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MUS 240: Orientation to Music Teaching and Learning

Course Syllabus Fall 2014
Adam Kruse, Ph.D.
Office Hours:
Wednesdays 1:00pm 3:00pm
(or by appointment)
Music Building #4034

Course Time:
Mondays & Wednesdays
12:00pm 12:50pm
Course Location:
Music Building #1172
Course Website:

Doctoral Graduate Assistant:

Benjamin Helton
Office Hours:
By appointment
Music Education Annex #318

Course Description:
Provides guided practice in observing music teaching and learning in various settings. Develops
professional perspective and vocabulary for analyzing effective teaching, diverse learning styles,
and patterns of music instruction in a variety of contexts.
Course Goals:

To explore music education philosophies, teaching identities, foundational concepts of teaching

and learning, and sociocultural aspects in music education.
To challenge our own positions and experiences as well as the dominant narratives affecting
our assumptions and beliefs about music teaching and learning.
To grow as individuals and as a community of learners, educators, and musicians.

Course Outline:

Unit 1: Teaching Philosophies and Teacher Identities

o Questions: Why do we teach music? Who are we as teachers?
o Assignments: Teaching Philosophy Statement, One Students Story
Unit 2: Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Assessment
o Questions: What and how do we teach? How do we assess teaching and learning?
o Assignments: Mini-Lesson and Reflection, Lesson Plan
Unit 3: Sociocultural Contexts and Inclusive Classroom Environments
o Questions: Whom do we teach? How can we work toward more inclusive and equitable
music education settings?
o Assignment: Cultural Diversity Choice Assignment

Required Materials:

Readings and other materials will be posted online at http://compas2g.illinois.edu.

CLASSROOM OBSERVATION PREREQUISITES (http://www.cote.illinois.edu):
o Bloodborne pathogens training
o Teacher education safety training
o Criminal background check
National Association for Music Education (http://www.nafme.org) collegiate membership ($33)
o Covers collegiate admission fee to IMEC January 28-31, 2015 in Peoria, IL
o Includes one-year subscription to Music Educators Journal and Teaching Music

Policies & Procedures

Attendance: Students are permitted two absences during the semester. Each absence beyond two will
result in lowering a students grade by 0.3 (on the 4-point scale). Every two instances of tardiness will be
counted as one absence. Students are not required to contact the instructor ahead of time regarding
absences, but advanced notice and prompt communication are appreciated.
Preparation and Participation: Students are expected to complete all readings prior to the class for
which they are assigned and to be prepared for meaningful and active participation. The instructor(s) will
assess students preparation and participation formally and informally during class.
Classroom Etiquette: This classroom will support an inclusive learning environment where diversity and
individual differences are appreciated, respected, and recognized as a source of strength. It is expected
that all participants will respect differences and demonstrate diligence in understanding how other
peoples' perspectives, behaviors, and worldviews may be different from their own.
Written Assignments: Assignments will be evaluated on the basis of content and writing mechanics.
Rubrics will be posted to the class website. All written assignments should be submitted as attachments
in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx) to akruse@illinois.edu. Written assignments should be written in
12-point Times New Roman font, be double-spaced, and have 1-inch margins all around.
Due Dates: Assignments are due prior to class time on the date listed regardless of a students
attendance. Late assignments will be reduced by 1.0 (on the 4-point scale) for each day that they are late.
Academic Integrity: Plagiarism policies and other aspects of student conduct can be found within the
Student Code of Academic Integrity: http://www.library.illinois.edu/learn/research/academicintegrity.html
Accommodations for Disabilities: Students anticipating issues related to the format or requirements of
this course should meet with the instructor to coordinate accommodations. Students requiring formal
accommodations must register with Disability Resources (http://www.diversity.illinois.edu/disability.html)
and notify the instructor of eligibility for reasonable accommodations.

Education majors must earn a grade of C or better in their major field coursework and their professional
education coursework (e.g., MUS 240) or they will be required to retake the course (January 2010 ruling
by the Illinois Board of Higher Education). As music majors, students must also maintain an overall UIUC
cumulative GPA of 2.5, a GPA of 2.75 in all music courses, and a GPA of 3.0 in professional education
courses. Details can be found at http://muehandbook.music.uiuc.edu/allindex.html.
Grading Scale

Classroom Observations (20%)

Preparation and Participation (15%)

A+, A



Written Assignments (65%)











Philosophy Statement #1 (5% - pass/fail)

One Students Story (12%)
Mini-Lesson and Reflection (12%)
Lesson Plan (12%)
Cultural Diversity Choice Paper (12%)
Philosophy Statement #2 (12%)

Classroom Observations

Observation Prerequisites (communicate completion to the teaching assistant by Sept. 3 ):

Bloodborne pathogens training

Teacher education safety training
Criminal background check

Because students will be spending time in real-world school settings as a part of this course, they are
required to complete bloodborne pathogens training, teacher education safety training, and pass a
criminal background check. The bloodborne pathogens training and teacher education safety training are
done on-line through the Council on Teacher Education (CoTE) website (http://www.cote.illinois.edu).
The criminal background check includes being fingerprinted at an Accurate Biometrics location (see the
CoTE website for locations and hours).
Hours: As part of the 80 mandatory hours of Early Field Experience (EFE) for the music education
degree program (completed prior to student teaching), students are required to complete a minimum of
ten (and up to sixteen) EFE hours of off-campus observations in P-12 classrooms for this course. Of the
ten required EFE hours for MUS 240, a minimum of seven observation hours must be completed in a
classroom setting outside of a students expertise. For example, those planning to teach secondary choir
must observe at least seven hours within different music classroom settings (e.g., elementary music,
middle school orchestra, high school band).
Locations: A list of local teachers and schools will be posted to the Compass website, but students may
choose to observe other classrooms with the permission of those teachers. Students are responsible for
contacting teachers and scheduling their observations as well as securing reliable transportation.
Students are permitted to travel in pairs or small groups depending on the discretion of the teacher being
observed. Because P-12 school schedules are subject to last-minute changes, students should schedule
their observations as soon as possible in order to leave time in the semester for potential rescheduling.
Students may NOT observe a former teacher, observe at a school they attended, or observe at a
school where they have served as an instructor.
Expectations and Professionalism: The purpose of these classroom observations is NOT to evaluate
or critique experienced educators, but rather to explore and appreciate diverse teaching approaches,
classroom environments, and student populations and to expand future educators perceptions and
attitudes about music teaching and learning. Students are expected to dress professionally (e.g., no jeans,
sweats, t-shirts) and arrive at least ten minutes in advance of class. They should check in at the schools
main office (prepared to show photo identification) and be sure to introduce themselves to the teacher
they will be observing and thank her/him for allowing them to observe.
Documentation: Students will use the Data Collection Form (available on the Compass website) to
record detailed descriptions of the teacher, the students, the content of the lesson, and the classroom
environment. In order to minimize distractions in the classroom, observation forms should be printed on
paper and notes should be written by hand. Students will also need to print a copy of the Classroom
Observation Log and record the date, location, and duration of the observation as well as the observed
teachers signature. Students will turn in physical copies of the forms to the teaching assistant in class
and are encouraged to scan or make copies for their own records.

A minimum of five hours of classroom observation must be completed and submitted by October 13 .
The final five hours (minimum) of classroom observation must be completed by December 10 .

Written Assignments
Philosophy Statement #1: Using the concepts from the Prelude to Music Education reading, students
will compose an initial draft of a teaching philosophy statement. This first draft will be graded on
completion only (pass/fail). The paper should be roughly 1 to 2 pages in length and written in the first
person declarative statements. In this document, students should consider questions such as:
Why do I value music and music education?
What is my role as a music educator?
Who should experience music education?
Where and when does/should music education take place?
What musical skills, understandings, and experiences should learners encounter?
What goals should learners have?
How do people learn?
How do I accommodate for differences?
How do I assess teaching and learning?
What are my goals and plans for continued growth?
Due: September 17 (email to akruse@illinois.edu)
One Students Story: Students will arrange to interview someone whom they know (e.g., a relative or
friend) who is currently (or has been) enrolled in a school music course. Interviews should focus on what
the person values in her/his music education and why. Students are encouraged to ask additional
questions and follow-up questions, but each interview should include the following questions: (1) Why
should we have music classes in school? (2) What should students learn in school music classes? (3)
How do students know if they are successful in music? and (4) What would you change (or would you
have changed) to make your school music classes better? Students will write a summary of their
interview including a description of their interviewee (e.g., age, gender, geographic location do not use
real names!) and her/his musical background, a description of the music class(es) in which the
interviewee is/was enrolled, and the responses to the interview questions (while not required, using direct
quotes from your interviewee may strengthen your paper). Responses to the interview questions may
take the form of complete sentences or a bulleted list. The paper should conclude with a brief statement
about what music educators should consider in light of the interviewees statements. Paper length will
vary for this assignment.
Due: October 1 (email to akruse@illinois.edu)
Mini-Lesson Teaching & Reflection: Students will choose one of the National Core Arts Standards
processes (Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Responding, Connecting) and lead the class in a
5- to 6-minute musical learning activity. Learners should be active during these mini-lessons, NOT
listening to a lecture or observing the teacher for the entire class. Listening can absolutely be part of
these mini-lessons (if learners are also involved in one of the previously mentioned processes), but as
J.D. Geddes said, Telling isnt teaching and listening isnt learning. Following the teaching episode,
students will write a 1- to 2-page reflection considering the following questions: (1) What went well? (2)
What did not go well? (3) What would you do differently if you led this activity again? The teaching activity
will be graded for completion only and the reflection will be graded with the written assignment rubric.
Teaching dates: October 15 and October 22
Reflections due: October 22 and October 29 (email to akruse@illinois.edu)

Lesson Plan: Given a template (posted to the Compass website), students will create an original lesson
plan that includes goals, standards, materials, procedures, assessments, etc. Lessons can be designed
for any P-12 musical learning environment and cover any appropriate musical concepts and/or
understandings. For the purposes of this assignment, assume that all class periods are 45 minutes in
length. The lesson plan should involve the use of a formal assessment. Students will need to create an
appropriate assessment tool and submit this (via email) along with their lesson plan.
Due: November 12 (email to akruse@illinois.edu)
Cultural Diversity Choice Assignment (choose one of the following three options):
Cultural Examination Paper: Students will choose a person from a different culture (e.g.,
someone with a different sexual orientation, a recent immigrant, an elder citizen, a person from a
different racial or ethnic group) and interview this person. The written account of this interview
should include four major sections: (1) an introduction to the interviewee and interviewer, why and
how was the interviewee chosen?; (2) a description of a specific event, broader phase, or aspect
of the interviewees life that demonstrates the differences in lived experience between the
interviewer and interviewee; (3) an examination of how the interviewees perceptions and/or
experiences compare to those of the interviewer; and (4) considerations for how understanding
this different culture might impact your thinking and action as a music educator. Paper length
will vary for this assignment. Direct quotes from the interviewee could make a meaningful
contribution to the paper, but the document should not be an interview transcript. Students critical
analysis and reflection (included in sections 3 and 4 above) are vital aspects of this assignment.
Due: December 3 (email to akruse@illinois.edu)
This I Believe: For this assignment, students will create an audio or video recording of a
personal statement roughly 5 minutes in length. The recorded statement will relate to the
students beliefs, perceptions, and experiences regarding at least one of the cultural diversity in
music education topics discussed in this course and should reference at least one of the course
readings. The statement will include the students subjective opinions, but the narrative should
incorporate supportive arguments beyond I think X. It is highly recommended that students write
this statement and rehearse reading it prior to recording. Files should be emailed directly to the
instructor. If a file is too large to email, students should upload it to a hosting website (e.g.,
YouTube, SoundCloud) and send a link. Sample essays on a variety of topics are available online
(http://www.thisibelieve.org) as well as writing guidelines (http://www.thisibelieve.org/guidelines).
Due: December 3 (email to akruse@illinois.edu)
Other: If students have an alternative format for sharing their thoughts and experiences with the
cultural diversity in music education topics discussed in this course, they may create their own
assignment. Regardless of format or mode of presentation, the content should relate to at least
one of the cultural diversity topics discussed in class, make reference to at least one of the
course readings, and include evidence of critical thinking about the topic(s) and the students
beliefs, perspectives, and experiences. Students interested in this option will need instructor
approval no later than November 19 and should communicate their plans prior to this date.
Due: December 3 (email to akruse@illinois.edu)

Philosophy Statement #2: On December 8 , students will bring a printed copy of their Philosophy
Statement #1 to class. As a class and in small groups, we will engage in critique and begin working
toward an updated philosophy statement that reflects the topics and understandings experienced in this
course. The final document should be 1 to 2 pages in length, be written in first person declarative
statements, and might incorporate responses to the questions listed under Philosophy Statement #1 (or
questions of a similar nature). Students will email their final draft to the instructor by the assigned final
exam time for the MUS 240 course (TBA).
Due: Course meeting time during Finals Week TBA (email to akruse@illinois.edu)

Course Schedule
The instructor reserves the right to modify the schedule during the semester and will notify students of any changes in a timely manner.


Topic(s), Readings and/or Materials

Aug. 25

Establishing a Positive Learning Environment

Introductions, Course & Syllabus Overview

Aug. 27

Teacher Identity: What is Your Role as a Music Teacher?

Reading: Raiber & Teachout, Chapter 1

Sept. 1

No Class Labor Day

Sept. 3

Reading: Observing to Learn Barrett

Sept. 8

Developing a Philosophy of Music Education

Reading: Prelude to Music Education Developing a Philosophy of Music Education

Sept. 10

Developing a Philosophy of Music Education (cont.)

Sept. 15

Music Education Philosophy From a Students Perspective

Reading: Lindys Story Scheib

Sept. 17

In-Class Digital Observation

Bring: Printed observation forms from Compass website

Sept. 22

Beliefs and Values About Teaching

Reading: Raiber & Teachout, Chapter 2

Sept. 24

Beliefs and Values About Teaching (cont.)

Sept. 29

Classroom Settings
Reading: Raiber & Teachout, Chapter 4

Oct. 1

One Students Story Discussion and Reflection

Oct. 6

National Core Arts Standards

Oct. 8

No Class CIC Music Education Conference at Penn State University

Oct. 13

Reading: Raiber & Teachout, Chapter 6

Oct. 15

Mini-Lesson Teaching (Group A)

Oct. 20

Popular Music & Vernacular Musicianship

Reading: Popular Music in School: Remixing the Issues Woody
Video: Rockin Education: Redefining Music in School Janov

Assignment Due


Statement #1

One Students Story

First 5 (minimum)
Observation Hours

Oct. 22

Mini-Lesson Teaching (Group B)

Oct. 27

Reading: Raiber & Teachout, Chapter 11

Oct. 29

Lesson Planning
Bring: Downloaded or printed copy of the lesson plan template from Compass

Nov. 3

Student Demographics
Reading: Raiber & Teachout, Chapter 8

Nov. 6

Advising Discussion with Dr. Matthew Borek

Nov. 10

Mini-Lesson Reflection
(Group A)

Mini-Lesson Reflection
(Group B)

Cultural Diversity in Music Education

Reading: Each student will select at least two of the following articles during the
previous class and act as discussion leaders during this class and the next. Students
should be prepared to summarize their readings and ask compelling questions of their
classmates to stimulate discussion.
Missing Faces From the Orchestra DeLorenzo
Rethinking Religion in Music Education Hoffman
The Rewards of Teaching Music in Urban Settings Bernard
Sexual Orientation and Music Education . . . Bergonzi
The Skin That We Sing Shaw
A Womans Place is at the Podium Lawson

Nov. 12

Cultural Diversity in Music Education (cont.)

Nov. 17

Exceptional Learners and Special Education

Reading: Disability in the Classroom . . . Abramo

Nov. 19

Exceptional Learners and Special Education (cont.)

Nov. 24

No Class Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 26

No Class Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 1

Bullying and Music Education

Reading: A Safe Education For All . . . Carter
Video: To This Day Project Koyczan

Dec. 3

Cultural Diversity Choice Assignment Discussion and Reflection

Dec. 8

Reexamining Our Philosophies of Music Education

Bring: A printed copy of your Philosophy Statement #1

Dec. 10

Reflections, Conclusions, and Course Evaluations

Finals Week

We will not meet as a class during finals week.

Lesson Plan

Cultural Diversity
Choice Assignment

Second 5 (minimum)
Observation Hours
Statement #2