Research in Music Education - History of Research in American Music Education

History of Research in American Music Education

In 1837 the Connecticut General Assembly voted to collect educational data. Questionnaires were sent to all Connecticut schools in 1838. Eight questions were about music instruction. This was probably the first attempt in the U.S. to collect data on music instruction on a wide-scale basis and perhaps the earliest example of research in music education.

In 1918 the Educational Council was established by the Music Supervisors National Conference (later the Music Educators National Conference or MENC). The Educational Council published bulletins, mostly based on survey data and including recommendations for the profession. One such bulletin was The Present Status of Music Instruction in Colleges and High Schools 1919-1920. In 1923 the name of the organization was changed form Educational Council to the National Research Council of Music Education. The name changed again in 1932 to the Music Education Research Council. The Journal of Research in Music Education began publication in 1953 under the editorship of Allen Britton. At first many of the articles were based on historical and descriptive research, but in the early 1960s the journal began to shift to experimental research. The Society for Research in Music Education was established in 1960, and in 1963 the Journal of Research in Music Education became its official publication. The MENC Historical Center was established in 1965. In 1978, MENC founded several Special Research Interest Groups.

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