Graduate Student NAfME Pre-conference on Philosophy

Tuesday March 15 (Afternoon) through Wednesday March 16, 2016

The Philosophy SRIG of NAfME is excited to announce a pre-conference for graduate students interested in discussing aspects of writing and publishing philosophy in the field of music education. Participants need not have prior formal experience writing philosophy. The pre-conference will take place ahead of the 2016 NAfME Biannual Research Conference in Atlanta and will be hosted by Georgia State University.

The graduate pre-conference will focus on philosophical studies and their function, meaning, and task for music education in today’s society. Lecture-workshops will be held by an array of North American scholars. These lecture-workshops will provide opportunities to discuss topics including idea generation, the writing process, and publishing. Lectures include:

Joseph Abramo, University of Connecticut

Cathy Benedict, Western University

Patrick Freer, Georgia State University, Academic Editor of Music Educators Journal

Estelle Jorgensen, Indiana University, Walden University, Editor of Philosophy of Music Education Review

Lauren Kapalka Richerme, Indiana University

Patrick Schmidt, Western University

Iris Yob, Walden University, Associate Editor of Philosophy of Music Education Review

There is no registration fee for participation in this conference. However, due to limits of space, the preconference will be limited to 20. If those who register exceed 20, a selection of participants will be chosen based on equal representation of schools, amount of time left in doctoral studies, and qualifications based on personal statement.

To register, please fill out the form by December 1, 2015:

We will notify participants by January 1, 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Joseph Abramo at

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2016 NAfME Music Research & Teacher Education National Conference Call for Papers


NAfME will hold its biennial conference March 17-19, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. This conference provides a forum for music education researchers, music teacher educators, music program leaders/music administrators/curriculum specialists, and graduate students in music education to encounter new, original, and high-quality research and pedagogical innovations that advance music education, thus shaping the future of the profession. The Philosophy SRIG will hold its meeting at this conference.

Detailed information is now available regarding proposal submission guidelines.  The online proposal process opens on June 15, 2015 and closes on October 1, 2015.  Please visit Call for Proposal information for more details.

Please note that submission process to the Philosophy SRIG (and all other SRIGs) is different from previous years. To have a presentation considered for the Philosophy SRIG, please submit a paper in the “general” web portal, and select “philosophy” as one of your keywords.

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ISPME Conference: June 2015

Pack your bags for the 10th Conference of The International Society for the Philosophy of Music Education in Frankfurt am Main.  The conference will take place in June, 2015 and keynotes include, Meinert A. Meyer (Professor Emeritus of Allgemeine Didaktik, University of Hamburg, Germany), Lauri Väkevä (Professor of Music Education at the Sibelius Academy), Elizabeth Gould (Professor of Music Education, University of Toronto). In addition, the PSRIG’s founding Chair and founding co-chair of ISPME, Estelle Jorgensen (Professor Emeritus, Indiana University) will give the introductory address.

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St. Louis recap

For those who did not attend the NAfME conference in St. Louis, here is a brief recap: 

1. Matthew Thibeault was acclaimed as Chair-Elect. Congratulations Matt! 

2. The PSRIG had two well-attended sessions: “Bennett Reimer Remembered” and “Philosophy, Music, and the Common Core.” John Richmond and Peter Webster spoke elegantly and beautifully in remembrance of Bennett Reimer and Martina Vasil provided a touching clarinet rendition of Ravel’s Piece en forme de Habanera, a selection for which Bennett Reimer was listed as clarinet soloist on a 1955 tape from his days at University of Illinois. In the Common Core session, Lauren Richerme, Cathy Benedict, and Carlos Rodriguez provided contrasting, thought-provoking perspectives on education in an age of standards, assessment, and accountability. 

It has been an honor to serve the Philosophy SRIG the past two years. As we know, philosophy—and the humanities generally—seems to be less and less fashionable in education these days. It is my hope that more people in the profession will embrace philosophy—“thinking,” as Hannah Arendt would say—as an integral part of every conversation about music learning and teaching. Membership in the SRIG is important. Philosophy is not some esoteric, “impractical” exercise antithetical to music education; it is (or should be) central to everything we do. 

Although my official term concludes June 30th, the conference usually marks the traditional passing of the gavel. This will likely mark my final correspondence on behalf of the PSRIG. Please join me in welcoming Joe Abramo ( in his new role as Chair. 

Best wishes for the rest of the term. I look forward to seeing many of you in Germany for ISPME. 


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Chair-Elect nominations

The Philosophy SRIG is now accepting nominations for the position of Chair-Elect. We have one nominee thus far:
Matthew D. Thibeault is currently Assistant Professor of Music Education and Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction (Affiliate) at the University Of Illinois. During the 2012–2013 school year, he was a Faculty Fellow at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. Thibeault was the 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Emerging Researcher Award presented by the Center for Music Education Research at the University of South Florida. He is also a founding member of the Homebrew Ukulele Union, a group that leads sing-along events throughout Illinois.
Please forward any other nominations (or names of nominees) to me no later than this Friday, March 28.
Roger Mantie
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PSRIG activities in St. Louis

Friday, April 11
Bennett Reimer Remembered

An opportunity to reflect on the life of the late Bennett Reimer.
Guest speakers: John Richmond and Peter Webster 

Friday, April 11
3:00–4:20 p.m.
PSRIG session  (with business meeting to follow)

“Sanctioned Repositories of a Hope”:  The Alignment of Standards
Presenter: Cathy Benedict, Florida International University, Miami, FL

We stand at the precipice of the confluence of the Common Core State Standards and the National Core Arts Standards. This paper seeks to pursue, through discourse analysis and the work of Arendt, both the affordance of porosity for the NCAS and challenges of situating hope within such a juncture.

Uncommon commonalities: Cosmopolitanism, policy, and music education
Presenter: Lauren Kapalka Richerme, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

In this philosophical inquiry, I problematize the emphasis on capitalist economics and standardization that pervades current American education policies by drawing on two aspects of contemporary cosmopolitan philosophy: universal concern and respect for difference.

Curiosity in Musical Learning
Presenter: Carlos Xavier Rodriguez, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

This presentation explains the traditional and current ideas that influence our concepts of curiosity, the function of curiosity as the impetus for meaningful musical experiences, and the implications for how we might organize music teaching and learning to maximize the development of curiosity for music.

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NAfME-SRME Research Project: Request for Grant Proposals

A reminder that March 1 is the deadline for the NAfME Research grant proposal. All information is copied below with the link to the NAfME webpage.
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The Passing of Bennett Reimer

Unlike so many in the philosophy of music education community, I did not know Bennett Reimer personally. Until the past few years, when I finally got to meet him and experience him in person, the closest I ever got to him was the picture printed in A Philosophy of Music Education. And yet, having experienced his ideas, directly and indirectly, for practically my entire life, I feel as though I knew him–at least in the way that we think we can know people with whom we do not have a direct personal relationship and yet encounter with such regularity as to feel they are somehow always around us. Bennett Reimer is as close to a celebrity as we have had in music education. Has anyone in the past 50 years had a greater impact? Does any music educator not know the name Bennett Reimer?
As with the passing of all people to whom we look up for inspiration and wisdom, it will take some time to accept the fact that Bennett Reimer is no longer with us. There will likely be many tributes in the days, weeks, months, and years to come, recognizing not only his scholarly contributions, but also his influence as a mentor and his decency as a person.
Although much of the planning for the St. Louis conference has already taken place, I would be more than happy, on behalf of the PSRIG, to take your thoughts and collect ideas on what you think might be the most fitting and appropriate way(s) to honor the legacy of one of the giants in our profession.
With respect and admiration,
Roger Mantie, Philosophy SRIG Chair
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PSRIG call for St. Louis 2014

Philosophy, Music, and the Common Core

The Common Core website provides the following mission statement:
“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”

We invite papers that seek to problematize contemporary educational policy and discourse, especially that surrounding standards, accountability, and the “common core” and their possible relationships to the future of music education. Is there a place for music education in the “real world” of the future? In what ways might the learning of music meet the needs of students for “success in college and careers”? Do we care about student success outside of college and career? Is competing in the global economy an appropriate raison d’être for schooling and education, and if so, where does learning music fit in such a vision for the future?

Papers need not be addressed directly to the Common Core or to any other specific policy initiative. The intent of this year’s call is simply to foster dialogue aimed at bringing philosophical thought to bear on educational currents that appear to present challenges and opportunities unseen in recent memory.

For more information on submitting papers, visit the NAfME website:
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ISPME Report

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Reflections on ISPME IX Congratulations go out to Randall Allsup, Chiao-wei Liu, and the rest of the organizers and volunteers for ISPME 2013. As suggested by the pictures, this year’s event was, in a word, fun. (Okay, maybe sitting through eight … Continue reading

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