North American School Ensembles

William R. Lee and Michael D. Worthy

in The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 1

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730810
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

North American School Ensembles


This article, which addresses the development of Canadian and US school ensembles from the early twentieth century to the present, identifies patterns of historical growth and speculates about larger successes and failures. In both countries, early school ensembles were regarded as a necessary part of an expanding secondary curriculum, emerging as they did in the midst of a reformist ethos positively disposed toward music. US and Canadian ensemble culture produced strong local leaders and administrators, who saw value in school ensembles in the education of children, and who worked with persistence and evangelical fervor to establish them in schools.

Keywords: music ensembles; United States; Canada; secondary school; school ensembles; music education

Article.  7656 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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