Service-Learning in Music

Thank you for your interest in service-learning in Music. ICCE can help you create or deepen your service-learning class. We provide models of other courses, sample syllabi, resources for course construction, reflective analysis tools, and risk management support.

Service-learning activity usually falls into two categories:

TYPE 1) Teaching/tutoring/sharing knowledge from the class

Example: Students at Ithaca College Music Education Department partnered with the Tompkins Community Action Headstart Program. “The project is designed to provide music experiences both for children with special needs, such as students with disabilities and those who are English language learners, and for children from low income and high needs backgrounds. During weekly visits to Ithaca College's campus, students from area Headstart programs participate in lessons designed to provide valuable musical opportunities. Music lessons are also structured to enhance and expand skills that are taught in their Headstart classroom. These include gross and fine motor, language, cognitive, and social skills. In addition to the enhancement of developmental skills, children in this program experience the joy of making music from the time they enter the class until they leave.” All music education students benefitted from the experience by assisting the lead teacher.” 2

TYPE 2) Using information in the class to do something with/for a community organization.

Example: Music Education students at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, participated as members of the Collegiate National Association for Music Education (formerly Music Educators National Conference—CMENC) as part of their service learning. They partnered with a local elementary school in planning and implementing a music program for the children. “They act in the role of experts—as administrators and teachers—by selecting content, procedures, informal assessments, reflection formats, and celebration activities.” The Temple University students reflected that, “Close partnering and communication between faculty and service-learning site staff” and “opportunities for students to have input on the structure and nature of their service learning” were key ingredients to having a “meaningful service-learning experience.” 3

Transforming Music Teacher Education Through Service Learning by Suzanne Burton and Alison Reynolds. Available in the CCE Resource Library.

"Project Headstart - Music Education - Ithaca College." Ithaca College, n.d. Web. 14 July 2015.

Burton, S., Reynolds, A., “Transforming Music Teacher Education Through Service Learning.” Journal of Music Teach Education Vol. 18, No.2 (April 2009) 18-33. Print.

Please contact ICCE for more information.