Church, Toronto

Organist, Adult Choir Director
Responsibilities for worship planning with the pastor

Private (Studio) Piano/Theory Teacher
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Scholarly Work
Team Member, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools District-wide equity
Professional Development Program (Courageous Conversations)
Member, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Curriculum Writing Team for
Science and Music Lessons - The Science of Sound in Third Grade Music
! !
Birchbank Public School, Peel District School Board
Student Code of Behavior – Member of Writing Team

Musical Coordinator/Accompanist: Fundraiser for Detroit’s Coalition of
Temporary Shelters (C.O.T.S.), Christ Episcopal Church, Dearborn
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Planning Team Member/Accompanist: Combined Church presentation of
Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors by St. Paul Lutheran Church and Christ
Episcopal Church, Dearborn
Musical Coordinator/Organist: Annual Dearborn Ministerial Alliance
Observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with area congregations and
Henry Ford Community College (Dearborn), Christ Episcopal Music Church,
Musical Coordinator/Organist: Fundraiser, Water for Life, Water for All, Christ
Episcopal Church, Dearborn
! !
Organist, Dearborn Symphony Fundraiser: Organ Rhapsody with Virginia
Thorne-Herrmann, soprano and Carolyn Haury, organ, Christ Episcopal Church,
! !
Planning Team Member/Harpsichordist: Combined churches of West Dearborn
Concert (four congregations) including presentation of Handel’s Messiah –
Part 1, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Dearborn
! !
Planning Team Member/Organist: Combined churches of West Dearborn
Concert (four congregations) including presentation of Schubert’s Mass in G
Major, St. Paul Lutheran Church

Organist, Dearborn Symphony Fundraiser: King of Instruments with Kirsten
Hellman, organ, Virginia Thorne-Herrmann, soprano and Jung Yoo, organ,
Christ Episcopal Church, Dearborn
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! !
K1).1627!$(.3R')16%'!)2!P6&('*!).3!@%62!S.12%3!B;('?;7!<9'9.29!! PJ'1L!",,F!

Public Performances – Solo Organ, Ensemble, Conducting and Coordinating

Organist with Tamara Whitley, soprano, Carolyn Haury, organ and Cherry Hill
Recorder Consort: Study in Texture and Timbre, Christ Episcopal Church,
Dearborn. Certification requirement for Ed.D. degree in Music and Music
Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York
Guest Organist/Tenor Recorder Player with Recorders Seven: Church
fundraiser for overseas mission work, Music of the Baroque Chamber Music
Concert, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Dearborn
Solo Guest Organist, Alumni Recital Series Concert: We’re Pulling Out All the
Stops, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s

Solo Organist & Conductor, Master of Music (Music Education) Recital with
Lakeland High School Select Vocal Ensemble, Tamara Whitley, accompanist,
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, University of Michigan
Naich 2uuS

Music Director, Pit Band Conductor & Pianist, Bye Bye Birdie produced by
Lakeland High School, White Lake
Novembei 2uu4

Organist, Recital with Micah Killion, trumpet, All Saints’ Church, Millington,
New Jersey
Apiil 2uuS

uuest 0iganist, Boly Tiinity Conceit Seiies Conceit, !""# $"%&'# (%# $%)* Boly
Tiinity Lutheian Chuich, Livonia
Nay 2uuS

Solo uuest 0iganist, Libeity Coinei Chuich, Libeity Coinei, New }eisey Naich 2uuS

Conuuctoi, Choii anu 0ichestia Conceit: +,-./#%0#1.23").#34)#53/6,
incluuing vivalui's $"%&.3, Boly Tiinity Lutheian Chuich, Livonia
Nay 2uu2

0iganist, Thiiu Bisseitation Recital with viiginia Thoine, sopiano: +,-./#
%0#$7&834*#9&74/6#34)#:343).34#:%8;%-7&-, Bill Auuitoiium, 0niveisity of
Febiuaiy 2uu2

0iganist, Seconu Bisseitation Recital with }ennifei uoltz, sopiano anu
}esse Tubb, tiumpet: 53&%<,7#=&>34#+,-./, Blanche Anueison Nooie Ball,
0niveisity of Nichigan
Novembei 2uu1

Guest Organist, Recital with Jennifer Goltz, soprano and Robert Hawkins,
trumpet, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Summer Organ Series, Ann
August 2uu1

Guest Organist, Recital with Wendy Woodland, soprano: An Evening of Organ
and Song, First United Church, Corner Book, Newfoundland
}uly 2uu1

Conductor and Organist, First Dissertation Recital with Holy Trinity Chancel
Choir, Chorale and Chamber Orchestra and Jennifer Goltz, soprano, Faure’s
Requiem, op. 48, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
}une 2uu1

0iganist, Foitieth Confeience on 0igan Nusic, Bill Auuitoiium, 0niveisity
of Nichigan
0ctobei 2uuu

0iganist, Recital with Catheiine Coinick, sopiano, St. Naiy the viigin
Anglican Chuich, St. }ohn's; sponsoieu by the Avalon Centei of the Royal
Canauian College of 0iganists
0ctobei 2uuu

Lectuie Recital: +,-./#%0#:343).34#:%8;%-7&-*#Bill Auuitoiium, 0niveisity
of Nichigan
}une 2uuu

0iganist, Recital, The Basilica of St. }ohn the Baptist, St. }ohn's with Shelley
Neville, sopiano; iecoiueu live to tape anu ie-bioaucast on the Canauian
Bioaucasting Coipoiation (CBC) Piovincial Rauio piogiam +,-./&30(#on
}une 2uuu
0ctobei 22, 2uuu

Inviteu to peifoim at a mastei class given by Naiilyn Nason at the
Ameiican uuilu of 0iganists' (Au0) Regional v Convention, Ann Aiboi
}une 1999

Accompanist, Musical Festival of Faith, Toronto Apiil 1998

Choir Leader, Musical Festival of Faith, Toronto Apiil 1997

Pianist¡0iganist, Recital with }oyce Bullock, contialto: !"#$%&'()*$+,-./'
Asbuiy anu West 0niteu Chuich, Toionto
Apiil 1997

0iganist, Cochiane Stieet 0niteu Chuich, St. }ohn's; sponsoieu by the
Avalon Centei of the Royal Canauian College of 0iganists
Apiil 1992

0iganist, conceit of the music of Canauian composei Patiick Caiuy,
Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu, St. }ohn's
Naich 1992

0iganist, Recital 11 - Nastei of Nusic Begiee, 0niveisity of Toionto, St.
Thomas' Chuich, Toionto
Becembei 1992

0iganist, Recital 1 - Nastei of Nusic Begiee, 0niveisity of Toionto, St.
Thomas' Chuich, Toionto
Nay 1991

Nasteiclass with Biitish oiganist, Baviu Titteiington, uuelph Spiing
Festival, uuelph, 0ntaiio
Apiil 1991

Solo 0iganist, Recital, The Basilica of St. }ohn the Baptist, St. }ohn's Nay 199u

0iganist, uiauuation Recital, Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu, St.
Apiil 199u

Ensemble expeiience, Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu Chambei
Choii (tenoi - auuitioneu), Festival Choii (tenoi), Conceit Banu
(claiinet¡bass claiinet), St. }ohn's

Choius Nembei, Nemoiial 0niveisity of Newfounulanu School of Nusic's
piouuction of uilbeit anu Sullivan opeiettas, ($0,12 (1987), 3$%,42#.
(1988), 5)11$&2#. (1989), St. }ohn's
Nay 1987,

0igan Scholai (scholaiship pioviueu pei acauemic semestei,
iesponsibilities incluueu tenoi section leauei at weekly seivices anu two
Sunuay seivices, oigan lessons anu playing foi selecteu seivices),
Newfounulanu Catheuial (Anglican), St. }ohn's

Solo 0iganist, Recital, St. Teiesa's Chuich, St. }ohn's Nay 1989

Solo 0iganist, Recital, St. Naiy the viigin Anglican Chuich, St. }ohn's Nay 1988

0igan Soloist in (67'()*$+'$%'5.+$8,- iecoiueu live anu ie-televiseu acioss
the piovince of Newfounulanu by CBC Television, St. }ohn's
Febiuaiy 1988
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Repertoire List (Organ)
!! !!!!!!!!5&%1'*3,*A!,6!B<!.*/=>!"?@!!
X;--%0%!,6!T!),6;&!!OT;&,%6P<!.=>!#HS! !
!!!!!!!! ! !


Franck: Chorale in E Major
Chorale in B Minor
Howells: Psalm-Prelude No. 1 (Set Two)
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Liszt: Fantasy and Fugue on “Ad Nos Adsalutarem Undum”
Mendelssohn: Sonata No. 6
Reger: Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor Op. 135b
Widor: Symphony No. 5 (Allegro)

Twentieth Century and Beyond
Bales, Gerald: Four Hymn Settings (1992)
Toccata for Organ (1989)
Cook, John: Flourish and Fugue
Hindemith: Sonate 1
Holman, Derek: Postlude on “A Melody by Vulpius”
Kenins, Talivaldis: Ex Mari: Scenes from Georgian Bay
Langlais: Pastorale and Rondo for Two Trumpets & Organ
Messiaen: Dieu Parmi Nous from La Nativite
Transports of Joy from L’Ascension
Watson Henderson, Ruth: Variations on “Ode to Newfoundland”
Willan: Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue
Prelude and Fugue in C Minor
Five Pieces for Organ
Pepping: Fantasia on “Wie Schon Leuchtet der Morgenstern”

Repertoire List (Choral)
Attwood: Turn Thy Face from my Sins
Bach: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring
Brahms: How Lovely are thy Dwellings, O Lord
Farrant: Call to Remembrance, O Lord
Faure: Cantique de Jean Racine
Harlan: African Sanctus
Mozart: Ave Verum Corpus
Mendelssohn: How Lovely are the Messengers
Purcell: Rejoice in the Lord Alway
Rutter: A Gaelic Blessing
All Things Bright and Beautiful
For the Beauty of the Earth
Stainer: God So Loved the World
Stanford: Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem
Tallis: If Ye Love Me
Vaughan Williams: O How Amiable
Wesley: Blessed by the God and Father

Faure: Requiem, Op. 48
Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Schubert: Mass in G Major
Vivaldi: Gloria, RV 589
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Professional Affiliations and Activities
$%&'()*+'),!-.(/0!1!!"#$%&#'($")'*+",-#&."'/%)$0'1'2"34"$')#'5)$6"! 2334!1!
$&//+7+!8.)(9!:&9(+*;!1!2"34"$! 2334!1!
! !
8(9%(7>6!A0.9>*&')!?))&9(>*(&6!1!2"34"$! 233E!1!
?F+'(9>6!-.(/0!&@!G'7>6()*)!1!2"34"$! "444!1!
G6*>'(&!$&//+7+!&@!<+>9%+')!1!2"34"$7'G6*>'(&!$+'*(@(+0!<+>9%+'!BG$<D! "44H!1!
! !
8(9%(7>6!:9%&&/!I&9>/!8.)(9!?))&9(>*(&6!B8:I8?D!1!2"34"$! 233H!1!2334!
! !


Bi. Loii Custoueio
Associate Piofessoi of Nusic Euucation
Nusic anu Nusic Euucation
Columbia 0niveisity Teacheis College
S2S West 12uth Stieet Box 1S9
New Yoik, NY 1uu27
Phone (212) 678-S467
Fax (212) 678-4u48
Email: custoueioÇtc.euu

Bi. Baiolu Abeles
Piofessoi of Nusic Euucation
Nusic anu Nusic Euucation
Columbia 0niveisity Teacheis College
S2S West 12uth Stieet Box 1S9
New Yoik, NY 1uu27
Phone (212) 678-S288
Fax (212) 678-4u48
Email: abelesÇtc.euu

Betty Anne Younkei, Ph.B.
Associate Bean foi Acauemic Affaiis anu
Associate Piofessoi of Nusic Euucation
School of Nusic, Theatie anu Bance, 0niveisity of Nichigan
11uu Baits Biive
Ann Aiboi, NI 481u9
Phone: (7S4) 764-2S16
Email: younkeiÇumich.euu

Ns. Susan Kelty, Eu.S.
Nellie E. Biiu Elementaiy School
22u Noith Sheluon Roau
Plymouth, Nichigan 4817u
Phone: (7S4) 416-S1uu
Email: susan.keltyÇ

Bi. Naiilyn Nason
0niveisity 0iganist & Chaii, 0igan Bepaitment
School of Nusic, Theatei anu Bance, 0niveisity of Nichigan
11uu Baits Biive
Ann Aiboi, NI 481u9
Phone: (7S4) 764-2Suu
Fax: (7S4) 76S-Su97
Email: mamsteinÇumich.euu

Ni. Lee Baiiison
Isbistei Elementaiy School
9Suu Noith Canton Centei Roau
Plymouth, NI 4817u
Phone: (7S4) 416-6uSu
Email: lee.haiiisonÇ




Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts

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Organ Concert Program and Program Notes
Ed.D. Required Concert
October 2010


Sean Jackman, organ


Tamara Whitely, soprano
Diana Brehob, soprano and tenor recorders
Tess Dowgiallo, alto recorder
Carolyn Haury, organ

October 24th, 2010 at 4 pm
Christ Episcopal Church, Dearborn, Michigan

Study in Texture and Timbre

Music for One Voice

Pedal Exercitium BWV 598 J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

Music for Two Voices

Two English Voluntaries
Voluntary in G (Allegro) Henry Heron (1745 –
Cornet Voluntary (Allegro) John Travers (c.1703 –

Two Movements from Two French Suites
Duo from Suite du Premier Ton Louis-Nicolas
(1676 – 1749)
Duo from Suite du Secondo Ton Clérambault

Music for Three Voices

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme Bach
“Schubler” BWV 645

Trio on “St. Petersburg” (2006) Alfred Fedak (b. 1943)
Sehr Lansang from Sonata Number 1 Paul Hindemith (1895 – 1963)
Ein’ feste burg ist unser Gott BWV 720 Bach

Music for Four Voices

Eleven Choral Preludes, op. 122 Johannes Brahms (1833
No. 8: Es ist ein Rose
No. 9. Herzlich tut mich verlangen

Ensemble Music for Four Voices and Beyond

Recorder Duets: Beifehl dem Herrn deine Wege! Max Reger (1873 –
Laudate Dominum Lorenzo Perosi (1872 –

Soprano Solo: Pie Jesu from Requiem, Op. 48 Gabriel Fauré (1845 –

Ensemble: Sheep May Safely Graze Bach
from Cantata BWV 208 “Birthday Cantata”

Tamara Whitley, soprano
Diana Brehob, soprano recorder and tenor recorder
Tess Dowgiallo, alto recorder

Organ Duet: Partita on “Praise to the Lord” (1997) Michael Burkhardt (b.

Rondo, Canon, Pedaliter, Sicilian, Carillon
Sean Jackman and Carolyn Haury, organists

Carillon - Sortie Henri Mulet (1878 –

This recital has been performed in partial fulfillment of the degree
Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Music Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
New York, New York!
About the musicians

Sean Jackman was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada. Since the fall of
2005, Sean has been the Director of Music and Organist at Christ Episcopal
Church in Dearborn. Sean has been a public school music teacher and church
musician for almost twenty years and currently teaches elementary general music
in Plymouth-Canton Community Schools (Plymouth, Michigan). He is currently a
doctoral student in Music and Music Education in the Doctor of Education
program (Ed.D) at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. His
dissertation adviser is Dr. Lori Custodero. He holds undergraduate degrees in
Music and Music Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland
(Newfoundland, Canada) and a graduate degree in organ performance from the
University of Toronto. From 1999-2002, Sean studied at the University of
Michigan – Ann Arbor as an organ student of Marilyn Mason and earned the
Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Performance (2002) and the Masters Degree in
Music Education (2005). While at the University of Michigan and Teachers
College, Sean has been a Graduate Student Instructor in the Music Education
Department. Sean serves on the Detroit-area Board of the Choristers Guild and is
a member of the American Guild of Organists, MENC (The National Association
for Music Education), College Music Society, Michigan Educators Association and
the Ontario College of Teachers. This recital is a performance requirement for
candidacy for the Ed.D. degree at Columbia University.

Tamara Whitley
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Soprano Tamara Whitley has
performed both locally and traveled throughout the world covering many genres of
music. Her vast experience includes having performed as a singer/dancer for
Disney World , jazz vocalist for Celebrity Cruises, and vocalist for Michigan Opera
Theater. She has also been a private vocal and piano teacher since 1996 in
association with Milford Music Center and a piano accompanist for
Plymouth/Canton Public Schools.

Cherry Hill Consort: Diana Brehob and Tess Dowgiallo
Cherry Hill Consort is a new ensemble of recorders players and others interested in
the performing of music on period instruments. The group rehearses at Christ
Episcopal Church and was formed there about a year ago. Tess Dowgiallo and
Diana Brehob, founding members of the group, have played recorders together off
and on for 40 years, starting in the Dearborn Recreation Department Ensemble
under the direction of Rex Brown in the late 1960s. They reconnected in the early
1990s as Dianthus Musik and have been playing together in Cherry Hill Consort. The
most recent performance of the group was at the Richard III Festival held in
Romulus, Michigan, in October of this year.
Diana Brehob's initiation into recorder playing in the 8th grade started a hobby
that has been continuing for four decades. Diana plays German-made Moeck
recorders. Although she is playing the tenor and soprano recorders today, her
specialty is in playing the lower-voiced recorders: bass and great bass. Diana has
sung in the choir at Christ Church for about 20 years and is a former member of
Renaissance Voices, an auditioned women's vocal ensemble and she has toured
Europe twice, 1999 and 2005, with the ensemble. Professionally, Diana performed
research in engine combustion for 20+ years before moving into intellectual
property in 2000. She is currently employed as a Patent Attorney at Brooks
Kushman, P.C. Diana is currently serving on an ad hoc committee of The
National Academies charged with evaluating energy usage in the light-duty vehicle
transportation sector to advise Congress on technologies and fuel options that
could reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Tess Dowgiallo has always enjoyed dabbling in music. She began playing the
recorder in 6th grade, joined the orchestra with her viola in junior and senior high
and sang in choirs since junior high. Her love for the recorder has taken her to
Interlochen and England. Her other musical pursuits include being the Children’s
Music Director at Christ Episcopal Church, the music director for the religious
education program at St. Collette’s Roman Catholic Church in Livonia, and is a
long standing member of Vanguard Voices, a local auditioned choir where she’s
performed internationally with them. Tess Dowgiallo is a Middle School
mathematics and science teacher in the Dearborn Public Schools. She holds a
Masters Degree from Marygrove College and is currently finishing an Education
Specialist Degree at Oakland University.

Dr. Carolyn Haury earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in
organ performance and music teaching at Oberlin Conservatory. She earned her
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in organ performance and choral
conducting at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has performed on
organ and harpsichord with the Middletown and Perrysburg Symphonies in Ohio,
and with the Dearborn Symphony. She has held music director positions in
Episcopal, Methodist and Lutheran churches. She is now in her 11th year as
Director of Music at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Dearborn, where she plays for
worship, directs choirs and teaches private piano and organ students. Dr. Haury
also accompanies the Dearborn Community Chorus and is the staff accompanist at
Franklin High School in Livonia.

About the instrument:

Our organ at Christ Church is a Casavant! Casavant is the oldest continuing name
in North American organ building. On November 14, 1991 the Historic Sites and
Monuments Board of Canada dedicated a plaque in honor of Joseph Casavant
who built pipe organs in Saint- Hyacinthe where his two sons, Claver and Samuel,
established Casavant Frères in 1879.

Across the United States and Canada, there are those organizations, which are
interested in archiving the organs and their specifications. One such group is the
Organ Historical Society (OHS). The mandate of the Organ Historical Society is
dedicated to documenting and preserving historic pipe organs and to raising public
awareness and appreciation of America's organ heritage. One project of the
Organ Historical Society is a database is sponsored in part by Birmingham-
Southern College, which houses the database server and provides its connection to
the Internet. This website ( is the public gateway to a searchable
database of information on pipe organs of the United States of America. Looking
on this website, you will find Christ Episcopal Church listed. I found the following

! Building/Room: Sanctuary
! Casavant Frères Ltée. (1961, Opus 2643).
! Current Status: extant, restored.
! 3 manuals. 4 divisions. 35 stops. 47 ranks. 34 registers. 2583 pipes. 61-note
manuals. 32-note pedals.
! Electro-pneumatic chests [pitman].
! The organ is at the front of the room, and some pipes are exposed.
! Traditional style console with roll top. Console in fixed position, left. Drawknobs
in vertical rows on angled jambs. Balanced swell shoes/pedals, standard
AGO placement. Adjustable combination pistons. AGO Standard (concave
radiating) pedalboard. Crescendo Pedal. Reversible full organ/tutti thumb
piston. Reversible full organ/tutti toe stud. Combination action thumb
pistons. Combination action toe studs. Coupler reversible thumb pistons.
! Additional notes: The pipes of the organ is divided on both sides of the chancel.


Dearborn, Michigan Christ Episcopal Church

Casavant Op. 2643 1961 3/47

Courtesy of the Casavant Frères
Archives, St. Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada

16' Quintade 61 8' Nachthorn (open) 68
8' Principal 61 8' Salicional 68
8' Rohrflöte 61 8' Salicional Celeste 61
4' Octave 61 4' Spitzprincipal 68
4' Spitzflöte 61 4' Kleingedeckt 68
2' Waldflöte 61 2 2/3' Nazard 61
II Rauschpfeife 122 2' Gemshorn 61
IV Mixture 244 III Cymbel 244
8' Trompette 61 * 8' Schalmei 68
Schulmeric Bells Tremulant

* round and loud
6' Principal 32
POSITIV 16' Subbass 32
8' Gedeckt 61 16' Quintade GT
4' Principal 61 8' Octave 32
4' Koppelflöte 61 8' Pommer 32
2' Octave 61 4' Octave 32
1 1/3' Quintflöte 61 IV Mixture 128
II Sesquialtera 122 16' Fagott 32
IV Scharff 244 4' Schalmei L/2 32
8' Krummhorn 61
Chimes pf

[Received on line from Jeff Scofield June 21,


About the music: Program Notes
Pedal Exercitium BWV 598 J. S. Bach

This is the only piece Bach wrote for the organ in one voice. It is played by the
pedals only. This might be considered a pedal exercise although many might hear
it as a legitimate piece of music.

Voluntary in G (Allegro) Henry
Cornet Voluntary (Allegro) John
These two piece for manuals (keyboards) only are good examples of the English
organ music of the eighteenth century. You will hear only two voices (or notes) at a
time. At this point in history, organs in England did not have a full pedalboard so
the music was written for manuals only.

Duo from Suite du Premier Ton L. N.
Duo from Suite du Secondo Ton
Both of these pieces are also written in two voices – one for each hand. They are
from French Suites or collections of pieces written in dance styles. The music
ornaments (e.g. trills, turns) and registrations (organ sounds) heard in these two
pieces are characteristic of music in France during the Baroque period.

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme “Schubler” BWV 645 Bach
The use of the chorale as a basis for compositions run throughout most of Bach’s
church music. This organ piece of Bach is written in three voices and was also
used by Bach as the opening movement of the cantata by the same name (Cantata
BWV 208). Bach borrowed from himself which was common practice at the time.
In this organ prelude, the third voice carries the solo – the Lutheran chorale which
the piece is based on – and is played on the Krummhorn stop of the organ.
Translated in English, this text is Sleepers Awake - a hymn sung during Advent. It is
found in the official hymnal of the Episcopal Church - The Hymnal (1982) -
number 61.

Trio on “St. Petersburg” (2006) Alfred
Alfred Fedak is nationally known as a practicing church musician and composter
with over 200 organ and choral compositions in print. He currently serves as
Minister of Music and Arts at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Capitol Hill in
Albany, New York. The front page of his Trio on “St. Petersburg” lists the prelude as
written in an 18
century style. The hymn upon which it is based is also found in
our church’s hymnal - Number 574 - Before Thy Throne, O God We Kneel. You will
hear the melody of the hymn played on the oboe stop of the organ with
accompaniment played on the flutes.

Sehr Lansang from Sonata Number 1 Paul Hindemith
Hindemith was known as a professional performer, composer and conductor.
Born in Hanau, Germany, in 1895, his family encouraged his musical interests and
he learned to play the piano, viola and violin in childhood. His compositions
represented the Neobaroque, working in the classic forms of the fugue, sonata, and
suite in a manner identified with Bach. In the late 1930s he emigrated to the
United States, becoming head of the School of Music at Yale University in 1942
and a US citizen in 1946. His solo sonata for organ was part of a body of work
which particularly benefited many of the neglected instruments of the orchestra
(double bass, bassoon, tuba, trombone, English horn), which had little or no solo
repertoire before Hindemith’s sonatas.
Sehr langsam (Very slowly) is the second movement of the sonata which features
the angular and somewhat chromatic melody on a solo organ stop (oboe) with a
string accompaniment including the tremelo. The tremelo provides a rich
shimmer in the sound which is often used to imitate the vibrato of orchestral strings
and gives this piece an ethereal and mysterious sound.
Sources: Hindemith, www. Hindemith

Ein’ feste burg ist unser Gott BWV 720
Of the German choral tunes Bach used, this is one of the most familiar to
American congregations. The hymn upon which it is based is also found in our
church’s hymnal – Number 688 - A Mighty Fortress is our God. In this setting, you
will hear the familiar melody in each of the hands and the feet. Sometimes Bach
used it plainly; sometimes it is ornamented (additional notes added for interest) and
therefore obscured. The score indicates specific registrations (sounds used) on the
organ which is rare throughout the organ music of Bach - 16 foot reed bassoon in
the left hand and Sesquialtera (8, 4, 2, 2& 2/3 and 1&3/5 stops) in the right hand.
This is the final trio in the three-voice section of this program – there are never
more than three notes sounding at any one time.
Eleven Choral Preludes, op. 122 Johannes Brahms
No. 8: Es ist ein Ros No. 9. Herzlich tut mich verlangen
The great German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms is credited with
synthesizing the practices of three centuries with folk and dance idioms and with
the language of late 19th-century art music. His works of controlled passion,
deemed reactionary by some and progressive by others, became well accepted in
his lifetime.
The Eleven Chorale Preludes for organ, composed in May and June 1896, were
published posthumously in 1902 as op.122. They are some of the finest smaller
pieces within the organ repertoire and are played regularly for church services and
recitals. Brahms’ interest in his own mortality is shown from his choice of chorales,
most notably in the two settings of O Welt, ich muss dich lassen (O World I Now Must
Leave Thee). The models for this set of Brahms are the preludes of Bach's famed
Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) which contains preludes for all of the seasons of the
church year. Perhaps the most played piece in the set is No. 8: Es ist ein Rose which
has been reprinted in many collections for the parish musician. In the Eleven Chorale
Preludes the hymn tune is always found in the highest (soprano) voice played by the
right hand of the organist – sometimes in a straightforward manner as it would be
sung; sometimes ornamented. In both No. 8 and No. 9, the melody is an obscured
version of the hymn tune.
Hymn Texts:
No. 8
Herzlich tut mich verlangen
Nach einen selgen End,
Weil ich hier bin umfangen
Mit Trübsal und Elend.
Ich hab Lust abzuscheiden
Von dieser argen Welt,
Sehn mich nach ewgen Freuden,
O Jesu, komm nur bald!

--Christoph Knoll, 1605
Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
Aus einer Wurzel zart.
Wie es die Alten sungen,
Aus Jesse kam die Art.
Und hat ein Blümelein ‘bracht
Mitten im kalten Winter
Wohl zu der halben Nacht.

My heart is filled with longing
To pass away in peace;
For woes are round me thronging
And trials will not cease.
Oh fain would I be hasting,
From thee, dark world of gloom,
To gladness everlasting.
O Jesus! quickly come.

--Translated: Catherine Winkworth

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming from tender
stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as those of old
have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of
When half spent was the night.

--Anonymous, 15th Century

Sources: www. Brahms,

Recorder Duets: Laudate Dominum Lorenzo Perosi
Befiehl dem Herrn deine Wege! Max Reger
These two contrasting pieces for recorder duet were originally written for two
singers – soprano and alto. Not surprisingly, they work very well for soprano and
alto recorders which play in the same range.
Lorenzo Perosi was an Italian composer and church musician. He was made
choirmaster of San Marco, Venice (1894), ordained priest (1895) and appointed
music director of the Cappella Sistina (1898). Perosi’s oratorios had an
extraordinary international success although this fame was short lived; he
continued to be celebrated in his home country. His music has many influences
including Gregorian chant and 16th-century polyphony. He was in the employ
of five popes notably Pius X who promoted him. Unfortunately, Perosi suffered
mental illness in midlife from which he and his career never fully recovered.
Laudate Dominum is a small-scale piece for two equal voices and organ. Although
Perosi was writing in the early part of the twentieth century, this piece could
easily be mistaken for music pre-Bach testifying to the variety of Perosi’s music
The German composer Max Reger is situated between late 19th-century
Romanticism and early 20th-century modernism. Like Brahms, his musical style,
combines chromatic harmonic language with Baroque and Classical forms. He
learned to play the organ in his youth and his output includes several virtuosic
organ pieces which are standards in the repertoire. Beifehl dem Herrn deine Wege!,
subtitled “Wedding Song”, was written in 1902 and dedicated to Mrs. Elsa von
Bercken and Baronesse B. von Seckendorff. Reger married von Bercken the same
Sources: www. Reger,
Perosi, www. Perosi
Laudate Dominum omnes gentes
Laudate eum, omnes populi
Quoniam confirmata est
Super nos misericordia eius,
Et veritas Domini manet in aeternum.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper.
Praise the Lord, all nations;
Praise Him, all people.
For He has bestowed
His mercy upon us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the
Holy Spirit,
Et in saecula saeculorum. Amen

as it was in the beginning, is now, and
forever, and for generations of generations.
Amen. Psalm 116

Befiehl dem HERRN deine Wege und
hoffe auf ihn;
er wird's wohl machen
Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
and He will do it. Psalm 37:5

Soprano Solo: Pie Jesu from Requiem, Op. 48 Gabriel Fauré
Although Fauré’s Requiem is not an entirely liturgical piece, it was first performed
with some omissions at a funeral mass at La Madeline Church in Paris on January
16, 1888 where Fauré was music director. Fauré himself characterized the work as
a “little Requiem” and he envisioned a chamber music sound with a small choir
accompanied by organ and chamber orchestra, which is in keeping with his
resources at La Madeline.
The Requiem was re-written and expanded in 1893 adding the “Offertoire” (1889)
and “Libera me” (1887) as well as horns and trumpets in the orchestration. A third
version, more appropriate for concert performance and scored for full orchestra
was created in 1900. John Rutter’s 1983 version which is being used this afternoon
relies most heavily on the smaller, 1893 version. Today you will hear the fourth
movement, Pie Jesu which is the only movement for solo soprano. Originally for
boy soprano, this afternoon it will be performed by an adult female singer. As
customary, this piece works well with organ alone as accompaniment since the
original relied heavily on the organ (with chamber orchestra).
Pie Jesus Domine, Dona eis requiem,
sempiternam requiem.
Merciful Lord Jesus, Grant them rest,
everlasting rest.
Source: www. Fauré

Ensemble: Sheep May Safely Graze Bach
from Cantata BWV 208 “Birthday Cantata”
Like many of J.S. Bach's famous melodies, the aria Sheep May Safely Graze has been
arranged for an endless variety of instruments and ensembles. Our performance
this afternoon features soprano with recorders obbligato (required or indispensible)
and organ. Bach's devout nature and his prolific production of sacred music make
it easy to assume the work is religious: The sheep represents souls kept safe by a
shepherd, God. This aria is performed in church sanctuaries regularly.
Actually the aria is part of a secular cantata that employs mythology and
politically-minded flattery to celebrate the birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-
Weissenfels. The cantata even goes so far as to revive the ancient deities Diana
(goddess of the hunt) and Pales (goddess of sheep and flocks) to praise the duke who
was fond of hunting. The aria Sheep May Safely Graze depicts Duke Christian as a
good shepherd who tends and protects his vassals, the helpless and trusting sheep.
It was premiered in 1716 as banquet music in his hunting lodge after a hunt.
Sheep may safely graze!, while their shepherd watches.!
Only Right and Wisdom guiding, can bring peace and tranquil freedom,
and people happiness.
Sources: graze,
Organ Duet: Partita on Michael
“Praise to the Lord” (1997): Rondo, Canon, Pedaliter, Sicilian,
Partita is a contemporary work in a traditional style musical, using the form of the
Baroque partita. Michael Burkhardt is a Detroit-area based composer who is
known for his creative hymn improvisations and his work with children. He is in
frequent demand as a choral and organ clinician and leader of hymn festivals. He
earned the DMA degree in organ performance as a student of Dr. Robert Clark at
Arizona State University. His organ, choral and handbell compositions are
published by MorningStar Music. Dr. Burkhardt is also the founder and artistic
director of Hearts, Hands and Voices.
The music source for this set of variations, Praise to the Lord the Almighty, is also found
in - The Hymnal (1982) - number 390. Partita is written to be played on a three
manual (keyboard) organ. Often, this piece requires that the two organists to share
manuals or cross over each other’s hands when playing. Many colors of the
instruments and textures are explored in this piece – facilitated by the extra set of
hands and feet. Each movement might be found in a Baroque partita - Rondo (a
form with a repeated section), Canon (a melody with several imitations played after
a given time period), Sicilian (a lyrical suite movement in 6/8 time) and Carillon (a
piece which imitates church bells with a repetitive 6-note motif). Of particular
interest is the third movement, Pedaliter (for pedals only), which allows the melody
to be heard but features double pedaling by both organists.

Carillon - Sortie Henri Mulet
Perhaps Mulet’s most popular piece, Carillon - Sortie was written before 1912 and
was dedicated to the famous French and Canadian organ composer and virtuoso,
Joseph Bonnet. This vigorous French Romantic pieces features a repeated bell-like
pattern that accompanies the singable melody. The pedal part usually provides a
percussive backdrop to the relentless bell motive. As in the final movement of
Burkhardt’s Partita, the piece recalls the church carillon and is one of several pieces
which form a niche in the organ repertoire called carillon pieces. Similar carillons
for organ solos include those by Vierne, Tournemire and Boellman. The roaring
conclusion of this piece features the full resources of the organ.

Thank Yous
~ Thank you to our Rector Robert Hart and the vestry of Christ Episcopal
Church for supporting me during the preparation and presentation of this recital.
~ Thank you my teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University for assisting
me in preparing this recital especially Dr. Jeanne Goffi-Fynn and my dissertation
advisor, Dr. Lori Custodero.
~ Thank you to the videographer Mr. David DeVore and our audio technician
Mr. Tom Nieman for recording our music making this afternoon.
~ Thank you to our reception coordinators Mary Ann Zawada, Nancy Lehnert,
Jean Piernick and Robert Dimech.
~ Thank you my colleagues in music for participating with me in making music
with the King of Instruments.
~ Thank you to each audience for your attendance and attention during this
recital: Texture and Timbre.




Portfolio CD Guide


Organ Solo
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 731 J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)
Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott BWV 720 Bach
University of Michigan School of Music Theater and Dance - March 2005
Carillon - Sortie Henry Mulet (1878 – 1967)
Christ Episcopal Church, Dearborn, Michigan - October 2010

Call to remembrance Richard Farrant (c. 1530 – 1580)
For the Beauty of the Earth John Rutter (1945 – )
Lakeland High School Vocal Ensemble
University of Michigan School of Music Theater and Dance - March 2005

Collaborative Musician
Cinq Prieres Darius Milhaud (1892 – 1974)
Let the Biight Seiaphim u. F. Banuel (168S - 17S9)
Congiegational hymn (with choii, hanubells, tiumpet, anu oigan)
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Livonia, Michigan - June 2002




Statement of Teaching Philosophy


I see education as a “drawing out” process, knowledge as a commodity which is socially
constructed and best practices as ways of acting which adapt to specific teaching contexts. I
believe it is important to maintain and continually refine a personal philosophy of music
education. My experience as a veteran teacher of children impacts my attitudes when working
with pre-service teachers.
I believe that all students are entitled to a high quality music education provided by a
democratic society since it part of people’s basic humanness to think in musical ways
that are unique.

As a Teacher: Curriculum
For my students in music methods courses, I have taken a skills-based approach. I am
concerned that they have the musicianship and teaching skills to be successful in public schools,
private studios and other settings with all of their students. Some of these skills are taught in
other courses in the undergraduate degree like music theory and music history while others are
specific to teaching. A pre-service music teacher is required to have mastered a myriad of
musical and non-musical skills to be successful in K -12 education – general music, orchestra,
band and choir. This is the only way that a high quality music program can be delivered. My
methods students are encouraged to think about active strategies for having their own students
interact with music. A sample of the topics covered for elementary general music pre-service
teachers are: strategies to teach a song, managing large groups of children, communicating with
families, and collaborating with music and general education colleagues in ones school and
school district. Choral music pre-service educators learn about organizing a successful rehearsal,
planning and executing concerts, structuring classroom activities, the changing male voice,
connecting with state-wide organizations, preparing students for competition and the stages of
human development in adolescence.
As a Teacher: Instruction
I use a variety of methods to teach the concepts and skills used by practicing teachers.
These include: lecture, small group work, peer tutoring, case studies and online webinars. The
repertoire used and teaching techniques show appreciation for all learners - individual learning
styles and a variety of perspectives. Multicultural education attempts to give young people
exposure to a variety of music from around the world and to learn about the cultures that cradle
this music. Pre-service educators, like their perspective students, are entitled to a high quality
music education. A variety of the best music including music outside the Western canon of
Bach, Beethoven and Brahms needs to be included. What is on a young person’s iPod?
A high quality music education is also one where there is an appreciation for minorities
and marginalized groups. The feminist viewpoint allows new windows on male and female
differences in the music classroom. How many women composers are mentioned in elementary
music classrooms where composers are discussed? With the freedom allowed in our democratic
society, comes the right to learn, research, write and speak about new ideas and critique old ones.
Teaching and learning is contextual and my students are guided in how to think about best ways
to teach which change with the situation. Adaptability is powerful and vital to success since the
teacher is the sole adult in the room and is ultimately responsibility for the viability of the
It is a part of people’s basic humanness to think in musical ways. Psychologists,
including Howard Gardner, agree that we are “hard wired” to think in music just as we can think
and communicate by speaking and writing. Music may help us learn math concepts and can be
useful but that is not learning about music. Learning in music is unique to music.
Use of technology such as email, blogs and PowerPoint in class helps me teach
effectively and to stay connected to my students and provide feedback in between classes.
Music students must be exposed to the power of sequencing software, notation software (Finale
and Sibelius), creativity software and online resources such as Skype and Wikipedia that will
enable them to explore and express their full musicality. Websites such as UTube are powerful
tools that allow music performances from around the world into the classroom. Students are
“wired” to technology in a way that current faculty simply were not. The next generation of
teachers must be prepared to lead quality classrooms that use technology effectively.
The bridge of theory to bridge is a long and wide one. I have invited expert music and
music educators as guests into my methods classes and had field experiences where students are
able to observe public school music classes. During these observations pre-service teachers
record “what they see” and “what they are thinking about what they see.” Classroom lectures
and discussion come to life when the issue is seen worked out in a real classroom with students.
These exemplar individuals and observations of efficient classrooms provide high quality
examples of music education. Without this, pre-service teacher only have their own memoires of
the classroom during which time they were in the position of student, not teacher.
As a Teacher: Assessment
Assessment is the engine that drives instruction. It allows high quality feedback to
students and provides the teacher with information needed to plan future activities. I use a
variety of assessments (something for all) since each student respond differently to these tools –
lecture, in-class small group and whole class discussion, short written responses and weekly-
guided journal responses. As the semester proceeds, I am able to gauge student growth and
adjust my classes accordingly.
In my classes, the learning of pre-service teachers is formally assessed through lesson
plan projects where students design their own lessons and teach them to their peers - alone and
then in groups. This mirrors the collaborative nature of today’s teaching profession. Longer
written papers allow me to see their depth of thought and to provide valuable feedback. An end-
of-the-semester portfolio includes reflections, materials, and ideas about teaching that have been
acquired through the semester and serve as a resource for the pre-service teachers in their
As a teacher: Reflection
0ne of the cential issues that neeus to be iesolveu foi each teachei canuiuate is a
uevelopment of theii own philosophy of euucation. Teacheis neeu to be ieflective anu seek
oppoitunities foi theii own piofessional giowth in the fielu. Bopefully, my stuuents in
teachei euucation will begin to uevelop theii own philosophy, which puts stuuents fiist anu
acknowleuges the uniqueness of music. Bopefully, the classes I teach mouel high quality
teaching piactice anu peisonal ieflection. I believe stiongly in the impoitance of asking the
iight questions anu leauing stuuents to ask them. With this belief system in place (foi
now), I teach music anu teach otheis about how music shoulu be taught. Let the thinking,
wiiting anu open uialogue continue!




Course Syllabus
Elementary Music Methods
Course for Non-Majors

Syllabus for Music Education 400 Winter Semester Teaching of Music by
Elementary School Teachers
Instructor: Sean Jackman
Location: School of Music, Room 201 Office Hours: Mondays 4:30 – 5:30 pm
Wednesdays 10:00 – 11:30 am Class Time: Mondays 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Materials: 1) Music Every Day: Transforming the Elementary Classroom by Carol
P. Richardson
and Betty Atterbury (2001). It is available at the Campus Bookstore.
2) A recorder. It is also available at the Campus Bookstore or you may use one that
you have.

Course Overview
This course is designed to help elementary teachers learn the fundamentals of music
and to provide practical suggestions for teaching music skills to children. Students
perform and learn to teach music. It is delivered for general elementary teachers.
School of Music Handbook, p. 59

1) To develop academic skills and gain knowledge of music education from the
literature in the discipline. 2) To gain basic knowledge and skills in basic musicianship
3) To gain knowledge of and practice with various elementary classroom materials and
methodologies for using music as a tool for teaching


Knowledge of Music Education
• To develop an understanding of musical concepts through performing, creating,
describing, responding, and listening to music.
• To examine the role of music in the lives of children and the role of the school in
fostering musical and aesthetic growth
• To explore the intellectual construct and practical applications of discipline
• To explore the arts process, engaging in artistic processes that inform
understandings in music - perceiving, responding, evaluation, understanding and
• To examine the philosophical underpinnings of contemporary music
methodologies - Kodaly, Orff, Dalcroze.
• To demonstrate scholarship through writing and the application of knowledge to
the preparation and organization of musical experiences

• To develop basic musicianship skills including a rudimentary knowledge of music
• To gain facility on the recorder as a learning vehicle to foster musicianship in the
• To explore and understand the elements of music - melody, harmony, rhythm,
form, texture, timbre, style and expression

Classroom Methodology
• To develop strategies for the integration of music into other curricular areas •
To develop classroom strategies for in-tune singing, singing games, and listening

Class Policies
Attendance is required since this is a practical course involving the arts. You have to be
here or you cannot learn. If there is an unforeseen circumstance that prevents you from
attending, I expect to receive a message from you before the class or within 24 hours
following the class. If you are unable to complete an assignment on time, I require that
you contact me before the due date. Assignments for which no arrangements have
been made will be given the grade of 0.
Attendance is MIND AND BODY. It includes your willingness to accept responsibility for
learning, trying


Assignment #1 10%
Assignment #2 10%
Assignment #3 15%
Assignment #4 20%
Assignment #5 20%
Assignment #6 10%
Attendance 15%

Please email me if you require accommodation due to learning disabilities, religious
practices, physicals requirements, medical needs or any other reason.

Grade Scale: A+ 97-100 A 93-96 A- 90-92
B+ 87-89 B 83-86 B- 80-82
C+ 77-79 C 73-76 C- 70-72
D+ 67-69.5 D 62-66 E 0-61


ASSIGNMENTS Assignment #1

A Musical Autobiography – an essay that describes your personal experience with
music and music teaching. Due: January 22 10%
In this essay of not more than 750 words, outline the following:
1) The role of music in your family and community.
Begin with the role of music in your family and community from as early as you can
remember. What meaningful experiences did you have as you were growing up? Did
your family having any traditions that involved music?
2) The role of music in your school experiences.
Do you remember music class in school? Do you remember your music teacher? Have
any of your experiences with music in school influenced how you feel about music
3) Why do you think that music belongs in the schools today?
Should a specialist teach music or can anyone who likes the subject do it? What is the
role of the classroom teacher in providing students with musical experiences?
Include any other comments that you think are relevant. The questions are mean to
guide you. Each one does not need to be answered. Essays should be typed and show
in- depth reflection of your feelings and thoughts. Since this is an essay involving your
opinions, your mark will be based on how well you have expressed yourself. Proper
grammar and good use of English is expected.

Assignment #2
A Concert Experience – a project that involves attending a concert of live music and
writing about your experience. Due: February 5 10%
In this essay of not more than 500 words, outline the following:

1) A description of the soloist or ensemble that you saw and the music being
What kind of music was it? How many performers were involved and what kind of
instruments were being played? What part of the world does this music come from?

2) The reaction of the audience.
How did the audience behave? Were they involved in any way? Did they have a role to
perform in the music making? What do you think makes a good audience? Was it
appropriate for all ages?

3) How you felt following the event.
Why do you think the composer wrote this composition? Are there extra-musical
elements? What do you think he/she wanted you to feel?
Include any other comments that you think are relevant. The questions are meant to
guide you. Each one does not need to be answered. Essays should be typed and show
in-depth reflection of your feelings and thoughts. Since this is an essay involving your
opinions, your mark will be based on how well you have expressed yourself. Proper
grammar and good use of English is expected. There are many concerts and recitals in
Ann Arbor. If you need assistance finding one, please contact me.

Assignment #3
Lesson Planning– an individual project that involves planning and teaching one
music lesson (singing and instruments).
Due: February 19 15%
Lesson Format
Suggested Grade Level Objectives for Music Materials needed Procedure:
Introduction Development Closure Evaluation/Assessment Activity Teacher Reflection
We will spend time in class discussing this format. Please contact me if this is unfamiliar
to you. As part of this assignment, you are required to teach the entire lesson to
your colleagues. The teaching component should be approximately 5 minutes.

Assignment #4
Lesson Planning– a group project that involves planning and teaching three lessons
that involve music and other curriculum areas. Due: March 19 20%
Your cooperative group will create a unit plan of three lessons that correlates music and
other subject areas. Any area of the curriculum is a possibility - visual arts, drama,
language arts, physical education, science, social science and mathematics.
Project Introduction and Rational
1) Provide at least a paragraph to explain why you think music and your chosen areas
are meaningfully related.
2) Personal Interest Statements Explain why you chosen this particular subject to
integrate with music. Did you realize anything new in the planning?
3) Working Agreement Indicate the chief contributions to the project of each person and
sign the completed copy.
Use the same lesson format that was used in assignment #3. As part of this
assignment, your group is required to teach at least part of the unit in class. You have
the freedom to decide how much of the lesson is appropriate to teach but it should be at
least 15 minutes long. Following your model teaching, the class should
have a good idea of what you were trying to teach and the strategies that you would use
to accomplish this goal in your own classroom.

Assignment #5
Portfolio – a project that involves collected and organizing all of the useful materials
from this course and sharing it with the class. Due: April 9 20%
Your portfolio should include the following: • A statement of your personal philosophy
of music in the classroom • Your class notes • All handouts and song materials •
Any comments that you would like to make about the course and what you have
It should be organized in a way that you will be easily able to refer to it when you are
teaching. We will discuss more in class about portfolios as a way of assessment and I
will supply models for you to see.

Assignment #6
Recorder Tests – individualized assessments of how well you are learning to play the
recorder. Due: February 12 and March 26 (in class time) 10%
I will give you pieces that you can prepare and ask you to play them for me privately. It
will be an opportunity for you to show me how you are progressing and also for you to
have an individualized recorder lesson.

Course Calendar

January 8
Introduction, syllabus, survey, “getting to know you ” activities, explanation of
assignment #1, Chapter 1

January 15 Martin Luther King Holiday – no class

January 22 Assignment #1 due Why is music important in the schools? Introduction to
recorder playing Rhythm Fundamentals - Chapter 2

January 29
Pitch Fundamentals - Chapter 3

February 5 Assignment #2 due Singing with Children - Chapter 4

February 12 Recorder test #1 Music listening – Chapter 5

February 19 Assignment #3 due Music listening with Children – Chapter 6

February 26 Winter Break – no class

March 5
Playing Instruments - Chapter 7

March 12
Playing Instruments with Children – Chapter 8

March 19 Assignment #4 due Movement and music – Chapter 9 Movement and
Children – Chapter 10

March 26 Recorder test #2
! "#!
Creating Music – Chapter 11

April 2
Creating Music with Children – Chapter 12

April 9 Assignment #5 due Chapter 13 Course evaluation

April 16
Course conclusion

Events of the calendar are subject to change.

Welcome To Music Education 400.
I am aware that you come to this class with a variety of experiences. One of
goals is for you to become aware of your own strengths throughout the term.
Everyone is musical to a greater or lesser degree. The amount of musical
training that you have may or may correlate to the innate ability you have. In
this class we will enjoy making music together which is one of the best ways
for me to ensure that you
which is what the entire course is about. I will be visiting your classroom in
fifteen years to see how you are making out!
Part of learning together is getting to know each other. I am interested in
learning more about you and the survey that you will complete on this first day
is one way for me to find out why you are here and why you would like to learn
more about music and music teaching.
Bon voyage! Sean!



Sample of Feedback to Student Teacher
Undergraduate music education major
from Eastern Michigan University

Teachei: A5! (EN0 stuuent teachei)
Bate: ___Weunesuay, Novembei 1u, 2u1u
at 1:uu pm

0bseivei: "B!+$(,-$%
Class (Teachei¡uiaue): Cox - 1


- Stuuents came in anu founu theii
seats. They weien't in theii seats but
eventually got theie.

It's 1:2u. Stuuents aie settling uown.

You weie going to say - I likeu the boys
anu giils anu caught youiself.

- Song; A Sailoi went to sea. Class
moving on to gioup activity - finu a

KB picks a mouel paii. "Bow uo we

Reminus stuuents that she is watching.

0sing clapping with ta to get theii

Theie is one stuuent looking back at me.

- @0;!$::/#22#:!3)'2B!!A':2!K#/#!*$;8)'%8!
- QFRN!H775S!!"#*1M(0//#(3'%8!$2!@0;!$/#!
Keep ieminuing stuuents of what you
aie looking foi. KB: I shoulu see
stuuents galloping not iunning this time.

Teachei: AB!5B (EN0 stuuent teachei)
Bate: ___Weunesuay, Novembei 1u, 2u1u at 1:uu pm

0bseivei: "B!+$(,-$% Class (Teachei¡uiaue): ________Cox - 1 __________________________

KB: I think this is a new one (song). SN}
inteijects that that is 0K.

You can sway. KB is singing too. Some
kius aie staiting to join in.

- I just inuicateu with a gestuie that
Aiuan shoulu tuin aiounu.
- 0K - this is the pait that you know.

We playeu some piano anu flute uuets
fiom the iecoiuei book.

SN} iecommenueu uiumming game to
enu - stop anu stait to the uium.

Stuuents went towaius uooi without
you saying anything.

SN} askeu you to give uiiections. You
uiu anu they followeu.
- I#!($/#1;*!$<0;3!23;:#%32!*00,'%8!
- G03'(#!)0K!K#**!3)#-!(0?@!@0;/!2?0,#%!
- 3)'2!K0/,#:!/#$**@!K#**B!!E!1#*3!



Examples of Teaching Experiences
(K-12, College)

Middle School Choral Syllabus – Middle School Choir Handbook
Central Choirs Handbook
2008 – 2009

Table of Contents

Letter from Dr. Jackman

2008-2009 Performance & Events Schedules

Concert Attire

Class Rules & Procedures

Grading Policy


to be SIGNED and RETURNED by Friday, September 12th:

(1) CMS Choirs Contract
(2) Parent Volunteer Form

Please send in money for your choir T-Shirt ($5).
Welcome to 2008-2009!

Dear Choir Families,

WELCOME to all returning choir families, and to all of our new choir folks.
I am glad that your child has elected to take choir this year. I am excited to be the
new choir director at Central Middle School. Building on the wonderful tradition
of Mrs. Grady, I will strive to give your child the most rewarding experience
possible in choir class. I believe that students not only make wonderful music but
music makes wonderful students!
I have taught singers of all ages. I was a high school and middle school choir
teacher before coming to Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. Most recently I
was the music teacher at Bird and Eriksson Elementary Schools. I studied music
teaching and learning in graduate school. I earned a Master’s Degree in Music
Education and a Doctorate in Music Performance from the University of Michigan
(Ann Arbor) in 2002. I am a part-time doctoral student (Ed.D) in music education
at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. I am able to do the
courses during the summer and on-line. I also enjoy my work as a professional
church musician and recitalist (organ) in the metro Detroit area.
In choir we will continue to build musical skills and knowledge, focus
on music literacy, learn proper vocal technique, and stress overall musicianship.
Students will perform daily music-reading exercises, work from a Music Theory
Workbook, participate in music listening lessons, and participate in the occasional
“Open Mic Friday.” Students are required to keep a Choir Binder in which they
will keep their music octavos, written assignments, music theory work, and a
Please consider posting our Schedule of Events in a prominent location in
your home so that you’ll be sure not to miss anything! Dress rehearsals and
concerts are MANDATORY and constitute the majority of each student’s grade in
E-mail is the best way to reach me. Although you are welcome to
leave a message in the office for me, I find email more efficient. I will do my best
to answer you, either way.
Please thoroughly and carefully read through this Choir Handbook. Have
your child return all forms to me, signed by both you and the student, no later than
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008. Thank you for your support and
encouragement of your child’s involvement in choir! Hopefully this will be a
positive experience for your child and your family.


Dr. Sean Jackman
Choir Teacher
9 (Tues) – Central Middle School Open House
12 (Fri) – All CMS Choirs Forms & Fees Due
16 (Tues) – MSVMA Honors Choir Audition Application deadline – interested 7
graders only. See Dr. Jackman if interested.

18 (Sat.) – MSVMA Honors Choir Auditions – interested 7
and 8
graders only.
23 (Thurs) – FALL CONCERT, 7pm Curtain, CMS Gym; student call times TBA
(approximately 6-7pm)

Choir Fundraiser TBD
8 (Thurs) – CLUSTER CONCERT, Logan Auditorium (P-CEP), evening time TBA
– 8
grade only.
12 (Mon) – WINTER CONCERT, 7pm Curtain, CMS Gym; student call times
TBA (6-7pm)
24 (Sat) – MSVMA Honors Choir Performance (if accepted) at the Michigan Music
Teachers Conference in Grand Rapids.

10 (Tue) – Pre-FESTIVAL CONCERT: 7pm Curtain, CMS Gym
13 or 14 (Fri or Sat) – MSVMA DISTRICT 12 CHORAL FESTIVAL: Each choir
attends ONE day, festival is an all-day event with school bus transportation provided.
Spring Fundraiser TBD
28 (Thurs) – SPRING CONCERT Evening Performance, 7pm Curtain, CMS Aud.;
student call times TBA (6-7pm)

Please Note:
• Attendance at ALL concerts in Bold-Faced Type is mandatory for your
• Failure to attend will result in your grade being lowered TWO FULL
• Knowing about a conflict in advance does NOT constitute an excused
absence; not all requests for excusal will be approved.
• Transportation problems are NOT an excuse for failure to attend!

Performance & Events Schedule 2008-2009

Concert Attire

What do I wear to concerts?

All Choir Students will purchase a CMS
Choir T Shirt (through Dr. Jackman). Each
choir has a different color shirt. The T-shirt,
with the CMS Choirs logo on the upper left
chest, is $5 (five dollars).

What You Wear On TOP:
The T-Shirt for your grade level choir. Your shirt needs to be tucked in all the way

What You Wear On BOTTOM:
• Nice All-Black Dress Pants: loose-fitting, no holes, no pinstripes, no low-riders,
no hip-huggers, full-length pant legs (no gauchos, capris, etc.)
• All-Black Socks: you must wear socks, no flesh-tone, no crazy colors, just all black
• All-Black Shoes: no open toes, no sandals, no high heels, no other color of any
kind on the all-black shoes; you’ll be standing in these shoes for a long time, so
think about COMFORT over fashion when you buy them – they all look the same
from the stage anyway.

What if I don’t have these clothes? Search your closet – please buy or borrow them. What if I
can’t afford it? See Dr. Jackman privately. Can I wear a skirt? No. Can I wear gauchos? No.
Can I wear black jeans? No. I’m in 6
Grade, do I have to wear a white T-shirt under my polo?
Yes, otherwise it is see-through on stage. Do I have to tuck in my shirt? Yes. What if I show up
in the wrong uniform? You will not be able to perform and your grade will be lowered two full
letter grades. Can I wear flip-flops? No. Can I wear black tennis-shoes with a white stripe?
No. Can I wear navy blue, dark brown, or gray? No.



Follow these CLASS RULES to be successful in Choir:

• Chewing Gum is NEVER allowed in Choir!
• Since some students have severe allergies, the choir room is peanut and nut
free. These food products will NEVER be allowed to be eaten in the
• Always have a MECHANICAL PENCIL or sharpened pencil in your Choir
• Have your REQUIRED CLASS MATERIALS with you in class every day:
Choir Binder with music, PENCIL, and Redbook.
• Participate every day (if you are not healthy enough to participate, you
should not be in school).
• Abide by the Central Middle School Code of Conduct.
• Save conversations for an appropriate time.
• Come to class with a positive attitude and be ready to WORK HARD!
• Be friendly, open-minded, and supportive of teacher and classmates.
• Be bold and take risks in your music-making!

Beginning of Class:
• Enter the classroom in an orderly fashion
Get your Choir Binder from your slot (it should contain your music & pencil)
• Leave other belongings in the designated space in the classroom
• Be seated in your assigned place – BEFORE the bell rings! If not, you are
• Read the board; get to work on the Daily Sight Reading
End of Class:
• Remain quiet and orderly
• Clean up the floor around you & under your section of risers
• Put your Choir Binder away in your slot; get your other belongings
Class RULES & Procedures
• Classes end when you are dismissed by the teacher. Dr. Jackman will
dismiss the class when everything is cleaned up & put away, and everybody
is seated and silent. !


Class Participation & Preparedness: Students are expected to come to class prepared every day,
and are expected to participate fully every day. Students must have their DAILY CLASS
MATERIALS with them every day:
• Choir Binder with Music
• Functioning MECHANICAL PENCIL (not a pen)
o There is no pencil sharpener in the choir room, and students must have a
working pencil EVERY DAY. The 1
mechanical pencil is provided; after
that, students must furnish their own MECHANICAL PENCIL
• Music Theory Workbook
• Redbook

In addition to being prepared, students will be graded on their individual musical growth,
music literacy, overall musicianship, attitude & effort, exhibiting behavior that is
conducive to the educational process of all students, and contributing to class
musicianship. Students can earn “bonus points” for exhibiting outstanding performance,
attitude, and effort; students can also lose participation points (“minus points”) for
inappropriate behavior.
Choir Binder & Music Theory Workbook: Students will be provided a 3-ring binder
specifically for choir to keep their music octavos, Theory Workbooks, notes from class, a
PENCIL, etc. Binders will be kept neat and may be graded. Theory Workbook
assignments will be graded. Students will be able to store their Binders in their slot in the
choir room, but are individually responsible for everything in the binders.

Daily Sight Reading: Students will participate in daily sight-reading and music literacy activities
either individually, in small groups, or all together as a class. Whether these activities are
completely oral/aural or involve writing, they are graded activities worth points.
Part-Singing: Students will be assessed on singing of their part of any piece of music we are
currently working on. These assessments (which may be in large or small groups and/or
individually), will take place often in class and will neither feel like, nor be considered a “singing
test.” Our classroom environment will be warm, supportive, and conducive to musical growth,
learning, and creativity!

Grading Policy
Performance Participation – COMPLETELY MANDATORY
(50% of Marking Period Grade)
All students are required to attend and perform in all mandatory events in which
their choir is performing (see Performances & Events Schedule). Failure to attend any
mandatory event will result in the student’s MARKING PERIOD GRADE being lowered

Conflicts: Knowing in advance about a conflict with a mandatory event does not necessarily
constitute an excused absence. If you think that you may have reason to have an excused
absence, your parent/guardian must submit a written request for excusal at least
TWO WEEKS in advance, which will be reviewed by Mrs. Herrmann and a school
administrator. Requests for excusal will be approved/disapproved on an individual basis.
Transportation Problems do not excuse you from a mandatory event. You are responsible for
making your own transportation arrangements in advance. Plan ahead!

Weighting of Grades

Marking Period and Semester Grades will be calculated according to the following percentages:

Semester Grade
1st / 3rd Marking Period Grade 43%
2nd / 4th Marking Period Grade 43%
Final Exam / Final Project 14%

Marking Period Grade
Class Participation 50%
Formal Assessments:
Choir Binder & Workbook (30%)
Daily Sight Reading (10%)
Part-Singing (10%)
Grading Scale
100% A+
99-95% A
94-90% A-
87-89% B+
83-86% B
80-82% B-
77-79% C+
73-76% C
70-72% C-
67-69% D+
63-66% D
60-62% D-
0-59% E

Parent Volunteer Form 2008 – 2009

Please mark below which choir event (s) you would like to volunteer with. I
would appreciate any assistance you could offer. Please have your child
return this form to me no later than Friday, Sept. 12
~ Dr. Jackman

I would like to volunteer to help with:

_____Fall Concert
_____Winter Concert
_____Cluster Concert (8
Grade only)
_____Pre-Festival Concert
_____District Choral Festival
_____Spring Concert

_____October Fundraiser TBD
_____May Fundraiser

_____Fall Concert
_____Winter Concert
_____Cluster Concert (8
Grade only)
_____Pre-Festival Concert
_____District Choral Festival
_____Spring Concert


_____October/November Fundraiser
_____May Fundraiser

Student Name (PRINTED):

6 – 7 - 8
Choir Hour:

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5
I have a talent or skill
that I would like to

1. Sound equipment set
up . . .




Central Middle School Choirs
CMS Choirs Contract

Please read the Choir Handbook and have your child return this Contract no later than Friday,
September 12

I have read the CMS CHOIR HANDBOOK. I understand and will comply with all the CMS
policies as stated in the Handbook.

Student Name Student Signature Grade Choir Hour

___________________ _________________ 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5

I have read the CMS CHOIR HANDBOOK. I understand the expectations of the choir program
for my child.

Parent/Guardian Name Parent/Guardian Signature

____________________ _____________________

Email address of parent/guardian: _________________________________

I communicate mainly through email. Please provide an email that you check the most.
Thank you. ~ Dr. Jackman

Sean Michael Jackman

Faculty Music Position
May 2011

Examples of Teaching Experiences
(K-12, College)

Administrator Formal Evaluations

Elementary General Music
Isbister Elementary, Plymouth, MI
L. Harrison, evaluator

High School Choral Music
Lakeland High School, White Lake, MI
R. Behnke, evaluator



Examples of Scholarship/Research

a. Ed.D. Dissertation Proposal – Positionality and the Lives of
Elementary General Music Teachers

b. Sample of Other Scholarly Writing – A Literature Review:
Teacher Discourse in the Classroom, Columbia University
Teachers College, May 2010

Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011

Statement of Research Interest
Sean Michael Jackman, Applicant

The document which follows is a portion of my Advanced Proposal which I will be presenting in
the Summer of 2011 at Teachers College, Columbia University as I work towards data
collection, analysis and writing my dissertation. It is a work in progress but explains my interest
in examining the lives of elementary general music teachers using the lens of positionality.

Sean Jackman
Advanced Proposal
Ed.D. Program
Teachers College Columbia University
Department of Music and Music Education
Summer 2011

Positionality and the lives of elementary general music teachers

Dr. Lori Custodero, Sponsor
Dr. Harold Abeles, Committee Member

Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011

Background…………………………………………………………………………………. 4
The Lens: Positionality……..……………………………..………………….………..... 4
My Career……….………….............................................................................................. 4
Different Positions...…………………….……..................................................................

Professional Development….………………………....................................................... 7
Shifting Positions………………………......................................................................... 8
Problem Statement……………………………………….……………………....... 10
Purpose Statement….……………………………………........................................ 10
Theoretical Framework….……..………………………………............................... 10
Graphic Representation……..…………..… ………….......................................... 11
Plan of Research

Research Questions………………………………..…………………….……. 13
Overview of Method…………..………..…….…............................................. 14
Delimitations………………………………………….…..………….………….…. 15
Plan for Remaining Chapters…………………………...……………………….…. 15


Overview………………………………….…….……………………………….…. 16
The Concept of Positionality…………..……..……….…..……………….…….… 16
Literature Using the Lens of Positionality………….………..….………………..… 21
Literature Using Lenses Related to Positionality…………………..………..………. 24
Conclusion……………………………………….….…………………….………. 29

Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
Overview…………………………………………………….…………….....……. 32
Purpose Statement….…… ….…..………….…………………………….………. 32
Research Design………………….………….………..……………………………. 32
Participants and Setting………………………………..…………………….…….. 33
Role and Positionality as Researcher………….....…..……………………….…… 34
Data Collection…………………………………….………………………………. 35
Plan of Analysis……………………………….…………………………………… 35
REFERENCES……………….……………………………………….................… 37
A. Boomerang Survey Questions (Email)……………………………................... 43
B. Interview Protocols………………………………….…………… …………... 46

Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011


The Lens: Positionality
Positionality is a theoretical perspective that locates people and their practices in relation
to others. It also refers to others’ perspectives and practices within constantly shifting contexts
(Zhai, 2010). As the term suggests, positionality focuses less on the nature of the subject itself
and more on the relationship of the subject to others. The three main components of
positionality are: intersecting identities, power relations and social context (Lezar and Lester,
2010). Like many dissertation projects, my interest in the lives of elementary general music
teachers comes from my own teaching experience in that as one of them. I believe that
positionality is a powerful lens through which I could examine this topic. This study will
consider my position as the researcher as well as the position of those other music teachers
whom I interview. The breadth of the term positionality is flexible enough to describe a variety
of teacher experiences and emotions in different situations over time and may include allied
ideas such as connectedness or isolation. As an elementary general music teacher, I have
become interested in the predicament of the music teacher and their relationship to other
dimensions of school life. These dimensions include personal relationships among teachers, the
curriculum that is taught, the financial resources available, the informal power of colleagues and
the formal authority of the principal.
My Career
Early in my career, from my vantage point today, I believe I ignored my feelings of
isolation and feeling far from the center of power. I concentrated on working hard and behaving
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
as a professional. Observing other classroom teachers over my career, I have noticed the
camaraderie they share, in which I am often not included. Each grade level teacher has at least
two colleagues who teach exactly what he or she teaches. If they are alone during the day with
their students, at least they have someone to compare stories with before school, after school and
at lunch. They have similar stories.
Different Positions
Music teachers and classroom teachers usually do not have similar stories since they have
very different jobs. A classroom teacher teaches all the subjects to a set number of students
whom they get to know very well and see daily, for most of the day. The music teacher teaches
all of the children in the school the same subject but sees each student for one or two class
periods (usually 40 or 50 minutes) per week. Perhaps the music teacher knows their music
students over many years, if they remain teaching in the same school, but perhaps not. (In the
past five years, I have only had half of my students more than two or three years in a row.)
Classroom teachers of the same grade level can compare strategies daily on how to teach a
specific lesson, how to use a resource, or how to plan a classroom event. Often, classes work
together on projects or go on grade-level fieldtrips. Classroom teachers grade written work
daily, give frequent assessments and communicate regularly with families to discuss student
progress. Music teachers have much less written work but much more time in front of students
teaching. They organize school and grade-level public performances. With the exception of
behavior management strategies, the music teacher and the classroom teacher have much less in
common professionally than classroom teachers.
Music, the other arts and physical education are not part of the curriculum - language
arts, math, science and social studies - which undergo the rigor of high stakes testing. In many
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
instances, music teachers find themselves in the position they are - further from the center of
power and but also further from perceived stress - because of the curriculum they teach. The
classroom teachers who teach in the tested areas and face standardized statewide assessments are
the focus of financial resources and professional development time since their success will be
measured and reported publicly. There are real life consequences if the teacher fails. Ranking of
schools is published in the local newspaper and the scores with teachers’ names are reported to
school districts and school principals. Teachers receive the scores of their students and use these
scores to help them teach more carefully to the test the next year. The hope is that the teacher’s
students will get higher scores the next year so that the school can meet the standards for
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). AYP is an individual state's measure of student improvement
one year over the next. Schools which do not meet AYP face serious consequences. After a
number of years of not meeting AYP, schools can be subjected to on-site investigation, school
closure and staff dismissal (Cochran-Smith, 2005, p.101).
Music teachers do not face these kinds of consequences. Some might say that their work
is very public in the form of concerts. However, there is not a systemic response to an ill-
prepared concert or a performance where four or five students don’t seem to know the words to
the songs. Because of the pressure for measureable success in the general education classrooms,
those classrooms are viewed as the “trenches” of the school where the important work is done.
Funding is given to them first. Classroom teachers have individual budgets, more space and
textbooks for most subjects. Music teachers often receive the funds that are left over or the gifts
of the school’s parent-teacher association. Before the adoption of a music textbook in the mid-
1990s in my current district, music teachers gathered their own materials to teach their
curriculum. When space is an issue in schools, often music and art rooms are re-purposed as
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
general education classrooms. Music and art teachers are therefore relegated to a moving cart
where they must travel to the classrooms of other teachers with whatever materials they can haul.
Stability of school is another issue which affects music teachers differently than
classroom teachers. In my district, music teachers are considered to work for their district, not
for their school. They are not assigned to a specific school building but are part of a district wide
staff which form a cadre teachers to be used as needed to implement the music program across
the school system. My school district uses the term “departmentalized”. Because music teachers
are departmentalized across their school district, they can be moved or re-assigned to different
schools each year. Classroom teachers “own” their building. Unless there is a fluctuation in
student enrollment or an unsatisfactory teacher evaluation, the teacher can usually stay in their
school and in their grade level as long as they chose. Their position is secure. This is
guaranteed by the collectively bargained contract between the school district and the teachers
union. An involuntary transfer of a teacher would be grieved by the teachers union which would
entitle the teacher to a special hearing which would decide if the contract had been broken when
the teacher was moved between schools without a just cause (PCCS-PCEA Master Agreement,
p.30). Music teachers can be moved every year to any number of buildings (often two or three)
because we are departmentalized. Music teachers are involuntary transferred every year - or
Professional Development
More recently in my current teaching position, I and the other “specials” teachers have
experienced marginalization during semimonthly meetings of the school’s Professional Learning
Community (PLC). “Specials teachers” are those who teach library, physical education, art and
music to students on a rotating schedule once a week. Specials teachers provide release time to
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
classroom teachers for lesson preparation and collaboration. Students benefit by receiving
instruction in each area from a teacher who is especially trained to teach that subject.
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are the means by which all teacher professional
development is provided in my current school district. Kanold, Toncheff, & Douglad (2008)
define a PLC as creating a work environment where teachers improve their knowledge base with
a results-oriented focus on student success. Hord (2009) explains that a PLC is defined by the
three words in its name. It is professional – people are reflective, passionate, committed and
caring. It is focused on learning - teacher learn about teaching and how students learn. It is a
community - a gathering of people who work together with shared meaning and purpose.
“Specials” teachers have no one in school to talk to during PLC time except each other.
Unfortunately, each of the specials teachers has a unique curriculum. The focus of school PLCs
is the curriculum of the state tested areas, student assessment and remediation. The arts-related
curriculum of the special area teachers is never discussed in school PLCs. Music teachers have
their own PLC but these groups are not a PLC as experienced by classroom teachers. Music
teacher PLCs meet much less frequently than school-based PLCs, have members who work in
multiple buildings and lack the day-to-day contact that classroom teachers enjoy. I believe that
the positioning of many music teachers and other “specials” teachers (art, physical education and
media) as outsiders occurs because of the structure of PLCs in our district.
Shifting Positions
This said, the positionality of the music teacher shifts from time to time. Occasionally,
music teachers may find themselves more connected to the other teachers in their school. One of
the biggest issues that music teachers and classroom teachers share is the school wide “Specials
Schedule”. The Specials Schedule determines when the students of each classroom teacher have
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
art, music, physical education and library classes. Thus it determines when the classroom
teachers are without students and have lesson preparation time. This schedule is developed by
all four of the specials teachers at the beginning of the year. At this time, many classroom
teachers advocate for the scheduled times they would like. There is much communication back
and forth. The music teacher is placed at the center of the action. For this short time, the music
teacher exercises some power since they have something which every teacher wants –
convenient specials times. Convenient times include last period on Friday, not all in the morning
and not on Monday (because they are missed on Statutory Holidays), for example. Often these
conveniences are personal preferences on behalf of the classroom teachers.
Another situation when music teachers communicate with all of the staff is assembly and
concert times which are hectic but exciting. Often these concerts have classroom themes and
involve coordination with classroom teachers. The classroom teachers usually are present on the
night of the concert, they assist with communication with families in the weeks leading up to the
event and sometimes rehearse the music program with their students outside music class time.
Beyond the benefit of public performance for students, these night-time performances are one of
the few common projects for music teachers and their classroom colleagues. Outside these
situations, however, classroom teachers often withdraw to their own classrooms and their grade
level colleagues. The position of the music teacher changes and s/he is left to return to the music
In my first years of teaching elementary music, I thought, “Is this just the way it is? Are
my students and their success enough? Can I do anything to change this situation as one
teacher?” I had an opportunity to teach first and second grade following several successful years
as an elementary general music specialist and was able to experience first hand being a member
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
of a teaching team. It was in stark contrast to my experience as the lone elementary music
teacher. This issue was crystallized by one of my students upon hearing I was becoming a
classroom teacher, “Are you excited [Mr. Jackman] to become a real teacher?”

Problem Statement
Elementary music teachers find themselves in a unique position in their school given a
variety of factors beyond their control. This affects the types of communities they are able to
construct as professionals and how they negotiate their varied identities within their school. I
believe there is need for a better understanding of music teachers’ positioning in their school and
how it affects their professional life. Hopefully, this will give a voice to elementary music
teachers within the teaching profession.

Purpose Statement
The purpose of this study is to use the lens of positionality to investigate the professional
lives of elementary general music teachers.

Theoretical Framework
Positionality is a concept which seeks to understand people by their position in relation to
one other and the world. It comes from feminist philosophical research on the nature of women
developed during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The feminist philosopher, Linda Alcoff
explains that the concept of “woman” is firstly “a relational term identifiable only within a
(constantly moving) context” and secondly the position of “woman” can be used a location for
“the construction of meaning” rather than merely the discovery of knowledge” (Alcoff, 1988, p.
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
434). In her collection of essays published in one volume entitled Teaching Positions, Elizabeth
Ellsworth writes about positionality without using the term. The central idea of these essays is
“mode of address” which is borrowed from film studies and asks the question: Who does the
filmmaker think you are? My research questions for this dissertation, asked of the elementary
music teacher, essentially are getting at “Who do you think you are? Who do the other teachers
think you are?” Kezar and Lester (2010) clarify that positionality has three main components: 1)
multiple, shifting overlapping identities, 2) power relations, and 3) context or situatedness.
The encompassing nature of the construct of positionality is useful for my investigation
of the lives of elementary general music teachers. My reading of the literature related to the lives
of teachers, and more specifically elementary general music teachers, found many different
words which were the focus of the studies. Keywords that surfaced included isolation,
alienation, and their antonyms - community and connection. A duality appeared – the teacher
was isolated or not, feeling part of the group or not. The term positionality, when first suggested,
was unfamiliar to me but the richness of the term and all that it involves has served very useful
as a way to thinking about my complex topic - the lives of a group of people, a subculture of
music educators. Positionality allows for greater complexity than the duality of isolation or
community and I believe will help me to uncover the realities of teaching elementary general
music in today’s schools.

Graphic Representation

Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011

Figure 1: A game of chess: Taking a position

Figure 2: A second game of chess: Shifting positions
My graphic representation is inspired by Alcoff’s (1998) analogy of a chessboard to
describe the external forces within which the concept of women is situated. “The external
situation determines the person's relative position, just as the position of a pawn on a chessboard
is considered safe or dangerous, powerful or weak, according to its relation to the other chess
pieces” (p. 433). Figures 1 and 2 were created as a graphic representation of the positionality
lens, which I will use in the investigation of the lives of elementary general music teachers. On
the chess board there are eight figures: a sea captain, a Viking, a box, Eifel Tower 1, a child
skier, a yellow sailor, a Christmas figure, and Eifel Tower 2. Each figure has the same eight
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
figures but they are in different positions. Imagine that the figures all move in unique ways like
the pieces on a chessboard.
The choice of a chessboard is one way to think about a school and how the different
people and routines/rules within a school play out. A day at school could be thought of as a
game of chess. All of the pieces of chess (e.g. the pawn, the Bishop, the Queen) move in their
own way and are physically unique. They have different effects and are in different positions of
power depending on their position on the chessboard. The figures in this model are different
sizes, colors and with different associations (the red figure is a Christmas ornament, the child is
skiing, for example) and represent the many differences that exist between individual teachers. I
added non-life like figures (the Eifel towers and the box) to represent situations that the pieces
(the people) interact with. If one imagines each of the model figures having rules of movement
such as the captain can only takes two steps forward at a time (just as the pawn only moves one
space forward, backwards or sideways), one could imagine how people in a school negotiate
their day depending on their relationship with one another, the nature of the issue and who, of the
people involved, exert the greatest authority.
Two different photos of the same eight figures on the same chessboard allow one to think
of how people feel and behave differently within different environments. The figures look
different to the viewer depending on where they are placed. Like people, the figures influence
each other differently depending on their proximity to each other.

Plan of Research
Research Questions
1. In what position do music teachers see themselves in their school?
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
2. How do music teachers build community?
3. How do music teachers negotiate their varied identities within their school?

Overview of Method
The design of this study is based on a collective case study model (Stake, 1995).
In this model, several cases (in this setting, elementary general teachers) are studied together
which may or may not have common characteristics. “They are chosen because it is believed
that understanding them will lead to better understand and perhaps better theorizing about a still
large collection of cases (Stake, p. 446). The individual teachers surveyed and interviewed in
my study will all be elementary general music teachers alike and unalike in many ways.
However, by interviewing these subjects I hope to answer the overarching questions of the
position of the elementary music teacher in the school, how music teachers build community and
how they navigate various identities in their professional lives.
The setting for this study in a public school district in a large metropolitan area in
the US Midwest. All of the teachers’ interviews will be elementary general music teachers in my
current school district where I also teach elementary general music. Data collection will occur
between June and November of 2011. Selection of teachers will be selected based on response
to an emailed Boomerang survey about teachers’ feeling and job conditions (See Appendix A).
Boomerang is free, open source survey website that is easy to set up, easy for respondents and
collects the data immediately and automatically for the researcher. The potential pool of
respondents range in age from their early thirties to late fifties with a range of teaching
experience between eight and 30 years. The range of experience of teaching music at the
elementary level is six to 25 years.
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
The participants will be interviewed using a pre-planned interview guide (see Appendix
B) which will be audiotaped. Interview questions are specifically related to the research
questions outlined above. The interviews will be transcribed and a copy of the transcript sent to
each participant to ensure that the interview has captured the teachers’ views and opinions
accurately. Participations will be asked to confirm via email or regular US mail that the
transcripts accurately portrayed their responses.

This study is an investigation of the lives of elementary general music teachers using
interview data provided by elementary music teachers in one school district. It does not
generalize to all elementary general music teachers or all music teachers in general.

Plan for Remaining Chapters
Chapter II of this document is a review of related literature on positionality and the nature
of the working lives of elementary music teachers. Chapter III is a detailed discussion of the
research methodology. The second half of this dissertation will include a detailed description of
each case (teacher), a discussion of the research findings, conclusions, and implications for
future research.

Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011

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Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011

Email Survey Invitation and Questions (Boomerang, online)

Dear Elementary Music Colleagues:

As you know, I am enrolled in a doctoral program in Music Education at Teachers College,
Columbia University in New York. I have been in this degree program since coming to PCCS in
2005. I am finally at the dissertation stage.

I am looking for 4 to 5 colleagues who would be willing to sit down with me for a 50-minute
interview. We could meet at a convenient time and location for you. I am able to come to your
school or residence, which ever is easier.

Please complete this email survey if you would consider participating in one of the face-to-face

Thanks so much,



Please answer 1 for very high, excellent, frequently, or strongly agree.
Please answer 5 for very low, extremely poor, almost never, or strongly disagree.

Q1. How would you rate your relationships with teachers in your school who are not music

Q2. How would you describe the work environment in your school?

Q3. How would you rate your relationships with the other elementary music teachers in the

Q4. How often are you required to form PLC’s with those who do not teach music but teach the

Q5. How would you rate these PLC’s that are formed with teachers who do not teach music?

Q6. Do you feel respected in your school?

Q7. Are you collaborative?

Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011

Interview Protocols

Teacher’s position within the institution (school)

In what position do music teachers see themselves in their school?

Interview questions which address this research question:

1. Tell me about your relationships with your colleagues in your school.

2. Do these relationships change depending on the situation or time of year?

3. How would you describe the work environment in your school?
4. How did your school get to be the way it is? What factors are at play?
5. In what ways are people supportive of each other?
6. What kinds of activities go on within classrooms and outside classrooms where teachers
work together? How much planning is involved? Tell me about these events or lessons.
7. Does the way the school or school district delivers music instruction (for example, length
of each music class) affect your position in your school?
8. Does the music teacher weekly schedule affect your position in your school?
9. How does the allocation of financial resources affect relationships between teachers in
your building?

10. How does the creation of the school schedule for planning time (when classroom
teachers have music, art, gym and library) affect teacher relationships?

11. How does allocation of support staff (office assistants, teachers aids) affect
relationships between teachers in your building?

12. How does the physical layout, of the school affect relationships between teachers?

13. How does the school organization (grades, split grades) affect relationships between

14. How do outside influences (e.g. Parent-Teacher Association, our teachers union) affect
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
relationships between teachers?

15. How does the style of leadership of the principal affect relationships between teachers?

16. Do you have friends at school?
Teacher position in the profession (Teacher choice)

How do music teachers build community?

Interview questions which address this research question:

17. Tell me about your relationship to other music teachers in your school district.

18. Tell me about your relationships with other teachers in your school or in your school
district who teach non-music “specials” – art, library, physical education?

19. Tell me about your relationships with other teachers in your school or in your school
district who teach a regular classroom?

20. How often do you get to have professional discussions with other music teachers in a
Professional Learning Community (PLC)?

21. Describe the PLC time that you have with music colleagues.

22. How often are you required to form PLC’s with those who do not teach music but teach
the “specials” – physical education, the art teachers, drama teachers, the “left over” people?

23. How often are you required to form PLC’s with those who teach a regular classroom?

24. Tell me about these PLC’s that are formed with teachers who do not teach music.

Music Teacher Identity

How do music teachers negotiate their varied identities within their school?

Interview questions which address this research question

25. What kind of input do you have on decisions that are made in your school?
26. Tell me about the kinds of decisions that you make which affect your own teaching
Sean Jackman Advanced Proposal Summer 2011
27. What would
you say is one of your best qualities as a teacher?
28. What is something in your teaching that you continue to work on?
29. Do you feel respected in your school?
30. Do you see yourself as a leader in your school?
31. Do you see yourself as a leader among other music teachers in your school district?
32. Do you believe others see you as a leader?
33. What would other teachers say about you?
34. Are you collaborative?
35. Do you feel happy to come to work most mornings? Does this change during the day?
What was happening when you began to feel upset or frustrated?

36. Does your position at school affect your ability to do your job well?

! (#!
Review of Literature for Arts & Humanities (Music) 5031
Teachers College, Columbia University

Teacher Discourse in the Classroom
May 2010
Sean Jackman

Instructional discourse is defined as any dialogue involving a teacher within a rehearsal
(Reed & Schallert, 1993) with the exclusion of announcements and extended organizational
directions. The topic of instructional discourse is of interest across all domains of teaching since
responsibilities for most teachers include talking or writing for at least a portion of their day.
The information that has been learned in general education and music education could
inform my study of the in-class discourse of elementary music teachers. I have decided to use
the following categories to organize the studies of teacher discourse in this review. The
categories of studies were created according to the teaching contexts: English as a Second
Language (ESL) classrooms (college and adult learning settings), college teaching, K-12 public
school teaching (all subjects in general, math and science), pre-service teacher education (not in
music), and pre-service teacher education (music teacher education).

English as a Second Language Teaching
Clifton (2006) analyzed the naturally occurring in-class discussion of three professional
adults in an evening French course (90 minutes weekly). In this study, which occurred between
1999 and 2001 at a language school in the north of France, the same instructor had worked with
the same students.
Clifton is interested in how language teachers can break away from the Initiate-Respond-
Follow up (IRF) sequence that is common in many types of classrooms (teacher initiates, student
responses, teacher follows up with critique). Clifton proposes that the teacher should act as a
facilitator where some of the power of the teacher is relinquished to the students thus providing a
richer environment for student learning. In this case, the third step of the IRF pattern can be
adopted by another student who may direct the conversation elsewhere. The student then has the
option of responding to his or her peers or launching into a related topic. Through this process,
the learner is empowered as a member of the class and occasional leader.
Clifton outlines three specific types of facilitator speech that can assist students and can
be used in the third section of the IRF sequence. “Back channeling” is a comment or remark that
will assist the student if they are struggling and also help them to return to flowing speech.
“Referential questions” are ones to which the questioner does not know the answer but which
stimulate the conversations and encourages the learner to think of the problem at hand. Clifton
labels the third type of assistance “co-authoring the narrative” where the facilitator adds to the
story of the learner without taking over the conversation.
There are four benefits to the facilitator model which Clifton outlines: 1) students
become involved and share responsibility for the success of the class, 2) the facilitator can
encourage the student to expand his/her ideas, 3) once the student has taken the lead, he/she may
address needs or concerns in the class which the teacher was unaware of and 4) once the student
has taken the lead, the facilitator can then support through gestures or confirming verbiage such
as, “Yes, I see,” or provide other positive feedback. In each case, the student and the facilitator
are in positions of shared decision making.
The details with which this transcript is studied is telling for educators who might benefit
from more careful study of the short verbal interactions that happen in classrooms daily and are
important to maintaining a positive classroom atmosphere.
In a similar study of teacher talk and classroom interactions, Walsh (2002) studied eight
experienced English as Second Language (ESL) teachers and their students. Each teacher
recorded two 30-minute lessons. The only guidelines given were that the activity be teacher-
fronted and that there were examples of teacher-learner interaction.
Walsh’s analysis of the transcripts showed that teachers vary in the amount and quality of
their talk during classes and thereby “construct or obstruct student success.” Walsh identified
the following characteristics of teacher speech that construct student success in their search for
language fluency: short and precise error detection statements, positive feedback, minimal
checking for clarification or confirmation, use of extended wait time and scaffolding (filling in
the gaps as quickly and unobtrusively as possible to support the student and continue the
Walsh advises ESL teachers to control their use of language in the classroom and think of
it as they would an instructional activity – with specific pedagogical purpose. These ideas have
implications as well for teacher training programs which the researcher suggests need to focus
more on teacher language as a key to maximizing student involvement and achievement.
An Australian study of teacher talk in an ESL reading class of college-aged students by
Wilson (2008) expanded the work of Clifton (2006). In the background section of the article,
Wilson explains that she is committed to the partnership of student and teacher where students
are led to construct their own meaning without being lectured to by the teacher. Her dialogue
perspective is based on the work of Vygotsky (1978/1934) and Bakhtin (1994) in which meaning
is created by: 1) “listening” intently to the texts, 2) “taking ownership” of the ideas and
information and 3) “externalizing,” that is, entering into the dialogue (p. 367). In additional to
the features of facilitator talk as outlined by Clifton (2006), Wilson identifies additional
strategies to assist student: 1) creating seamless classroom management, 2) re-focusing students
on the text and 3) offering sensitive feedback. In closing, Wilson provides a compromise for
those who might be concerned that there is only the facilitator model of teacher in the classroom.
“Teachers need flexibility to move between roles and to use hybrid patterns of discourse to
channel and stimulate student learning (p. 374).
All three of these researchers worked in classes were students were learning to acquiring
English language skills. In each case, the openness of the teacher to the needs of the teacher was
paramount. How the teacher speaks to students, how and when the teacher respond to students
and how they evaluate student speech are important components of teacher discourse which help
to create a positive classroom atmosphere and lead to student success.
Other studies have been conducted which investigate the nature of classroom teacher talk
and classroom discussion in higher education. While the focus in some instances is not
specifically on the teacher, the nature of the instructor language described in these studies sheds
light on the issue of teacher talk in the classroom.

College Teaching
In a survey of 30 professors and 579 of their students enrolled in a variety of
undergraduate courses at a large state university in the northeast, Nunn (1996) studied teacher
talk. The faculty survey and the student surveys contained similar items and were in a 5-point
Likert-type format. Questions centered on 16 perceived discussion-related teaching techniques,
for example use of student ideas and humor. Classroom observations were also conducted for
each of the 20 faculty members (one 40 minute class) during one 14-week semester.
The results of the study showed that student talk occupied only about one minute of the
40-minute classes, although there was a great amount of variability between classes. For
examples, two faculty members spent 20% to 23% of the time in student participation (p.250).
Only one quarter of students participated in classroom discussion on average while the remainder
of the students remained silent. Again, there was a huge range between classrooms with one
class having no participation and four classes having 40 to 63% of the students participating. (p.
251). The data failed to show a strong relationship between classes size and participation as had
been shown in earlier studies (Auster & MacRone, 1994; Crawford & MacLeod, 1990).
Three of the most frequently used teaching techniques of the 16 discussion –related
techniques were: teacher questions (440 during all observed classes), rhetorical questions (392
during all observed classes), and teacher asks for elaboration of student question or answer (201
during all observed classes). The three least used techniques were, teacher saying, “That’s
wrong” (8 occurrences), using student ideas (11 occurrences) and correcting wrong answers (12
As the researcher expected from her review of the literature, faculty were more positive
than negative in their interactions with students. Student and faculty survey responses showed
similar views on such factors as the importance of humor, praise and creating a supportive
environment. Every faculty and student respondent believed that classes should involve some
student participation (97%) (p.256).
Nunn offers several avenues for future research including investigation of: 1) why faculty
considered they are less effective as discussion leaders than teachers in general, 2) why the
majority of students remain silent during class discussions and 3) the nature of training students
require to improve their classroom discussion skills.
Another study of teacher discourse focused on two specific aspects of teacher talk –
teacher clarity and teacher immediacy. Chesebro & McCroskey (1998) defined clarity as, “The
degree of perceived physical or psychological closeness between people. They defined clarity of
instruction as being able to get ones information across so students can easily comprehend it (p.
451). Chesebro & McCroskey found that teacher clarity and teacher immediacy together had a
positive affect on student’s ability to learn by reducing learner apprehension (in this study termed
receiver apprehension). This affect was much stronger than either clarity or immediacy alone.
The researchers recruited 359 undergraduate students at a large Mid-Atlantic University
to participate. Students were asked to read one of eight scenarios, respond to an apprehension
measure and finally indicate their opinions about the manipulations in the scenarios (e.g.
immediate/non-immediate teaching). The eight scenarios included all possible combinations of
variables. An example of a scenario with all “low” conditions of each variable is, “This course is
a lecture which is not a core requirement for your degree (low importance), the teacher rarely
makes eye contact (low immediacy) and the lecture is difficult to follow since the instructor
mumbles (low clarity) (p. 451). Another scenario used the “high” conditions of each variable
where the course was required (high importance), the instructor was engaging (high immediacy)
and the lecture was easy to follow (high clarity). All eight possibilities combinations using these
variables were used to create the scenarios.
While reading each scenario, students were asked to respond using the A-State anxiety
measure (Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1968). This five-item Likert type instrument
measured the degree to which students felt anxious when learning from a specific teacher.
Students completed a manipulation check after they completed the anxiety measure to assess the
effective of the manipulations used in the written scenarios. For example, for the immediacy
items, the researchers used “immediate/non-immediate” and unapproachable/approachable.”
Analysis of the data found that clear teacher and immediate teacher had students with
significantly lower apprehension scores. Those who material was deemed more important
received higher apprehension scores than did with less important material. Recommended future
research included conducting a study in a real classroom with real situations (not written
scenarios) and examining actual learning outcomes in addition to student anxiety.
A doctorial dissertation by Sandidge (2007) surveyed 500 students on the use of
classroom discussion as an instructional method at a predominately African-American institution
of higher learning near Washington, D.C. The thirty-nine point items on the survey used a Likert
scale and asked students to evaluate their instructors with a particular emphasis.
Results showed that students’ perceptions do affect student learning. Students reported
that often classroom discussion were boring or nonexistent. The study suggests that student
perceptions are important since they indicate there may be a relationship between classroom
discussion and student learning. Also, they provided feedback to the teacher on the quality of
classroom discussions. The researcher found that classroom discussion might aid in reducing
classroom fatigue, enhance student learning and help teachers plan better classroom discussions.
An extensive literature review of college participation across disciplines by Rocca (2010)
sheds light on the nature of teacher discourse and the kinds of speech that are most favorable
from teachers and professors. A thorough review of academic journals covering college-aged
students was reviewed (excluding dissertations, conference papers and book reviews).
Rocca uses a working definition of student participation as “asking questions, raising
one’s hand and making comments (p.188).” Rocca brings together information that has been
gathered through research about the benefits of participation, logistical issues in participation,
student confidence and personality, the teacher’s influence on and suggests for increasing
participation, the role of sex in classroom participation and participation in courses that are web-
based or partially web-based.
A major factor which was discussed was class size. As one might think, professors and
students reported in a variety of studies that smaller class sizes encouraged participation while
larger classes did not. One suggestion to counteract this was using small group discussion and
tutorials as part of whole class meetings (Sprecher & Pocs, 1987). Of particular interest in the
section on the teacher’s role in encouraging in-class participation is the work of Wade (1994).
She found that the primary reason students do not participate might be the instructor - more
specifically, if the teacher ignores the students, makes fun of them, puts them down or is overly
Other researchers found results similar to those of Wade (1994). Kearney, Plax, Hays,
and Ivey (1991) found that offensive behaviors such as using sarcasm and putdowns and using
verbal abuse had a negative impact on student learning. Berdine (1986) found that moody,
opinionated, push and condescending instructors were likely to have trouble encouraging
classroom participation. Meyers and Rocca (2000) noted that students became defensive when
professors challenged them and often considered that the teacher was looking down upon them
when this happened. This led to a decrease in student participation in class.
Alternatively, other researchers found that positive discourse combined with a friendly
disposition and humor encourages students to be involved in class. Kelly (1989), Wade (1994)
and Nunn (1996) found that instructors must be analytical but respectful and offer student praise.
Although not a study, Smith’s (1996) reflection of his own 30-year career in higher
education revealed strategies which improved his teaching. These strategies included being
more patient when answering questions, increasing wait time, using small group discussions and
learning students’ names. Although there was no data collected, Smith reported anecdotally that
his implementation of these strategies improved student participation and increased the number
of positive comments on his end-of-the-semester course evaluations from students.
In addition to the studies discussed above regarding traditional classrooms, web-based
classes (or ones that are partially web-based) have been studied since the mid-1990s. Since the
context of this learning situation is so different than traditional face-to-face classes, Rocca (2010)
emphasizes that it is important to study both environments and how they may interact with one
another. In on-line learning situations, there is often no verbal discourse, but two researchers
found that courses in which instructors modeled participation by posting on-line comments more
often tended to have more student participation (Mazzolini & Maddison, 2003).
Undergraduate communication majors (N= 233) were surveyed by Frisby and Martin
(2010) in an attempt to examine instructor rapport with students and rapport between students in
their classes. Participants were evenly spread throughout all four years of the degree program.
They reported on 127 male instructors and 106 female instructors. Of the participants, 203
reported on instructors they had only had for one semester.
Students reported on their perceived rapport with the instructors and with classmates and
how that was related to classroom connectedness. The researchers found that instructor rapport,
student rapport and classroom connectedness enhanced student participation. The researchers
found that the teacher was one of the most important factors in creating a classroom that was
most conducive to student learning.
One of the questions from the student survey was, “My instructor has/have a good sense
of humor (p.153).” As in previous studies, humor is considered an important part of the
instructor’s personality. A second survey statement also provided insight into the
characteristics of the teacher – “My instructor/classmates create (s) a feeling of “warmth” in our
relationship (p. 153). Several behaviors have been suggested to have a dual purpose of building
rapport and encouraging participation such as using students’ names, asking probing questions
and positive nonverbal behavior such as smiling (Auster & MacRone, 1994; Crombie et al.,
2003). As an aside, Mottet, Beebe, Raffeld, and Medlock (2004) found that such an environment
might leave the instructor feeling more satisfied and rewarded as well. A limitation of this study
is that the students’ perceptions are being surveyed without any behavioral observations. The
study is about perceived rapport (and the accompanying classroom discourse) which opens a
point for further research in this type of teaching and learning setting.

K-12 Public School Teaching
A collection of studies has examined teacher discourse in a variety of settings throughout
the public school system. Although there are many subject areas described here, there are
common findings regarding the nature of teacher discourse in public school classrooms.
A case study of two middle school mathematics teachers focused on the effectiveness of
implementing cooperating learning activities where they had not existed previously. Webb,
Nemer and Ing (2006) worked with two teachers who each taught half of the six 7th grade
mathematics classes at an urban middle school in metropolitan Los Angeles. Three units of
instruction were covered throughout the cooperative learning study: 1) multiplication with
decimals, 2) fractions and 3) percentages. The researchers studied the effect of this program on
teacher and student discourse in classrooms utilizing group learning.
Both teachers participated in seven half or full day professional development on teaching
using group learning. Students were taught about rules for working in groups and behavioral
expectations for group members as a part of their daily mathematics instruction. Although this
study focused on discussion in the classroom (the talk of students and teachers), there are several
interesting feature of teacher discourse. The teachers provided procedures, calculations with no
real numbers or answers only. They taught by setting up problems but only engaged students in
“filling in the blanks.” They rarely encouraged students to think aloud or to formulate questions.
Here, the students were observed to be passive receivers of the transmitted knowledge of the
teacher. Not surprisingly, when working in groups, students mimicked the talk of their teacher in
providing help to peers.
Strengths of this work are that the researchers included transcripts and analysis of
classroom discussion. A limitation of this study is that it involved only two teachers and their
students which cannot be generalized to other mathematics classrooms.
A comprehensive paper by Webb (2009) surveyed four decades of literature focusing on
the role of the teacher in promoting effective student behavior during group learning throughout
many age levels (K -12). More specifically, she reported on studies that focused on the role of
teacher discourse in the group, how students can learn from peers and how teachers can prepare
students for group work.
This literature review included articles that described several aspects of the teacher role
including preparing students to work in groups, forming groups, formulating students task in the
group and influencing student discussion in the group through teacher discourse in student
groups and the whole class. Special attention was given to studies regarding teacher
questioning. Common threads through the surveyed research include the importance of having
students explain their thinking and the teacher strategies that can be used to promote student
elaboration of ideas. Some example of these strategies were extracted from Gilles (2006):
challenging students to provide reasons, highlighting inconsistencies in student thinking,
prompting student to focus on particular issues and asking tentative questions to suggest
alternative perspectives.
Although this article focuses on research studies about group learning, much of the
information gathered includes teacher discourse. Webb (2009) proposes a variety of avenues for
future research including: 1) teachers’ knowledge of when they should intervene into group
dialogue, 2) teachers’ indirect influences on groups, 3) how teacher beliefs influence groups, 4)
teachers and students reciprocal influence on each other, and 5) how specific features of the
classroom such as age level of students influence the teacher’s role in promoting collaborative
dialogue. This article is valuable since it is synthesizes much of the available research on group
learning in the K-12 classroom which includes a great amount of examination of teacher
Other studies have focused exclusively on one important type of teacher discourse –
questioning. Harrop and Swinson (2003) state that “the ability to ask appropriate questions is
one of the most important skills of any teacher (p. 49).” The researchers replicated two earlier
studies by Galton et al. in 1980 and 1999 about teacher questioning in classrooms of upper
elementary (junior) grades. Harrop and Swinson included classes at the infant, junior and
secondary school level but found similar results to Galton and his colleagues regarding teacher
In this study, the questions were grouped into one of the following five categories: 1) fact
(one word answer), 2) closed solution (an answer to a question such as “Why is Tom using his
umbrella today?”), 3) open solution (a variety of answers to questions such as “Why do you
think . . .?”), 4) task supervision (“What are you using to measure the length of that object?”) and
5) routine (“Why are you talking to your neighbor?”).
The researchers found closed questions to be the most numerous followed by task
supervision, routine, and finally open questions. This was surprising to them given the age
differences of the students. They had expected that older students would have been engaged by
their teachers in more open-ended questions than younger students. Following their analysis of
the transcript, though, they found that the closed questions provided for deeper reflection than
they had anticipated. They admitted that their expectation of greater use of open-ended
questions with older students was related to their bias that open-ended questions necessarily
command deeper student thinking. On the contrary, they found that closed questions, like open-
ended questions, also allowed for robust self-reflection on behalf of students.
Another study supported the more traditional view of the supremacy of open-ended
questioning although this broader study was not focused on questioning skills specifically as in
the previous study. Dickson (2005) reported on her action research as a fourth grade classroom
teacher over a six-week period. The research questions were: 1) What is the nature of teacher
and student discourse? 2) Was student discourse productive or off-task? and, 3) How did the
teacher encourage or inhibit productive student discourse? The data collection methods were
videotaping, teacher reflection journals, and classroom observation by four research interns.
Analysis of student talk and teacher talk yielded more than 16 categories for each.
Student talk was found to be mostly productive. The most frequent types of teacher talk were:
questioning, responsive talking and encouragement. The teacher-researcher concluded that
asking open-ended question and providing students greater wait time led to more productive
student talk.
Data from hundreds of classroom observations in more than 200 8
- and 9
- grade
English and social studies in classrooms across 25 Midwestern secondary schools was analyzed
by Nystrand et al. (2003). Involved in this study were more than 33,000 student and teacher
questions. This study is important because of the detail of analysis and also the huge number of
classrooms studied.
The researchers drew on the previous work of the Russian scholar Mikhail Bakhtin who
distinguished between monologic and dialogic discourse. In the first type of class activity
(monologic discourse), the teacher talks and students listen or respond to specific test questions.
In the second (dialogic discourse), students and teacher engage in a meaningful discussion which
has been shown by Nystrand in earlier studies (Nystrand, 1997) to contribute to student
Results of the study showed that low track classes have fewer instances, called dialogic
bids, of teacher or student initiating meaningful dialogue and classroom discussion. The
researcher were not interested in blaming students or teachers for this but used the example to
highlight the importance of either teacher or student igniting meaningful classroom discussion.
The researchers call for future investigation of the role of authentic teacher and student questions
and the importance of discourse in learning.
Although these studies in K-12 education occur in many different contexts, a
commonality in each of them regarding teacher discourse is the importance of the teacher as a
guide. He or she is not the holder of knowledge but the person who helps the student construct
his or her own version of the truth. The quality of teacher questioning and teacher discourse in
their interaction with students shows itself to be pivotal to empowering students to be become
more independent thinkers.
The next group of studies is in the setting of teacher education. Students in a pre-service
classroom often undulate between the role of student and teacher. Often these students focus on
classroom discourse where the voice of the instructor (professor) and/or the voices of the
students (soon to be teachers) are studied.

Teacher Education (Not in Music)
A study of 188 British secondary school students ages 11-12 years and six student
teachers (here called trainees) focused on classroom discussion during English lessons with an
emphasis on higher-order thinking skills. This project, supported by the Training and
Development Agency (TDA) of the British government, was supervised by a team of mentors
and a professor at Sussex University. Since this study was set in a school with trainees,
discourse is studied at all levels of the education system (pupil, teacher-trainee, mentor teacher
and university professor-researcher).
In this project, Sutherland (2006) focused on the “how” of classroom discussion.
Trainees gained experience with planning tasks, sustaining group talk, and employing varied
strategies of teacher discourse. The qualitative methods including taping classroom talk before
and after the lessons of the trainees and follow-up interviews with both groups.
In reflecting on their experience in the study, trainees commented on creating lessons that
were a balance of structure and freedom which allowed students to bring their ideas to classroom
conversations. The trainees found that they were most effective when they did not state answers
but allowed students to come to think independently and to reflect on their own learning –
metacognition. Trainees noticed in listening to the tapes that the conversation was “richest”
when the teacher walked away and pupils were not saying what they thought the teacher wanted
them to say. Pupils commented that they felt that students were more “on task” and were more
confident since the interventions. These interventions included specific classroom ground rules,
less teacher intervention, more pupil ownership and use of self-reflection.
An unexpected result was that the mentor teachers reported that they themselves learned
new skills for facilitating effective classroom discussion in their work as coaches (for the
trainees). The mentors reported that they integrated the teaching interventions used in the study
into their own practice. The trainees and their pupils saw the traditional IRE sequence (teacher
questions, student responds and teacher comments on the quality of the response) being replaced
by pupils exhibiting higher level thinking skills and taking increased ownership. “Group talked
forces teachers to relinquish control and allow a space for pupils to ask their own questions –
about questions, reading text and the very nature of English” (p. 113).
A literature review by Andrew, Cobb and Giampietro (2008) focused on the relationship
between verbal ability and teacher effectiveness. Verbal ability, which includes strength of
vocabulary, reading comprehension and analytical skills is related to a teacher’s ability to
instruct, question and lead classroom discussions (quality of teacher discourse). The review was
published in response to the 2002 annual report on teacher quality by Rod Paige, then Secretary
of Education. The conclusion of Andrew, Cobb and Giampietro (2008) was that the
relationship between verbal ability and teacher effectiveness has been overstated. They go on to
say that, while verbal skills such as presenting information and explaining ideas are obviously
important in the skill set of teachers, there are other factors that measure good teaching. Further,
the idea of a direct correlation between verbal scores and teacher effectiveness is false.
The researchers conducted a study at the University of New Hampshire to prove their
point. All of the participants in the New Hampshire study were in the final stage of their
master’s degree program leading to teacher certification which required the completion of a
yearlong internship. The researchers used one quantitative measure, which they argue is a strong
test, to measure verbal ability – the verbal subtest of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE-V).
Teacher effectiveness was measured by university supervisors who were surveyed about their
teacher interns following the internship. This measure failed to show a correlation between
verbal skills and teaching effectiveness.
Results of the study showed a wide range of verbal abilities for teachers who were ranked
good, very good, or outstanding by their supervisor. Many teachers who ended up in the very
good category, for example, would have been screened out of teaching if a single cut score
(GRE–V = 400) had been used. The second lowest median score was found for teachers in the
most outstanding group. However, students ranked acceptable (the lowest ranking) had
relatively low GRE-V scores and the most narrow distribution of scores. On average, the
weakest teachers had the lowest verbal scores but other links between the two could not be made.
This study is significant since it brings to the forefront the importance of measuring the
verbal skills of pre-service teachers but not relying on one test to measure verbal skills or to
predict teacher effectiveness. The researchers concluded that the limitation of standardized tests,
the variation in individuals abilities to score on tests and other human characteristics such as
personality and experience that determine good teaching, make it unreasonable to believe one
verbal test could be definitive. “A system of multiple measures is the only appropriate strategy
for selecting prospective teachers” (p. 353).
A qualitative study by Blanton (2002) focused on classroom discussion as a way to build
the discourse skills of pre-service teachers. Blanton acted as a teacher-researcher in her own
required geometry course taught to undergraduate students in a mathematics teacher education
program. Eleven students participated in the study during which time they shifted between the
following roles: 1) participant in discourse 2) student of the pedagogy of discourse and 3) future
teacher of classroom discourse.
Data was collected through video recordings of the class, students’ analyses of their own
teaching (called the Discourse Analysis Project), one-to one interviews with each student,
student journal and selections of student’s in-class work. Blanton used the construct of classroom
texts (verbal communication) as formulated by Lotman (1998). Lotman postulates two types of
exchanges that can occur in a classroom. In the first, information is sent and received in a
passive way and stored for later use. In contrast, a statement or thought can function as a
“thinking device” that generates new ideas when the receiver questions, validates or rejects the
information. Blanton used two different terms for these related processes coined by Wertsch and
Toma (1995): univocal and dialogic respectively. Combined with Lotman’s view of text is
Vygotsky’s (1978/1934, 1986/1934) sociocultural perspective concerning the importance of
language in human development and the primacy of social interaction built around speech.
Classroom room discussion is vital to classroom life and student growth.
An important part of the students’ work in Blanton’s course was an out-of-class project
called the Discourse Analysis Project (DAP). Students recorded a lesson they taught with a
partner in class and analyzed it for evidence for univocal or dialogic functions of classroom
discourse. This was a key way of helping students develop skills as future architects of their own
classroom discourse.
Central to Blanton’s work is a lengthy transcript and analysis of classroom discourse that
had gone on about half way through the semester after students had completed their DAPs. This
portion of the study is a window into how teachers can foster classroom discussion where there is
a healthy balance of univocal and dialogic discourse. Similar to the findings of Sutherland
(2006), Blanton demonstrated through her transcripts how she was able to lead her students to
the answer without telling in the content area while modeling the art of effective teacher
discourse. Blanton, from her experience in this study, suggests that pre-service secondary
teachers can explore content along with pedagogy in a mathematics course (as opposed to a
methods courses), which may lead to more reform-minded teaching.
Another study of classroom discourse looked at online discussion groups in a pre-service
teacher education course at a large public university in the western United States. Wade and
Sauske’s (2004) action research studied online class discussion that was part of a diversity
education course. All of the 29 participants had completed student teaching and were
prospective secondary teachers. Their majors were from a variety of subjects including music
The lead author, Wade, was the instructor for the course. She and Sauske analyzed the
transcripts resulting from required student participation in the computer-mediated discussion
(CMD). In analyzing the data, Wade and Sauske used Gee’ s (1999) understanding of discourse
analysis. Gee (1999) presented the notion of “building tasks” which describe how people make
sense of the language of their daily interactions with others. These tasks are: 1) semiotic
building (using cues to gain understanding), 2) world building (using cues to understand what is
being considered reality), 3) activity building (using cues to understand the activities that are
going on), 4) sociocultural situated identity and relationship building (using cues to understand
personal and institutional relationships), 5) political building (using cues to understand power
and status) and 6) connection building (using cues to understand coherence between people and
The researchers found that the online speech of the students could be sorted into seven
categories. The first three categories showed students as inclusive and supportive: supporting,
perspective- taking and inquiring. The next two reflected students’ critical view of themselves
or others: self-questioning and challenging. A small number of student comments were
nonsupporting and the final category that emerged was posturing (assuming the role of authority
by using technical language to separate oneself from the student group) (p.160).
A strength of the report was a microanalysis of an extended excerpt by an instrumental
music education major, Matt. Matt commented on a case in which a Native American student
dropped out of school band and dropped out of school once he was “challenged” by a classmate.
(“Challenged” is a process by which any member of a band can play off against the first chair
player in order to win the first chair position.) Each “stanza” of Matt’s text was analyzed and
categorized. Matt’s assertion of expertise (as an instrumental music major), display of
knowledge (having taken one course in Native American studies) and assertion of power were
highlighted. His classmates’ responses and the meanings of those interactions were also
explained in detail.
The findings of the study were that the majority of student comments were positive,
personalized and supportive. The researchers also found that the comments of both genders
contained elements of both feminine and masculine characteristics. They recommend that future
research questions center on the amount of power which the professor could relinquish to
students, circumstances under which the instructor should intervene in student conversations and
the role of silence in online dialogues.
Many of the findings on the topic of teacher discourse in teacher education support the
research in the specialized context of music teaching and learning. There is a smaller body of
literature that has been done in music classrooms which focus on teacher discourse.

Teacher Education (Music Education)
Freer’s (2003) dissertation analyzed the relationship between teacher discourse and
student experience during middle school choral rehearsals. Participants included two choral
directors from two middle schools and their 88 students. Data was collected during five
consecutive rehearsals, through student reflective journals (which were completed following
each rehearsal), researcher field notes and interviews with the teachers.
Teacher discourse was analyzed for scaffolding and non-scaffolding language (language
that support previous student learning and builds upon it) and how that language was used within
complete sequential units of instruction. Sequential units contain the teacher presentation of a
task, student interaction with that task and/or the teacher and teacher feedback related to the task
(Price, 1992). Results showed that scaffolding language was used during 25 percent of total
instruction. The most common statements were asking student to take responsibility for their
own learning (23%) and task-based support (22%). The ratio of positive to negative teacher
reinforcement was almost 3:1. Students had a greater sense of comfort and achievement with
increased use of teacher scaffolding.
An interesting finding of the study is that analysis of the transcripts showed that the
teachers gave more responsibility for learning to the eighth graders compared with the seventh
graders but the teachers perceptions reported in the interviews was the opposite. In summary,
the study found a positive relationship between scaffolding, complete sequential units of
instrument and the quality of student experience.
An earlier study, also in the choral classroom, focused on motivation. While teacher
discourse was not the focus in this study, elements of motivation are related to teacher discourse.
Stamer (1999) used the framework of Madeline Hunter’s theory of motivation to create a 24-
statement survey containing five of Hunters’ variables. These were: 1) director/student
attention, 2) knowledge of results, 3) interest, 4) task achievements and 5) level of concern
(p.26). The survey was administered to 472 high school choir students from eight large high
The researcher discussed the results in decreasing order of importance as reflected in the
survey results. The most important variable was director/student attention. Students were most
appreciated and had the most positive experience when the teacher encouraged, congratulated
and acknowledged accomplishment. The second result was providing specific feedback and
strategies for improvement. Third was providing interesting repertoire that was presented in an
exciting way, was shown to connect to previous studied repertoire and related to other topics
important to students. The fourth and fifth variable were seen by students as not motivating.
Students reported that selecting repertoire that was too easy (“task achievement”) frustrated them
and did not motivate them. Raising the “level of concern” by tying singing success to grades or
competitions also was not motivating. The researcher also commented on the positive results he
had found in the classroom with involving students in finding ways that could motivate the class.
Another study found that teachers talked too much in the elementary general music class.
Wang and Sogin (1997) studied the difference between actual time on-task and the self-reports of
time on-task of general music teachers. Forty-five elementary general music teachers attending a
one-day Orff-Schulwek workshop were surveyed. In addition, 19 of these same teachers were
observed and videotaped in their own classrooms for approximately two lessons each (one hour
total time). Observational procedures were modeled after Madsen and Madsen (1981).
Students’ activities that were observed included reading, listening, singing and playing; teacher
activities included talking or modeling.
Findings were that teachers’ own estimate of time spent on each activity was greater than
the actual time. For example, teachers reported that singing occurred for over half of the lesson
while it was only observed on average of 18.75% of the time. The researchers noted that, “The
amount of teacher talking seems to be excessively high, especially when one considered the fact
that when the teacher is talking, the students are not engaged in active music making” (p. 453).
They were also disappointed to find the number of statements of positive reinforcement were
few. Automatic responses such as “good” were used as a means of closure to activities and were
not seen by the researchers to be an appropriate use of specific praise or encouragement.
A body of literature exists regarding teacher effectiveness in music education. The
connection to teacher discourse is indirect but important. One study by Madsen (2003)
examined whether accuracy and delivery of teacher instruction and student attentiveness would
affect the perception of teacher effectiveness. Participants were 168 musicians who ranged from
middle school age to experienced teacher. They viewed and evaluated a videotape of eight
teaching segments for teaching effectiveness. The eight, videotaped segments were created to
isolate combinations of variables – accurate/inaccurate instruction, high/low teacher delivery and
on-task/off-task student behavior.
Results showed that the secondary students rated a teacher effective as long as the
delivery was high and the students were on-task, even if the instructions were inaccurate.
All participants paid more attention to the delivery of the teacher more than any other variable.
Experienced teachers attended more to accuracy of instruction than other participant groups and
middle school students attended to student attentiveness more than other participants. This
speaks to the importance of the manner in which teachers say what they say.
Two years later, Madsen and Cassidy (2005) studied the difference between pre-service
and experienced observations of a videotaped, elementary music lesson. Here the results from
the previous study contradicted the ones from 2003. Most of the comments of the observers of
the video in the 2005 study commented on the accuracy of teacher instruction while the least
number of comments were made about teacher delivery. Here participants’ responses indicate
that what the teacher had to say was more important than how they said it. Certainly these two
attributes of teacher talk are intertwined and an important factor in effective classrooms. Both of
these studies led by Madsen (Madsen, 2003; Madsen and Cassidy, 2005) point to the importance
of the quality of teacher discourse.
Teachout (1997) randomly surveyed pre-service (N=35) and experienced teachers (N=35)
with a forty-statement questionnaire to investigate the teacher skills and behaviors important to
be successful in the first three years of teaching. The researchers gathered the items for the
questionnaire by surveying pre-service teachers, searching the research literature and asking five
“expert” music teachers for their opinions. Of the ten top items, seven were common to both
groups. Analysis also showed that personal and teaching skills were ranked significantly more
important than musical skills. The researcher emphasized that music teacher education programs
should align their curriculum and instruction with findings from studies such as this.
Four of the forty items in the questionnaire were directly related to teacher discourse: 6)
have a pleasant affect: sense of humor, 14) employ a positive approach, 24) have excellent
speaking skills (diction, tonal inflection, vocabulary and 34) be able to present a lesson with
clarity (p.44). Other items, some of them in the top seven items, such as “Display confidence,”
and “Employ a positive approach, “ could also be related to discourse depending on the
perspective of the participant.
Duke & Henninger (2002) focused on one particular aspect of music teacher discourse –
teachers’ verbal corrections. The researchers used two videotaped private lessons to obtain third
party observers’ opinions regarding two contrasting ways of teaching. All 51 participants were
pre-service music teachers from The Ohio State University, Columbus or The University of
Texas at Austin. In one lesson, the teacher only gave directive statements (specific directions to
change some aspect of the music on a subsequent trial) and in a second lesson, the same teacher
only gave verbal corrections expressed as negative feedback with a direction to play again.
Participants were asked to complete a ten-item questionnaire about the lesson. Both
lessons received highly positive ratings. When asked to cite differences between the lessons, few
participants noted any aspect of the teacher feedback. Although this was a surprise for the
researchers, the researchers surmised that this was because the lesson was taught by an
experienced teacher where the student received feedback frequently, had multiple opportunities
to “try again” and eventually was successful.
Teacher discourse is a broad topic and more research has been done outside of the field of
music education than inside. The research in general education is certainly informative of the
practices of teachers and it’s impact on students and classroom environments. Talking is one of
the main activities of a teacher. The extant research in our field will act as a springboard for my
work on teacher discourse in the elementary music room. The discourse of the teacher, which in
many cases determines students’ learning and comfort level in the music room, is an important
topic and worthy of further investigation.


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Three Letters of Reference: B. Younker,
H. Abeles, S. Kelty