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Colloquium Series Participants Bios and Abstracts - May 1, 2012

Large Ensemble Rehearsals: How are Student Educational and Sociological Needs Met in this Setting?
Darren LeBeau


The purpose of this review of literature is to investigate the role of the musical director in meeting the educational and sociological needs of the students in a large group rehearsal setting.   The goal of the large ensemble rehearsal is to prepare for excellent performances and experiences; however, the educational and social component influences the overall music program.  The review of literature will identify and define characteristics of an effective teacher.  Literature will also recommend or identify ways to create a classroom environment that supports student learning and the social context of the group.   A large ensemble rehearsal can surpass 100 children, but there is so much more to music and a music program than just playing the notes on a page.


Darren LeBeau is in his twenty-second year of teaching and in his fourteenth year with the Revere Local Schools, Richfield, Ohio. Mr. LeBeau earned both his Master's degree and Bachelor's degree in Music Education from The University of Akron. He is an active OMEA adjudicator for marching band, solo and ensemble and large group adjudicated events. He has served as a host for high school large group and marching band OMEA adjudicated events. His professional memberships include the Revere Education Association, Ohio Education Association, National Education Association, and the Ohio Music Education Association.  Mr. LeBeau is currently a doctoral student in music education at Kent State University.

Pop Goes the Music: A Sociological Look at the Use of Popular Music in Schools
Bryan Helsel


This paper examines popular music through a sociological lens and through historical, cultural and political context. It questions whether popular music in education can be used to teach the NAfME standards, whether its use can help music educators to reach more students and to reach them fairly, and looks at ways educators have been using popular music in their classrooms. The research explores these questions through a review of music education sociology literature that incorporates the following themes: music as identity, informal learning, meaning in music, the culture clash between their music and our music, and the history of the popular music debate.  While the debate brings up important issues, current research points to the fact that popular music is indeed current American culture and is worthy of study, but must be studied in the proper context.


Bryan Helsel is a doctoral student studying music education at Kent State University. He currently is Director of Choral Activities and Music Technology Coordinator at Butler Senior High School in Pennsylvania. He received dual bachelor degrees in choral music education and piano performance from Westminster College (PA), and an MM in piano performance from Duquesne University. He remains active as a classical, jazz and contemporary pianist, vocalist and recording studio owner. Research interests include pitch perception and improvisational pedagogies. Professional affiliations include PMEA, NAfME, TI:ME, and ACDA and he has been listed in Who's Who Among America's Educators and Who's Who in America.

Catalysts for Success:  Beliefs of Effective Teaching Among Members of the Music Student Teaching Triad
John Veneskey


This study seeks to examine beliefs of effective music teaching among a single model of a student teaching triad in music. These questions will guide the research: (1) What do members of the student teaching triad in music (university supervisor, cooperating teacher, student teacher) believe are the skills and characteristics necessary to be an effective music educator?; (2) What are the differences in their beliefs of these skills and characteristics?; (3) How do differing beliefs impact relationships within the student teaching triad?, and (4) What are ways to bring these attitudes and belief-systems together to create a more effective student teaching experience for pre-service music teachers? This grounded theory, multiple-case study will utilize multiple data collection methods including individual interviews, group interviews, field notes, and reviews of printed documents in order for theory to emerge.


John Veneskey teaches instrumental music, grades 5 through 12, in the South Range Local School District in Canfield, Ohio. He is the principal conductor of the Henry H. Stambaugh Youth Concert Band, perviously served as the Associate Director of Bands at Youngstown State University, where he directed the YSU Marching Pride, Fall Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and University Band. As a member of the instrumental music education faculty, he supervised student teachers and taught several methods courses.  Mr. Veneskey maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator, having conducted and judged in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida.  Mr. Veneskey holds a BME degree from Bowling Green State University and an MM from Youngstown State University. He is currently a candidate for the PhD in Music Education degree at Kent State University. John has been a member of OMEA and NAFME since 1987, and is president-elect of OMEA District Five. Other professional affiliations have included The Society for Music Teacher Education, The Society for Research in Music Education, The International Association of Jazz Educators, The International Trumpet Guild, The National Band Association, and Phi Beta Mu.

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