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Best Music Education Books You Must Read

Here is a list of the best Music Education books, some I have read myself, some that I did research on, and all have great reviews!

1. Music Education for Social Change: Constructing an Activist Music Education (2019)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadMusic Education for Social Change: Constructing an Activist Music Education develops an activist music education rooted in principles of social justice and anti-oppression. Based on the interviews of 20 activist-musicians across the United States and Canada, the book explores the common themes, perceptions, and philosophies among them, positioning these activist-musicians as catalysts for change in music education while raising the question: amidst racism and violence targeted at people who embody difference, how can music education contribute to changing the social climate? Music has long played a role in activism and…
Author(s): Juliet Hess

2. Music Education and Social Emotional Learning (2017)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadMusic educators are in a prime position to help students become socially and emotionally competent while at the same time develop excellent musicianship. For every child to be successful in the music classroom, teachers need to be aware of the whole student. How do music educators create success when students every day struggle with social awareness, bullying, communication, problem solving, and other challenges? This pioneering book by Scott Edgar addresses how music educators can utilize Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to maximize learning in the choral, instrumental, and…
Author(s): Scott N. Edgar

3. Remixing the Classroom: Toward an Open Philosophy of Music Education (Counterpoints: Music and Education) (2016)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadIn a delightfully self-conscious philosophical “mash-up,” Randall Everett Allsup provides alternatives for the traditional master-apprentice teaching model that has characterized music education. By providing examples across the arts and humanities, Allsup promotes a vision of education that is open, changing, and adventurous at heart. He contends that the imperative of growth at the core of all teaching and learning relationships is made richer, though less certain, when it is fused with a student’s self-initiated quest. In this way, the formal study of music turns from an education in teacher-directed craft…
Author(s): Randall Everett Allsup

4. Introduction to Music Education, Fourth Edition (2017)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadThe streamlined Fourth Edition of this widely adopted text introduces prospective school music teachers to the profession of music education by one of the field’s respected senior practitioners. In a warm, approachable style, Hoffer presents a working repertoire of concepts and general information, gets readers thinking about music teaching, and encourages them to examine themselves in terms of their future roles as educators in the field. Introduction to Music Education, 4/E provides a comprehensive, straightforward overview of the field,…
Author(s): Charles Hoffer

5. Instrumental Music Education (2015)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadInstrumental Music Education: Teaching with the Musical and Practical in Harmony, 2nd Edition is intended for college instrumental music education majors studying to be band and orchestra directors at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. This textbook presents a research-based look at the topics vital to running a successful instrumental music program, while balancing musical, theoretical, and practical approaches. A central theme is the compelling parallel between language and music, including “sound-to-symbol” pedagogies. Understanding this connection improves the teaching of melody, rhythm,…
Author(s): Evan Feldman, Ari Contzius

6. An Introduction to Music in Early Childhood Education (2005)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadThis text prepares childcare providers to meet the responsibility of musically nurturing young children. After being led to understand the importance of musically nurturing children in this age group, students are taught to nurture children at various stages in early childhood. The unique developmental characteristics of these stages are examined and are the basis upon which activities are planned. Specific activity examples are given that help the student learn to sing, move, play and listen to music with young children. In addition to the main text, a supplement helps the student gain an…
Author(s): Joanne D Greata

7. Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-Free Approach (2017)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadThe Second Edition of Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs offers updated accounts of music educators’ experiences, featured as vignettes throughout the book. An accompanying Practical Resource includes lesson plans, worksheets, and games for classroom use. As a practical guide and reference manual, Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs, Second Edition addresses special needs in the broadest possible sense to equip teachers with proven, research-based curricular strategies that are grounded in both best practice and current special education law. Chapters address the full range of…
Author(s): Alice M. Hammel, Ryan M. Hourigan

8. Urban Music Education: A Practical Guide for Teachers (2015)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadThe prevailing discourse surrounding urban music education suggests the deficit-laden notion that urban school settings are “less than,” rather than “different than,” their counterparts. Through the lens of contextually-specific teaching, this book provides a counternarrative on urban music education that encourages urban music teachers to focus on the strengths of their students as their primary resource. Through a combination of research-based strategies and practical suggestions from the author’s own experience teaching music in urban settings, the book highlights important issues for teachers to consider, such as culturally…
Author(s): Kate Fitzpatrickharnish

9. Listening to Music (with Introduction to Listening CD-ROM) (Available Titles CourseMate) (2010)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadThe only music appreciation text on the market to include listening exercises throughout the book, Listening to Music (Sixth Edition) masterfully develops and refines the listening skills of students. Acclaimed for unparalleled clarity and accuracy, Wright succinctly covers traditional Western music from medieval to modern. Musical examples from each historical period are discussed within their social context, giving students a broad sense of not only the construction of a piece, but also its historical and cultural meaning. Concluding chapters discuss (1) popular…
Author(s): Craig Wright

10. Teaching Music to Children (2010)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadThis valuable resource is designed to give elementary teachers with no formal music training all the tools they need to help their students develop an understanding of and appreciation for music. This book includes lessons, reproducible games, worksheets and puzzles. Also included is a mixed-media CD that features over 60 minutes of music and a complete PowerPoint presentation. The book follows a well-sequenced curriculum based on the National Standards for Music Education in the United States and the Ontario Curriculum for the Arts in Canada….
Author(s): Blair Bielawski

11. An Introduction To Music Therapy: Theory and Practice (1998)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadAvailable for the first time in paperback, this low-cost, high-quality guide to music therapy thought, research, and practice is the ideal text for a one semester overview and the perfect handbook for the practicing professional. You’ll find that Davis, Gfeller, and Thaut’s detailed descriptions of the populations most likely to receive music therapy are strongly supported by background material and extensive references, helping students build a firm base from which to explore the range of current healing modalities….
Author(s): William B Davis , Michael H Thaut, et al.

12. Teaching Young Children: An Introduction (4th Edition) (2008)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadThis engagingly interactive and easy-to-read book outlines how to deliver quality early education and care through its focus on curriculum. Full-color throughout, this edition's features include more concrete applications in the book–and on the website. The author weaves five essential elements of effective early childhood education throughout the book: understanding development, play, guidance, working with families, and diversity. The book provides an overview of the planning, preparation, and delivery of a curriculum for young children, one that's built around six specific…
Author(s): Michael L. Henniger

13. Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education (2016)

 Best Music Education Books You Must ReadCulturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education presents teaching methods that are responsive to how different culturally specific knowledge bases impact learning. It is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning. Designed to be a supplementary resource for teachers of undergraduate and graduate music education courses, the book provides examples in the context of music education, with theories presented in Section I and a review of teaching applications in Section II….
Author(s): Vicki R. Lind, Constance McKoy

Best Music Education Books You Must Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some music education books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Visions for Intercultural Music Teacher Education

Author(s): Heidi Westerlund, Sidsel Karlsen, Heidi Partti
ID: 2468076, Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2020, Size: 3 Mb, Format: pdf

Narratives and Reflections in Music Education: Listening to Voices Seldom Heard

Author(s): Tawnya D. Smith, Karin S. Hendricks
ID: 2700635, Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Springer, Year: 2020, Size: 6 Mb, Format: pdf

Adult Perspectives on Children and Music in Early Childhood

Author(s): Aleksandra Acker, Berenice Nyland
ID: 2810525, Publisher: Springer, Year: 2020, Size: 2 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are really chart-busters according to Los Angeles Times, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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