Gender Research in Music Education
Volume 16 (December, 2007)
In this issue:
1. Note from the Editor, Vince Bates
2. Message from MENC Gender SRIG Chair & GRIME Co-Chair–Kate McKeage
3. Message from GRIME International Co-Chair, Elizabeth Keathley
4. Research Reports
4:1. Research Abstract, Kay Kleineman
4:2. Publications, Jill Sullivan
4:3. Publications & Presentations, Roberta Lamb
5. Bibliographic References, courtesy of Tom Regelski
6. Conference Invitation, from Elizabeth Gould
Thanks to those who submitted information for this issue of the newsletter, including messages from co-chairs, Kate McKeage and Elizabeth Keathley, both of whom provide timely suggestions for the future of Gender Research in Music Education. For those of us who could not attend, Keathley’s informative report of FTM9 is especially valuable. Additional contributions include lists from Jill Sullivan and Roberta Lamb of their recent publications and presentations, an abstract from Kay Kleineman for her research article, Women Sing, Women Lead: The Transformation of Identity and Emergence of Leadership in Women Through Voice, a list of bibliographic references for articles dealing with praxis and boys education/music education from Tom Regelski, and a conference announcement from Elizabeth Gould.
Over the summer I was fortunate to be able to attend the 5th International Conference on the Sociology of Music Education in St. Johns, Newfoundland, wonderfully hosted by Brian Roberts. A number of GRIME members participated including Elizabeth Gould, Lori-Anne Doloff, and Adam Adler (published proceeding are in press). The presentations and discussions were engaging, accessible, and useful and it was such an enchanting location for a conference! It was, however, a long ways to travel by plane, but my environmental conscience is clear since I planted more than one tree when I arrived back home. It might be fun to explore the possibilities of “meeting” via the internet more often so that we don’t have to use resources for travel and in order to make the conversation accessible to more folks.
Finally, GRIME members may be interested in the forthcoming 222-page “social justice” issue of ACT; among the authors are GRIME members Elizabeth Gould, Lise Vaugeois, Deborah Bradley,Wayne Bowman, David Elliott, and Patrick Schmidt (co-author with Cathy Benedict). It is noteworthy that many of the authors begin their discussions with an acknowledgement that social justice research in music education is founded upon the work of feminist theorists in music education. There are, consequently and in addition to the articles, some excellent bibliographies related to gender research in music education. ACT is accessible (for free!) at http://act.maydaygroup.org/.
THE FUTURE OF THE GENDER SRIG AND CLOSING THE LOOP
I began my association with GRIME while attending Feminist Theory and Music 6 in 2001. I remember the large crowd that attended the MENC Gender SRIG meeting at the Nashville convention of 2002, where Elizabeth Keathley, Patti O’Toole, and I presented. Since that time attendance at Gender SRIG meetings has been quite thin, even as the research grows. The last meeting in Salt Lake City featured Julia Koza in an interesting and thought provoking presentation and discussion, speaking to a crowd of about 20. As Chair of the MENC portion of GRIME, one of my main tasks is to add the names of interested members to the GRIME list. Although it may appear that our membership is growing, compared to the other SRIGS, it is not.
Why this seeming lack of interest? Are we too divisive, threatening, boring? Are some the issues we discuss too touchy? I recall visiting with GRIME member Colleen Pinar during the MENC poster session in Salt Lake. She was reporting on sexual misconduct among band directors; a timely bit of scholarship, and one I actually share with pre-service students. We had plenty of time to chat as the crowd swirled around. It seemed that her presentation was being studiously avoided. Later that day, during Julie Koza’s presentation one of the participants noted that the people that really needed to hear the discussion were at the vendor booths on the convention floor. Is it possible that MENC is not the proper venue for gender-related discussions?
I’m not certain of the answer here. I do believe the Gender SRIG should be a model for challenging discourse, but also needs to hear all voices. I’m very happy that Vince Bates is the next Chair and I anticipate that he will move things forward. I’m excited that Patti O’Toole will join us as featured speaker in Milwaukee. Her work has been sorely missed in recent years and I look forward to a lively discussion. The title of her session is “The Trouble with Women” and she will speak on relational aggression and her perceptions of the Gender SRIG.
One of the reasons that the Gender SRIG gets so little attention, I believe, is that we have not been able to connect philosophy and research with practice. Have we made that case to our colleagues and students that this research and resultant dialogue impacts current K-16 teaching and learning in music? I’d like to offer the following story as an example of losing the loop.
For six years I made a living playing bass. At a different phase of my career I taught school; K-8 elementary general music, choir, and band. When I moved to college teaching, I performed in the faculty jazz ensemble, taught the bass studio, and elementary methods for music majors. At my university I noticed that there were very few women in our two jazz bands. This was not much different from my experience in college in the 1970s and for several years I just didn’t notice. The reason for the lack of participation was attributed to our department’s ensemble policy. Music education majors had to enroll in assigned ensembles each semester and marching band for four years. Jazz ensembles were not required. I also found that the majority of women in my elementary methods course went on to teach K-6 general music, even if their concentration was instrumental/band. At first I thought that was a good thing; I am drawn to the creativity involved with teaching children. Talking with a number of these women after they had been out in the teaching profession, I found something different. Most of them had chosen not to pursue secondary instrumental jobs because of their lack of experience in a college level jazz band.
I began looking at the problem by talking to undergraduate women music education majors that were very involved in the band program, but had chosen not to participate in jazz. Those conversations led me to look deeper and ultimately discover a new (to me) community of researchers and philosophers in GRIME. I completed several studies on women’s participation in jazz and the results were used as a rationale to change the curriculum and ensemble policy at my university. We added a third jazz ensemble, limited the requirement in marching band for music ed majors to two years, and included all the jazz ensembles in the ‘major’ category. The result was a third jazz ensemble of students, male and female, playing their secondary instruments. The marching band director, faced with the loss of junior and senior music ed majors, initiated a campus-wide recruitment effort. The band grew in size from 125 to around 170, populated mostly by dedicated non-majors rather than cranky music ed majors. It is too early to conclude that the change in policy has an effect on women moving into secondary instrumental band jobs, but 10 of the current members of my elementary methods course are band students and all of them have had college experience in jazz band. Not all of their studio teachers are thrilled with their choices, but at least the department has removed some of the institutional barriers to participation. Attitudes among students persist; several undergraduate women students involved in the jazz program still report feeling like outsiders in their ensembles.
Gender research provided me an opportunity to take a new look at an existing issue. Of course, there is a downside; taking a fresh look can also start some fresh arguments. Curriculum reform may be the easy part.
Hope you can join us in Milwaukee.
MUSIC EDUCATION IN THESE GREAT TIMES
The Viennese satirist Karl Kraus referred to the era of the crumbling Hapsburg monarchy and pointless devastation of World War I as “these great times.” Because both I and the students in my fin-de-siècle Vienna seminar notice present-day parallels to nearly every movement, viewpoint and concern in that milieu, I’ve also come to think of our own fin-de-siècle as “these great times.” We are all so busy trying to do our jobs, assist our students, stop global warming, promote social justice, and love our families, it can be difficult to find the time to share our research on gender and music education, particularly when this work does not tend to receive its due in the academy. But for these very reasons, it is urgent that we do share: GRIME is a community with a common interest, and that interest relates to and bears on all the other projects we undertake and the other issues that concern us. GRIME offers a number of ways to share within and beyond our community: you can begin a discussion on the listserv; submit your best articles to GEMS; write a piece for this newsletter; contribute to the GRIME website; and participate in the Feminist Theory and Music conference every other year.
The importance of our community, of our aims and ideals, is always driven home to me at the GRIME sessions at the biennial international conference, Feminist Theory and Music. At FTM9 at McGill University in Montreal this past June, GRIME was represented by three stimulating papers by Lise Vaugeois, Katherine Sinsabaugh, and Elizabeth Gould in a panel titled, “Space, Voice, and Place: Feminist Theory and Praxis in Music Education.” Lise’s paper, “Claiming Space: Music Education as a Site of Postcolonial Contestation,” began by challenging the “political innocence” of multicultural music education, pointed to its imbrication in past and present colonialist practices, and concluded by suggesting ways that music education might transform itself when we fully acknowledge our historical and political “locatedness.” Katherine’s paper, “Through Music: Helping Girls and Boys Find Their Voices,” stated that adolescents of all genders in her study of student perceptions felt that girls now have more choices than boys do. She argued that specific initiatives that have succeeded in empowering girls should now be deployed to empower boys. Finally, Liz’s paper, “Difference Out of Place: Feminist Necessity(ies) in Music Education,” argued for the crucial role of feminism in music education, both for “interrogating the profession’s philosophies, practices, and discourses,” but also to enable difference “in music education that makes [a] difference” (in the words of Liz’s abstract). This trio of papers, ranging from the philosophical to realities both political and quotidian, demonstrated the depth and breadth of GRIME’s concerns, the sophistication of our members’ thinking, and the global significance of what we do.
The paper session was preceded by GRIME’s business meeting, where we discussed several initiatives that our members can help to realize. The first issue concerned gearing up our online, interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, GEMS (Gender, Education, Music, and Society), after its move to Queen’s University and change of co-editors. Eleanor Stubley is no longer co-editor; we thank her heartily for her service! Elizabeth Gould remains co-editor but seeks another partner in this endeavor. We also discussed ways to increase the journal’s circulation: how many music libraries or periodicals databases “carry” GEMS? This issue is certainly linked to “gearing up” again, so do send your quality submissions to Liz at e.gould@UTORONTO.CA, and also contact either her or me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have ideas for circulation.
We also discussed improving, updating, and maintaining the website. This has been done by Robbie MacKay, first as part of his graduate assistantship, then on a volunteer basis. He has done a terrific job for the time he has had available to be the webcolleague (I dislike the term “webmaster”), but any website tends to fall out of date if it’s not someone’s paid duty to maintain it. Most especially, it is important to keep our bibliography updated, and it would be advisable also to make it searchable, which it presently is not. The indefatigable Beth Denisch suggested applying for a grant to fund a webcolleague’s salary. Anyone with ideas, skills, or money that might help this effort, please contact Beth (email@example.com) and me, or perhaps begin a thread on our listserv.
Our meeting concluded with a discussion about outreach to other organizations. Some ideas included swapping web links with organizations sharing some or all of our goals, and distributing printed propaganda in the packets attendees receive at national meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, the Society for Music Theory, and other professional societies of music scholars. Tomie Hahn emphasized that most of these organizations have committees on the status of women with whom we should attempt to form relationships. In addition, the AMS has a GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) interest group. Many scholarly societies appear to be placing more emphasis on teaching in these great times, so this kind of outreach seems very important. An issue that occurs to me, however, is that all GRIME functions are currently performed by volunteers, and GRIME stopped collecting dues when we stopped mailing printed newsletters. It may require more time, and hence perhaps some level of professionalization, to maintain relationships with other professional organizations, all of which have professional staffs whose salaries are supported by members’ dues. This would constitute a radical change in the way GRIME does business. If you have opinions or ideas about this matter…well, you know what I’m going to say next if you’ve read the previous paragraphs.
Finally, now is the time to start thinking about papers you wish to present at FTM10, which my institution, the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, will host May 27-June 1, 2009: be sure to save the date! As always, we will organize a GRIME panel with emphasis on gender and sexuality in relation to music education. But GRIME members may also have other types of research or performances they wish to submit for inclusion in the conference. FTM usually tries to incorporate local or regional traditions and issues into the program as well as current matters of global interest. Greensboro’s civil rights history, its regional populations of Quakers and Moravians, Carolina string band and Piedmont Blues traditions, UNCG’s past as a women’s college, the music of new Hispanic immigrants, and our “local talent,” including John Coltrane and Fantasia Barrino from nearby High Point, NC, and Mary Lou Williams, who taught at Duke University, could all be productive areas of investigation. A formal call for participation is forthcoming. I hope to see many of you at FTM10: remember that our continued activism, communication, and face-to-face bonding is crucial in these great times.
WOMEN SING, WOMEN LEAD: THE TRANSFORMATION OF IDENTITY AND EMERGENCE OF LEADERSHIP IN WOMEN THROUGH VOICE
My research explored the connection between participation in singing and the development of leadership qualities in women. The theoretical framework upon which this exploration is based is transformative learning, which is a process of making meaning of one’s life experiences. My assertion is that singing can be a transformative learning process that enables a shift away from limiting perspectives and toward developing leadership qualities in women via experiential learning, learning within relationship, public performance and the inner journey of reflection and subsequent understanding that leads to individuation.
Women in every generation have fought for the right to be heard, to participate in the leadership of our society, to have voice both metaphorically and literally. Indeed, the word “voice” is often used as a metaphor for leadership, as well as for personal leadership development. Voice is linked to identity for the individual as she knows herself and presents herself in context of her environment, and identity emerges from self-reflection as well as communication with others. It emerges from hearing and being heard. Frequently though, female voices are dismissed or subverted. For women to claim their equitable rights as leaders and meaning makers in this society, they must know themselves, believe in themselves and make themselves heard.
Joyce (1996) addresses this when describing her work using singing as a teaching tool with women. She has found that the path of learning inherent in singing engenders a holistic experience that fosters self-knowledge and mastery, a sense of power, well-being and agency. These very qualities are key components of effective leaders.
For this study, I engaged in narrative inquiry, in the form of semi-structured
interviews, with female leaders of varying ages, backgrounds and professions who regularly participated in singing for a minimum of three years. I investigated what these women learned via singing and what meaning they made of their singing experiences, especially as those experiences pertained to their developing identities and actions as leaders.
I found that the journey into revealing one’s voice through singing can be one of self-discovery – empowering one to find new meanings, new aspects of oneself that enlarge and transform one’s identity. Three key themes that are central to this journey are Commitment, Connection and Congruence. These themes, in dialectic relationship with one another, facilitate the development of certain qualities, habits of mind and ways of being that enable a personal transformation in service of a greater potential for leadership.
Sullivan, J. M. (2007). Music for the injured soldier: A contribution of American women’s military bands during WW II. Journal of Music Therapy, 44(3), 282–305.
Sullivan, J. M., & D. D. Keck (2007). The Hormel Girls. American Music, 25(3), 283–311.
Sullivan, J. M. (2006). One Ohio music educator’s contribution to World War II: Joan A. Lamb. Contributions to Music Education, 33(2), 27–51.
I have a website that has a lot of information on women’s bands if anyone is interested:
“Gender Issues in Canadian Music Education”, in Music Education in Canada: What is the State of the Art? Carol Beynon & Kari Veblen, Eds., SSHRC-sponsored Research Cluster with E-Book and hard copy, publication expected Winter 2008.
“Equity in Music Education”, Gender in Education Handbook, [2 vol], Barbara Banks, Ed., Praeger, 2007 (pp. 309-314).
Reprint of “Tone deaf/Symphonies singing: Sketches for a musicale,” Gender In/Forms Curriculum: From enrichment to transformation; Jane Gaskell & John Willinsky, eds. New York: Teachers College Press, 1995. (pp. 109-135) in Visions of Research in Music Education. VRME is a peer reviewed research journal housed at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and sponsored by the New J ersey Music Educators Association, a state affiliate of MENC: The National Association for Music Education. http://www-usr.rider.edu/~vrme/ volume 9, January 2007.
Chapter, “Composing and Teaching as Dissonant Counterpoint” (Chapter 10, pp 234- 262), in Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Worlds: Innovation and Tradition in Twentieth- century American Music, Ellie Hisama & Ray Allen, Editors. Rochester: University of Rochester, 2007.
Reprint of “Aria senza accompagnamento,” The Quarterly Journal of Music Teaching and Learning, vol.4, no.4 / vol.5, no.1, Winter 1994. (pp.5-20) in Gender, Education, Music, Society (GEMS), the refereed, on-line journal of Gender Research in Music Education-International (GRIME) http://www.queensu.ca/music/links/gems/ Issue Number 4, December 2006.
” ‘Thrice-told Ruth’ Crawford Seeger: Releasing the education ‘subject’ through ethnomethodologies” Monash University, Australia, 18 October 2007.
Panelist at concluding plenary session, Feminist Theory and Music 9, McGill University, Montreal, 10 June 2007.
“So much older then (and now)”, Global Sixties Conference, Queen’s University, 16 June 2007.
“Feminist Research in Music Education, An aspect of critical pedagogy”, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland, 23 February 2007.
Boys in Schools:
Luiz Paulo Moita-Lopes. “Storytelling as action: Constructing masculinities in a school context.” Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 11/1 (2003): 31-47.
Amanda Keddie. “A framework for ‘best practice’ in boy’s education: Key requisite knowledges and productive pedagogies.” Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 13/1 (2005): 59-74.
Glenda McGreagor and Martin Mills. “Boys and music education: RMXing the curriculum.” Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 14/2 (2006): 221-233.
Jennie Karlsson, “Australian voices confront the education-for-boys backlash and normative discourse in schooling.” Essay review of Wayne Martino and Maria Pallotta-Chiarelli, Being Normal Is the Only Way to Be: Adolescent Perspectives on Gender and School (Sydney: U. of New South Wales, 2005), in Pedagogy, Culture and Society,15/1 (2007): 129-133.
Actual Change in Schools and Society:
Matts Mattsson and Stephen Kemmis. “Praxis-related research: serving two masters?” Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 15/2 (2007): 185-214.
Scholars, researchers, educators, artists, and activists interested in issues of social justice related to the arts and arts education are invited to attend musica ficta/Lived Realties: A Conference on Exclusions and Engagements in Music, Education and the Arts, scheduled for January 24-27, 2008 at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Organized around the themes of complicity, complacency, and complexity, the primary goal of the musica ficta conference is to radicalize the notion of social justice as it currently circulates in music, education, and the arts. Participants will examine ways in which the profession is implicated in various types of inequities, injustices, and oppressions while exploring through appropriate and viable responses through presentation/seminars and workshop/demonstrations. Focusing on connections between and among arts educators, students, researchers, artist-educators, and activists, the conference attempts to demonstrate communication and community-in-transit. Its format is multi-dimensional, with featured speakers, small interactive presentation seminars, workshop demonstrations, performances, and visits to schools and community organizations. For more information, see the conference website at: http://www.music.utoronto.ca/events/conferences.htm
Selected featured speakers include:
Deborah Wong, University of California-Riverside
Rinaldo Walcott, Canada Research Chair, Social Justice and Cultural Studies (OISE/UT)
Rick Surpin, Independence Care System, New York, NY
Sharene Razack, Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies, Sociology and Equity (OISE/UT)
Estelle Jorgensen, Indiana University
Sara K. Gould, Ms. Foundation for Women and Children, New York, NY