Music Theory Pedagogy Curricula in North America: Training the Next Generation

Elizabeth West Marvin

Interest in music theory pedagogy is resurgent in North America. Despite two theory pedagogy texts published in the early 1980s (White, 1981/2002; Rogers, 1984/2004) and a dedicated journal, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy (founded 1987), theory pedagogy research remained somewhat marginalized at the end of the twentieth century. Recent years have brought great improvement, however. This paper reports on survey data collected from professors who coordinate theory pedagogy curricula (degrees, minors, and certificates) or teach a theory pedagogy course. It explores the design and objectives of these courses and curricula, which may serve as models for institutions considering adding pedagogy instruction. A significant new trend reported here is the development of certificate programs in music theory pedagogy that allow graduate students in performance and other non-theory majors to study theory and analysis beyond the requirements of their degree, take theory pedagogy training, and engage in supervised theory tÝeaching. This trend bodes well for the comprehensive education of performing musicians, as well as for the next generation of theory students they prepare.