Three Noteworthy Publications in Music Education in 2018

By Dr. Paul Cesarczyk


Published in January 2018 under the Multicultural Education Series by Columbia University teachers college press Music, Education, and Diversity: Bridging Cultures and Communities by Patricia Shehan Campbell provides important insights for educators in music, the arts, and other subjects on the role that music can play in the curriculum as a powerful bridge to cultural understanding. Spread over eight chapters that target specific areas of music education through a variety of social and technical prisms, Campbell is thought-provoking and often challenges readers, i.e. teachers, to reflect on subjects like the changing nature of school music (Chapter 2). Especial relevant are sections on that link multicultural music education and social justice (Chapter 4).

Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists by Lora Deahl and Brenda Wristen brings together information from biomechanics, ergonomics, physics, anatomy, medicine, and piano pedagogy to focus on the subject of small-handedness. Separate chapters deal with specific alternative approaches: redistribution, re-fingering, strategies to maximize reach and power, and musical solutions for technical problems. Although this book is specific to piano teaching many concepts in the book can be used by a variety of instruments.

Released in October 2018 by Oxford University Press, Playing with Ease is a long-awaited book about ergonomic technique for the guitar by David Leisner, chair of the guitar program at Manhattan School of Music. Leisner’s incisive and constructive language offers an introduction to the basic anatomy of movement and advice on relieving unnecessary tension. The author’s successful struggle to overcome focal dystonia has led his to develop pioneering ideas about engaging large muscles. The book is a substantial new addition to understanding guitar playing from a physiological point of view and should help guitarists lower the risk of instrument related injuries.


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