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Colloquium Series Participants Bios and Abstracts - April 24, 2012

A Comparison of Social Concepts Presented with Commonly Used Secondary Music Teacher Preparation Texts of the Mid-20th Century
Joseph W. Ellis


Social issues have found a level of importance within the field of music education, both now and in the past.  This historical research seeks to create an understanding of what social themes were prevalent within secondary music teacher preparation text publications during the mid-20th century.  By conducting a historical literature review of several texts by prominent publishers and aimed at secondary music educators, themes were identified, compared text to text,  and then arranged and presented as a narrative giving voice to the social issues presented as important by the textbook authors, editors, and publishers of the mid-20th century.


Joseph W. Ellis is a doctoral student in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services at Kent State University enrolled in the Curriculum and Instruction program and is a music teacher at Our Lady of Peace Catholic School in Canton, Ohio.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Mount Union College in 2001, Mr. Ellis continued his education at Walsh University earning a Master of Arts in Education in 2006. Serving as a band director, choir director, general music teacher, elementary principal, and drama teacher over the last decade, Mr. Ellis has dedicated his life to learning and continual discovery, especially in the field of music education.

Sociology of Sight Reading Adjudication: An Analysis of Effective Teaching
Kate Ferguson


Sociology is the study of human behavior, its origins, organizations, institutions and the development of human society. A successful teacher combines knowledge of each student's social background with the knowledge of music to develop successful teaching strategies to achieve this goal. A prime educational goal of any discipline is the development of an independent learner; in music, the prerequisite to independence is the ability to sight-read. The purpose of this study is to observe, describe and analyze the sociological characteristics exhibited by directors and adjudicators in the sight reading adjudication room in comparison with characteristics of effective teachers. The questions are: (1) What social characteristics are exhibited by the directors and adjudicators present in sight reading adjudication room? and (2) Are the social characteristics exhibited by the directors and adjudicators indicative of effective teaching? The researcher observed in the sight reading room, and took field notes on all words and actions by both the directors and adjudicator. Notes were coded and analyzed by the researcher, looking for main themes within the gathered information. Codes were determined by the social characteristics of effective teachers, outlined by Steven Kelly (2009). A comparison of the characteristics observed and those listed by Kelly (2009) were made in the final analysis and discussion.


Kate Ferguson is in her 14th year of teaching and 12th year as an instrumental music teacher in the Crestwood Local Schools. Ferguson earned her BME from Kent State University in August 1998, and MME from the University of Akron in May 2004. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Music Education at Kent State University. Ferguson is an active OMEA Adjudicator and has also served OMEA as a member of the state board, hosting High School Solo & Ensemble and Marching Band Adjudicated Events, as well as being a member of the 2003, 2006, and 2009 Professional Conference Planning Committee. Ferguson actively performs on her main instrument, trombone, with the Brass Band of the Western Reserve. Her professional memberships include Music Educators National Conference, Ohio Music Education Association, and Delta Omicron.

The Reproduction of Cultural Inequalities in Music Classrooms Through the Lens of Music Teacher Education
Kristen Ross


The purpose of this study is to review the literature to answer the following research questions: What types of cultural inequalities exist in music classrooms?  How does music teacher education contribute to the reproduction of these cultural inequalities?  What types of teacher-student interactions reinforce these cultural inequalities, and what are some possible resultant affects and influences on students? A qualitative review of the literature was used.  Sources were selected based on their discussion of teacher preparation programs, music teacher preparation programs, and the portrayal and reproduction of cultural differences within classrooms, music classrooms, and the school community.  Sources that discussed resultant effects of existing cultural inequalities on student-teacher interactions were also selected.  Evidence in the literature suggests a multitude of cultural inequalities exist within classrooms today, and have the power to negatively influence the relationships between students and teachers.  The study concludes with suggestions for the music education profession based on the findings of this study, and those of other scholars in the fields of education and music education.


Kristen Ross is a second year Master's student in Music Education at Kent State University. She received her Bachelor's in Music Education from Bowling Green State University in 2010. She currently teaches privately in Cuyahoga Falls and Bedford, Ohio. Her research interests include multicultural music in education, urban music education, and curriculum studies in music education.

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