What do you learn by studying music, anyway?

“What do you learn by studying music, anyway?”

That sure seems like a question we should be able to answer. It’s a question I’d like to start to address myself, once time permits.

A blogger named Christiana has begun to document her answers to this question from her personal experience in a series called “101 things I learned in music school in no particular order.” The link is here: https://chriztianadotcom.wordpress.com/author/czollner/


Links for Sequential Patterns of Instruction Lesson

Materials from “Rehearsal Techniques” sample lesson are here:



Additional links

On using rubrics:


More about sequential patterns in music:




Upcoming Presentation at UM, 1/23

I’ll be doing an informal presentation of my in-progress dissertation “Belief and Behavior” this Friday, January 23, at 12:20PM. It will take place as part of the Department of Music Education’s Graduate Forum, led by Dr. Zdzinski, from 12:20 – 1:10PM at 1552 Brescia on the U.M. campus.

This presentation will be based on my recent research project regarding the way teachers’ depictions of how they behave towards students in performing ensembles in Miami-Dade schools. It will not be overly technical – I hope it will be of interest to undergraduates or other music educators as well as to grad students. Hope to see you there!

[contact me at: s.haskins (at) umiami.edu if you think you’re coming and you’re not an MED grad student, so I can inform Dr. Z]

“Updates” or “Why I Haven’t Posted Anything Here for a Half Year”


It seems like a waste to let this website languish without a single recent update. In the spirit of bringing it back to life, I want to share a bit about some recent professional activities (or, alternately, to engage in some shameless self-promotion).

Here goes:

I had an article published in the fall, 2013 issue of the Philosophy of Music Education Review. This is a well respected, peer-reviewed journal in the field, and I’m very pleased to be able to share my thoughts regarding the consideration of evidence and rational argument involving conflicting opinions, theories, and beliefs. I have a lot more to say on the matter and how it may apply to the field of music education. I’m looking forward to engaging in more discussion as time goes on.

I wrote a preliminary review of the literature looking critically at some of the ways researchers have viewed how teachers behave with students when teaching. I was able to present a summary of this paper as a poster for the Society for Music Teacher Education Symposium in Asheville, NC last year. This session was very rewarding: I was able to speak with both Alan Gumm and Lisa Rae Hunter, two researchers whose work was central to the paper. (Thanks to Dr. Gumm for the enlightening refresher on the distinction between theory and measure – I’m still thinking about that one.)

I successfully completed my dissertation proposal defense last spring, and officially entered into candidacy for the Ph.D. That means I’m now completely buried in dissertation-related activities. Much of the most difficult work is done now, and I anticipate successfully defending the completed dissertation and graduating with a Ph.D. next spring. I posted a (very rough) draft of the ideas behind the study here.

I was able to participate in two presentations for last spring’s NAfME conference in St. Louis, MO. One of these was a poster related to the theoretical model behind my dissertation, an investigation of teacher’s behaviors as related to their beliefs about what we hope to accomplish by teaching performing groups. The other was a group presentation regarding “Signature Pedagogies,” as practiced by Carlos Abril. He used the idea, originating from the work of Schulman, to create a doctoral seminar aimed at helping us to disseminate scholarship through presentation and publication. This presentation was a lot of fun to prepare, as we timed and practiced it like a staged theater piece. These are great people to work with, and we have plans for upcoming group presentations and co-authored papers.

I’ll get back to updating this site more frequently at some point soon. In the meantime, feel free to contact me.

Context and connections

The deadline for contributing to the draft copy of the National Core Standards in the Arts passed this week. Personally, I was very happy to have the chance to see the development thus far, and to contribute some of my thoughts and responses.

Unfortunately, I can’t take the time to write up a comprehensive response to the documents right now.

In the meantime, I’d like to point readers to Evan Tobias’ very apropos response to a perceived lack of explicit space for historical and cultural connections in music in the current draft of the National Core Arts standards.

From around the web

Here are a few links of interest from around the web:

J. Russell and P. Higgins published a great article in the latest issue of American String Teacher describing stretching activities to avoid discomfort and injury in young string players

A very entertaining collection of stock photos of “violinists”

An  interesting article about the changing nature of arts education

Gerald Klickstein wants to counter perfectionism

Choir singers synchronize heartbeats

Only two days remaining to contribute to the National Core Arts Standards