Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications

Today is the first day of the Spring I 2019 term of my doctoral program, and I am beginning a class entitled Psychology and Sociology in Music Education: Perspectives and Applications with Dr. Ronald Kos and facilitated by Dr. Joseph Pignato. I am especially interested after doing some preliminary reading and having conversations about cognitive load theory with my friend and colleague, Nick Covington. It looks like I’m going to have a lot of reading to do these next seven weeks!

It looks like this course is organized similar to the Philosophy and History class—weekly reading assignments with discussion board responses, biweekly live classroom discussions, and biweekly papers. Our required texts are:

McInerney, D., & Putwain, D. (2017). Developmental and educational psychology for teachers: An applied approach (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Froehlich, H. C., & Smith, G. D. (2017). Sociology for music teachers: Practical applications (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Later in the course, we will select between two different books to read:

Apple, M. W. (2014). Official knowledge: Democratic education in a conservative age (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

As of right now, I believe this will be the book I read. Based off the description, it appears to be right in line with the learning I am doing outside of my doctoral program.

Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th Anniversary ed., M. B. Maros, Trans.). New York, NY: Continuum International.

The topics for each week are as follows:

  1. Psychological Theories in Education

  2. Musical Development

  3. Motivation and Creativity

  4. Identity, Community, and Music Making

  5. Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

  6. Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy

  7. Applications of Psychological and Sociological Research

I will go into more detail for each week as we progress through the readings, responses, Live Classrooms, and papers. In Week 1 we are working primarily out of Developmental and Educational Psychology for Teachers. Week 4 is when we look at Sociology for Music Teachers, and Week 6 is when we choose between Official Knowledge and Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Spread throughout each week are several journal articles. Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7 will have Live Classrooms. Weeks 2, 4, 6, and 7 will have papers.

I’m looking forward to sharing my learning with you!


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.