The SongWorks Educators Association is an international network of educators. Activities of this organization are built on the premise that students should be at the center of and actively involved in the study at hand. Music and music activities become the catalyst through which this happens. Teachers at every level of the educational field from early childhood through university, classroom and music teachers alike contribute and gain insight through this network of educators.
The purpose of SongWorks is to search for and practice ways of making music and interacting with people that preserve and celebrate the dignity of both. As a guiding principle, this purpose will focus our work on:
- Practices that foster interactive, facilitative learning environments.
- Strategies that empower the learner within the context of music experience and study.
- Networks that encourage collaboration between diverse disciplines, professionals, and interest groups.
Our Principles of Teaching and Learning (SongWorks I)
- Students have the right to be treated with respect and dignity for their ideas, skills and stages of development. (Video)
- Students deserve an engaging learning environment in which they feel safe enough to demonstrate freely their understandings and skills through various types of participation.
- Student learning is the responsibility of both teachers and students.
- Learning is holistic and constructive.
- A teachers attitudes, behaviors, and methodologies should be compatible.
- Accurate and constructive feedback helps students become independent learners.
- Quality of life is enriched through music and singing.
Our Principles of Teaching and Learning Music (SongWorks II) (Video)
- The major goal of music study is the development of a responsiveness to music.
- The musicality that is critical to music performance is just as important in music study.
- The fundamental skill in music behavior is listening.
- The way music sounds rather than how it looks guides the selection and presentation of patterns for study.
- A distinction exists between skills and concepts that are musically easy and those that are musically simple. (Video)
- Song provides direct involvement for making music and studying sound relationships.
The Origins of SongWorks
Following a 20-year association with Mary Helen Richards’ work, Education Through Music, SongWorks was incorporated in 1992. “English EdVentures” of Japan became affiliated with SongWorks in 1995. We believe that Mary Helen’s enthusiasm for teaching and playing with children, her compassionate approach, and her attention to musicality are evident throughout the work of SongWorks.
More About SongWorks and SongWorks Practices
During SongWorks activities, also known as SongWorks, learning often takes place in the form of singing games. The games provide the context for student immersion in social interaction, movement, language, thinking, listening, and music. Singing activities are designed to be engaging and enjoyable, and at the same time they provide groundwork for serious progressive study and skill development. Challenges that elicit maximum responsiveness from students are constructed by the teacher and provided through the singing games. (Video)
- Bennett P. D. & Bartholomew, D.R. (1997). SongWorks I: Singing in the education of children. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
- Bennett P. D. & Bartholomew, D.R. (1999). SongWorks II: Singing from sound to symbol. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
History of SongWorks
President: Lisa Schoen, MN
President-Elect: Aimee Newman, CO
President-Elect Apprentice: Nan Fitzpatrick, CA
Past President: Vicky Suarez, TX
Secretary: Max Mellman, NJ
Treasurer: Anna Langness, CO
Registrar: Alice Nordquist, MD
Beth Cain, AZ
Natalie Neugent, TX
Mary Roeder, CO
Yoshie Kaneko, Japan
Bethany Beaudry, Canada
2021 Conference Chair: Aimee Newman, CO
Conference Program Advisor: Peggy Bennett, MT
Presidential Team Advisor: Leah Steffen, MN
Academic Coordinator: Taryn Raschdorf, VA
Grants/Scholarships Administrator: Emilee Knell, UT
Emerging Pioneers Coordinator: Sammi Smith, PA
Visiting Scholar Coordinator: Peggy Bennett, MT
Website Chair: Pam Vellutini, OR
Media Coordinator: Natalie Nugent, TX
Newsletter Editor: Ruthie Parker, PA
Historian Chair: Jake Harkins, VA
SongWorks Certification Executive Director: Betty Phillips, OR