Examining Teachers’ Attitudes towards the Use of Popular Music in Formal Music Education


  • Sarah Morrison Appleby College


Using Green’s (2002) book: How Popular Musicians Learn: A Way Ahead for Music Education as a conceptual framework, this paper investigates teachers’ attitudes towards the use of popular music in formal music education. The main research question: “What are the views of selected secondary school music teachers regarding the incorporation of popular music into formal music education?” was examined through semi-structured interviews with four secondary school music teachers. Three central themes emerged from the data analysis: the justification of popular music in formal music education; elements of teaching practice affected by this inclusion; and the idea of tradition and authenticity in different styles of music. This paper summarizes the conceptual framework, methodology, analysis, and results used to produces these three themes.

Author Biography

Sarah Morrison, Appleby College

SARAH MORRISON, Director of Choral Music and Curriculum Chair of the Arts Department at Appleby College, holds music and education degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto and is an associate in voice performance of the Conservatory Canada. She studied choral conducting at the Westminster Conducting Institute in Princeton and vocal technique at the Academie Internationale de Nice, France and the Canford School of Music, England. Sarah enjoys a career as a music educator, choral conductor, clinician and performer. She has presented research papers and workshops in several areas of music pedagogy including creative choral techniques at several international conferences. At Appleby College, Sarah directs the 90 mixed-voice Chapel Choir as well as the auditioned Cantus Chamber Choir. Sarah is a conductor with the VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto and she sings soprano with the Canadian Chamber Choir. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Education at the University of Toronto.