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University of Memphis music educator to speak on increasing urban students' access to quality music instruction

April 18, 2011

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Nicole R. Robinson, an associate professor and head of the music education division at the University of Memphis, will present the lecture “The Middle School Memphis Project: Increasing Urban Students’ Access to Quality Music Instruction through a School-Community-University Partnership” on Thursday, April 21, at 12:30 p.m. in the Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College.

robinsonThe free lecture is sponsored by the School of Education (SOE) and the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, with support from Randi Wolfson ’07, SOE Young Alumni Board Executive Committee member.

When a large urban district decided to try an unconventional approach to increase music teacher quality, various constituencies collaborated to create a multi-directional partnership model. The Middle School Memphis Project connected community-based organizations (professional ensembles, service organizations, businesses), public schools (administrators, practicing teachers) and an urban-serving university (faculty, prospective teachers) together to “transform a culture” and increase students’ access to quality music teachers in the district. This impressive five-year partnership has documented success of revitalizing, retooling, re-educating and reorienting music teachers to address misconceptions, construct new orientations and learn to teach for understanding.

Robinson is nationally recognized for teaching, research, scholarship and service in urban music education, public school music education reform, music teacher preparation and university-school-community partnerships. She has presented research at various state, regional and national conferences and has published in various professional journals. She recently co-authored “Teaching Elementary Music: Integrative Strategies between Music and Other Subjects” (Kendall Hunt, 2010), curriculum development in which she has reconstructed or developed music education curricula for several universities and colleges; public, private and charter schools; and state agencies. Her primary research interest is urban music education and how to best prepare pre-service music teachers to successfully teach in urban environments.

For more information about the lecture, contact John Coggiola, dual associate professor and chair of music education, at (315) 443-5896 or

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