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Lee Willingham

Music Education in Ontario, Snapshots on a Long and Winding Road

Presented at the "State of the Art of Music Education in Canada" Symposium, May 25-26, 2005,
Lee WIllingham with Jane Cutler

published: 2005 | Published paper abstract | Music Education in Ontario

Since Egerton Ryerson’s Education Act of 1871, politics and education in Ontario have been inextricably connected. This paper examines the origins of public education and how the major reforms and political winds have affected the teaching and learning of music today in Ontario’s public schools. The glance backwards into our past gives context for the current challenges and future goals for music in our school systems. This exploration of the present educational trends, policies, teacher training, and curriculum, is animated by the responses of teachers from all regions of the province. Finally, the question is posed that can be applied to music teachers in Ontario and beyond, “do music teachers learn from the arts about the practice of their own teaching and learning?” The conclusions explore some ways that the arts themselves can inform our decisions about how we learn in the music classroom.

revised Oct 17/05

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