Women in music education

Women in music education describes the role of women musicians, conductors, teachers and educational administrators in music education at the elementary school and secondary education levels. While music critics argued in the 1880s that “… women lacked the innate creativity to compose good music” due to “biological predisposition”, [1] later, it was accepted that women would have a role in music education , and they involved in this field “… to such a degree that women dominated music education during the 20th century.” [1]“Traditional accounts of the history of music education [in the US] have often neglected the contributions of women, because these texts have emphasized bands and the top leaders in hierarchical music organizations.” [2]When looking beyond these bandleaders and top leaders, women had many music education roles in … “home, community, churches, public schools, and teacher-training institutions” and “… as writers, bosses, and through their volunteer work in organizations. ” [2]

Despite the limitations imposed on women’s roles in music education in the 19th century, women were accepted as a kindergarten teacher, because this was deemed to be a “private sphere”. Women also taught music privately, in girls’ schools, Sunday schools, and they trained musicians in school music programs. By the turn of the 20th century, women were employed as elementary school teachers, teachers in normal schools and professors of music in universities. Women also became more active in professional organizations in music education, and women presented papers at conferences.

A woman, Frances Clarke (1860-1958) founded the National Music Supervisors Conference in 1907. While a small number of women served as President of the National Music Supervisors Conference (and the following renamed versions of the organization over the next century) in the There were only two female presidents between 1952 and 1992, which “[p] ossibly reflected discrimination.” After 1990, however, leadership roles for women in the organization opened up. From 1990 to 2010, there were five female Presidents of this organization. [3] Women music educators “outnumber men two-to-one” in teaching general music, choir, private lessons, and keyboard instruction. [3]More men tend to be hired for band education, administration and jazz jobs, and more men work in colleges and universities. [3] According to Dr. Sandra Wieland Howe, there is still a ” glass ceiling ” for women in music education and careers, as well as “stigma” associated with women in leadership positions and “men outnumber women as administrators.” [3]

Notable individuals

  • Julia Crane (1855-1923) (1855-1923) was an American music educator who set up a school, the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York , which was the first school specifically for the training of public school music teachers. [4] She is one of the most important figures in the history of American music education. [5] Crane was a student of Manuel García . [6] Crane was inducted into the Music Educators Hall of Fame in 1986. [7] As of 2015, the Crane School of Music is one of three schools that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam. It has 630 undergraduate and 30 graduate students and a faculty of 70 teachers and professional staff.
  • Frances Clarke (1860-1958) was a music supervisor in the Milwaukee Public School system. She founded the Music Supervisors National Conference in 1907. It was an organization of American music educators dedicated to advancing and preserving music education as part of the core curriculum of schools in the United States . In 2011, it was renamed the National Association for Music Education and it had more than 130,000 members. [8] and in March 2012, Professor Glenn Nierman was elected President-Elect of NAfME. [9]
  • Elsie Shaw (1866-1962) was a music supervisor in St. Paul, Minnesota. She supervised and taught elementary school teachers and conducted choirs and orchestras. She encouraged the offering of music education at the high school level. [3]
  • Satis Coleman (1878-1961), who taught at Teachers College, Columbia University and Lincoln Lab School in the 1920s and 30s, created a popular method for teaching music creatively. [10] She published many books that were foundational to music education, ethnomusicology, and out-of-school music scholarship. [11] Her pedagogy involved field trips, instrument construction (often of non-Western instruments), and improvisation, and her philosophy had spiritual and ecological aspects. [12]
  • Mabelle Glenn (1881-1969) was a music supervisor in Bloomington, Indiana and a director of music in Kansas City, Missouri. She wrote music appreciation books and music textbooks. She was President of the National Music Supervisors Conference from 1928-1930. [3]
  • Lilla Pitts (1884-1970) graduated from Northwestern University . She was a faculty member of the Florida State University . She served as President of the National Music Educators Conference (the new name for the National Music Supervisors Conference) from 1942-1944. [3]
  • Marguerite Hood (1903-1992) graduated from the University of Southern California . She was a supervisor of music for Montana, a faculty member at the University of Montana , the University of Southern California, and the University of Michigan . She was President of the National Music Educators Conference from 1950-1952. She was the first woman of the Music Educators Journal . [3]
  • Frances Andrews (1908-1976) received her Masters and Doctorate from Pennsylvania State University , where she was a faculty member from 1943 to 1973. She was President of the National Music Educators Conference from 1970-1972. [3]
  • Mary Hoffman (1926-1997) graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Lebanon Valley College and a Masters from Columbia Teachers College . She was a music supervisor in Milwaukee and Philadelphia. She graduated from Columbia Teachers College, Temple University and the University of Illinois . She wrote and contributed to textbooks. She was President of the National Music Educators Conference from 1980-1982. [3]
  • Dorothy Straub (born 1941) graduated with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from Indiana University . She was the music coordinator for Fairfield Public Schools in Connecticut. She was a violinist in two orchestras. She was given awards from the ASTA and the National School Orchestra Association. She was President of the National Educators Music Conference from 1992-1994. [3]
  • Carolynn Lindeman (born 1940) graduated from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music , the Mozarteum Academy, San Francisco State University and Stanford University , where she received her Doctor of Musical Arts . She was a professor at San Francisco State University from 1973 to 2005. She was President of the National Music Educators Conference from 1996-1998. She edited the “Strategies for Teaching” series. She “[a] cknoledge [d] discrimination in academia.” [3]
  • June Hinckley (1943-2007) graduated with a PhD from Florida State University . She was a music and fine arts supervisor in Brevard County in Florida. She wrote articles on music education. She was President of the National Music Educators Conference from 1998-2000. [3]
  • Lynn Brinckmeyer received her PhD from the University of Kansas . She was an Associate Professor and Director of Choral Music Education at Texas State University . She was President of the National Educators Music Conference from 2006-2008. [3]
  • Barbara Geer graduated from the University of North Carolina . She was a music consultant for a school system in North Carolina. She was President of the National Educators Music Conference from 2008-2010. [3]


  1. ^ Jump up to:b “Women Composers In American Popular Song, Page 1” . Parlorsongs.com. 1911-03-25 . Retrieved 2016-01-20 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Dr. Sandra Wieland Howe. “Women Music Educators In The United States: A History”, in GEMS (Gender, Education, Music, and Society) , the on-line Journal of Gender Research in Music Education. Vol 8, No 4 (2015)
  3. ^ Jump up to:o “A historical view of women in music education careers” . Slideshare.net. 2012-07-05 . Retrieved 2016-01-20 .
  4. Jump up^ Campbell and Klinger, pg. 276
  5. Jump up^ Carolyn Livingston. “Women in American Music Education: How Names Are Mentioned in History Books Are Regarded by Contemporary Scholars” . MENC Sessions (April 1994) . Retrieved May 19, 2008 .
  6. Jump up^ “Garcia’s Method of Breathing”, Werner’s Magazine, December 1889, 270.
  7. Jump up^ “Educators Music Hall of Fame Honorees” . Music Educators Hall of Fame . Retrieved May 19, 2008 .
  8. Jump up^ “Press Reslease: Building on the Past to Shape the Future of Music Education” . NAfME official website . NAfME. 2011 . Retrieved 11 September 2011 .
  9. Jump up^ “NAfME President Seeks to Restore Trust” . Sociomusicology blog . David Hebert. 2012 . Retrieved 13 March 2012 .
  10. Jump up^ “A Music Education Pioneer – Dr. Satis Naronna Barton Coleman”. British Journal of Music Education . 7 : 123. doi : 10.1017 / S0265051700007622 .
  11. Jump up^ https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=5743978
  12. Jump up^ “Satis Coleman-A Spiritual Philosophy for Music Education”. Music Educators Journal . 102 : 56-61. doi : 10.1177 / 0027432115590182 .

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