New Handbook available for building strong music programs

Preservice and novice music teachers can now add a new, innovative resource to their teaching tools: “Building Strong Music Programs” by Charlene Ryan, published by MENC (National Association for Music Education) and Rowman & Littlefield Education.

The handbook deals with a subject that many new music teachers haven’t been properly prepared for: how to begin and build up public school music programs. Topics covered include:

  • Course, curriculum, and performance development;
  • Classroom management;
  • Special needs;
  • Relationships with administrators, colleagues, parents, and the community;
  • Publicity; and
  • Budgeting.

The book also includes questions for discussion and student assignments, which makes this book great for teaching training courses.

Ryan has been involved in music education for years at various levels from pre-kindergarten through university; she was inspired to write this book by her own early college teaching years:

I was working with students who were very bright, exceptionally talented, and who were going through a very rigorous music teacher-training program. I began to notice, over a variety of courses and semesters, that in spite of the excellent training they were receiving, my upper-year students still had a lot of uncertainties and questions about the day-to-day job of a music teacher within a school setting — they seemed to soak up any bits of information that came up with respect to the implementation of practical aspects of school music programs.

Ryan is currently an assistant professor of music education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston; she is also the former chair of music education at Montreal’s McGill University and past-president of the Quebec Music Educators Association. As a specialist in elementary music education, Ryan also founded the Very Little Musicians and Little Musicians early childhood program in Montreal.

You can order “Building Strong Music Programs” from Rowman & Littlefield Education; the paperback edition costs $21.95 and clothbound is $65.00. MENC members receive a discount of 25%. Find more information at Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Guest post by Michelle Fabio who write about online education news at

1 Comment

  • By Len-Guitar Lessons Reply

    Thanks janice for the helpful information

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