Teaching for Musical Understanding

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/3/2014
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $5.25
    Check/Direct Deposit: $5.00
List Price: $58.61 Save up to $29.30
  • Rent Book $29.31
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Ideal for introductory music education, philosophy and psychology of music education, and music education methods courses, Teaching for Musical Understanding explains current research-based theories of how students learn in order to show prospective and practicing music teachers how to teach effectively. Author Jackie Wiggins draws on her twenty-two years of experience teaching K-12 music and twenty years of teaching in higher education to demonstrate how theory applies to music education. The text is deeply grounded in the work of social constructivist theorists and researchers in both education and music education.

The third edition takes a cultural psychology perspective, giving more attention to sociocultural influences and to the roles of learner agency in learning process. It includes in-depth examples of assessment practices in music classrooms, stories "from the trenches," and more extensive use of endnotes and citations.

Author Biography

Jackie Wiggins is Professor of Music Education and Chair of the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Oakland University.

Table of Contents


1. Learning: An Embodied, Constructive Process
Contemporary Understandings About Learning
Understanding as Schema
Understanding as Metaphor
Understanding as Image
Understanding as Embodied
Implications for Teaching
Contexts for Learning
Selected Resources

2. Learning: A Sociocultural, Constructive Process
A Social Constructivist Vision of Learning
Learning is a Holistic Process
Learning is Experiential, Not Necessarily Sequential
Learning Requires Learner Agency
Learner Agency and Teacher Power
A Social Constructivist Music Learning Community
Selected Resources

3. Learning Music through Embodied, Constructive Process
Conceptualizing Music
Our Metaphorical Understanding of Music Concepts
Elements or Dimensions of Music?
Metadimensions of Music
Dimensions as Points of Entry: A Doorway In
How do we Construct our Concepts of Music?
Constructing Concepts in Context
Teaching for Musical Understanding
Selected Resources

4. Learning Music through Sociocultural, Constructive Process
Teacher Role: Scaffolding Learners
Scaffolding Learners
Establishing a Supportive Learning Environment
Finding Out What Learners Know
Encouraging Expression of Musical Ideas
Focusing Learner Energy
Monitoring Learner Understanding and Progress
Providing a Model of Musicianship
Learner Roles
A Social Constructivist Music Learning Community
Selected Resources

5. Music Learning as Musical Problem Solving
Learning Through Problem Solving
Learning and Teaching Music Through Problem Solving
Planning Musical Problems
What Will Learners Be Learning?
The Musical Context
Organizing the Experience
Lesson Planning
Planning the Problem
Selected Resources

6. Performing, Listening and Creating Problems
Performing Problems
Listening Problems
Creating Problems
Composing and Arranging
Media for Composing
Musical Dimensions as Points of Entry for Composing
Organizing Small-Group Composing
Dimensions as Points of Entry for Improvising
Improvising Within Structures
Music Learners as Creative Musicians
Selected Resources

7. Thinking About Learners in Planning Musical Problems
Entry-level Experiences for Young Learners
Nature of Problems for Young Learners
Entry-level Experiences for Older Beginners
Middle-Level Experiences
More Complex Experiences
Sample Lesson and Unit Plans

8. Entry-Level Musical Problems
Lesson 8.1 Identifying and Representing Beat
Lesson 8.2 Identifying and Representing Duration and Pitch
Lesson 8.3 (For Older Beginners) Entry-Level Exploration of Pitch and Duration
Lesson 8.4 Exploring Contour and Direction through Listening
Lesson 8.5 Using a Song to Develop a Class Performance
Lesson 8.6 Experiencing Style
Lesson 8.7 A Musical Conversation
Sample of Student Work

9. Middle-Level Musical Problems
Lesson 9.1 Experiencing and Creating with Dynamics
Sample of Student Work
Lesson 9.2 Analyzing and Creating a Melody
Samples of Student Work
Lesson 9.3 Effects of Tempo Change
Sample of Student Work
Lesson 9.4 Timbre: Using Alternate Sound Sources
Lesson 9.5 Tonal Center
Lesson 9.6 What Do You Hear?

10. Planning Units of Study
Planning a Unit on Texture
Unit: Texture
Lesson 10.1 Melody and Countermelody
Lesson 10.2 Representing Texture (Score Reading)
Lesson 10.3 Solo and Ensemble
Sample Student Work
Unit: Monothematic Works
Lesson 10.5 Creating Interest through Expressive Qualities
Samples of Student Work
Unit: Meter (2-4 Class Sessions)
Lesson 10.6 Identifying Meter (1 Session)
Lesson 10.7 Compose a Piece That Changes Meter
Unit: Arranging a Round
Lesson 10.8 Learning the Round
Lesson 10.9 Arranging the Round
Sample of Student Work

11. Complex Musical Problems
Unit: Bithematic Forms (Verse and Refrain, ABA Form, etc.) (3-6 Class Sessions)
Lesson 11.1 Hearing Bithematic Form
Lesson 11.2 Composing in Bithematic Form
Samples of Student Work
Lesson 11.3 A More Extended Bithematic Work
Unit: Harmonic Structure (4 Sessions)
Lesson 11.4 Introducing Tonic and Dominant Harmonies
Lesson 11.5 Using Tonic and Dominant Harmonies
Sample of Student Work
Lesson 11.6 Hearing Tonic, Dominant, and Subdominant Harmonies
Lesson 11.7 Singing Chordal Harmonies
Unit: Theme and Variation (6-8 Sessions)
Lesson 11.8 Introducing the Idea of Variation
Lesson 11.9 Analyzing a Theme and Variation
Lesson 11.10 Composing Variations on a Theme
Samples of Student Work
Unit: The Blues (4-6 Sessions)
Lesson 11.11 Introducing the Blues
Unit: Variations On A Ground Bass (6-8 Sessions)
Sample of Student Work

12. Connecting to Other Ways of Understanding
Interdisciplinary Learning in K-12 Settings
Interdisciplinary Learning through Process and Conceptual Connections
Process Connections
Conceptual Connections
An Arts-infused Curriculum
Point of View
Stories and Illustrations
Egyptian Art
Role of the Individual within a Group
Wood Sculptures
Some Closing Thoughts
Selected Resources

Appendix A: Music for Lessons
Appendix B: Classroom Materials
Appendix C: Directions for Games

Rewards Program

Write a Review