Purpose, Pedagogy, Progress: Music Education Doctoral Study at Kent State University

POSTED: Dec. 07, 2020

By: Craig Resta, Ph.D.

The Kent State Ph.D. in Music Education has a storied history stretching nearly 50 years. With its development in the late 1960s to early 1970s, the degree launched in 1976 under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Dr. William Anderson. Notable professors and students have contributed greatly through academic achievement, scholarship and publication, and teaching at significant institutions around the world. To read more about this program’s history and contributors, please visit www.kent.edu/music/history-excellence

A grounding in research and pedagogy focused on diverse music teaching and learning helped create the multicultural movement connecting Ethnomusicology and music education that has lasted for decades. Following a comprehensive curriculum and mission update in 2010-2011, the Ph.D. cohort has grown considerably. With an average of 12-15 students pursuing coursework and dissertations since 2013, there are presently 19 at various stages of the program. These are all music teachers with vast experience from all career stages and specialties in numerous areas. In addition to their successful K12 work, more than 80 academic papers, research projects and posters, conference presentations, and juried publications have been completed by those pursuing the degree in recent years. This broad population, curriculum focus, purposeful pedagogy, student-centered approach, and career emphasis mission has led to great student success.

A unique feature of the degree is our partnership with the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, requiring courses in research, curriculum, K16 education, policy matters, and engagement with myriad understandings in the general education community. These classes are coupled with a robust legacy of advanced music education research and pedagogy coursework, research and musical literacy, and career and vocational emphases. A central component is to prepare candidates to be experts in the field, whether as university professors, pre-service K12 music teacher educators, policy and legislative advisors, arts education administrators, music advocacy leaders, community music innovators, continuing K12 teachers, and more. 

In all, the Ph.D. in Music Education is a celebrated and thriving degree, utilizing a progressive curriculum and contemporary agenda. This is all within the context of impressive students and nationally recognized faculty as part of historic musical and academic excellence of the Glauser School of Music and Kent State University.