Pillars of Music Pedagogy

Jody Kerchner, Professor of Music Education
Andrea McAlister, Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy
June 10, 17, and 24 (2021)

Registration deadline: May 24, 2021

For musicians who are currently teaching privately or in group settings, those who are thinking about becoming private teachers, and those who seek ways to engage diverse music learners of all ages; and for music educators in school settings who wish to have a refresher course entailing pedagogical basics.

Andrea McAlister and Jody Kerchner.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97; Walter Novak

Age range: 18 and older

Course Description

This online course offers the opportunity to hone your skills in the basics of general music teaching practices, based on psychological and pedagogical research and the facilitators’ years of teaching experience. These ideas are applicable to all music teaching settings, regardless of instrument, voice, or group size, and for lifelong music learners. You will read pedagogical materials and watch video “modules” on your own and then bring questions and observations to our online meeting, in which, as a group, we will discuss, model, and work toward applications of the strategies in your particular teaching and learning session.

This course will be a combination of asynchronous and synchronous interaction. There will be modules of videos and readings for the participants to experience during each of three weeks. Additionally, there will be weekly group discussions and workshops with one or both instructors.

Meeting Times

Thursdays: June 10, 17, and 24 (2021)

  • Synchronous sessions from 7-8:30 p.m. ET
  • Materials for the week will become available on June 4, 11, and 18 at 8 p.m.

CEU/Hours of Engagement: 1.5 CEU
(15 hours of reading, viewing videos, and workshop discussions)

Course Fee: $250

Registration for Summer 2021 is now closed. 


Week 1 (June 10): Developing Curriculum & Assessment Strategies

Week 2 (June 17): Teachers Providing Feedback, Questioning, Child-Centered Instruction

Week 3 (June 24): All Things Diversity—Inclusion, cultural relevance, styles/preferences of learning, selecting diverse literatures, diverse musical behaviors (composition, improvisation, listening) in lessons; pedagogical ethics


Dr. Jody Kerchner is Professor of Music Education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She is founder and conductor of Oberlin Music at Grafton Prison Choir. Her research interests include children’s responses during music listening, choral music education, empathetic leadership, teacher identity development, reflective thinking, and prison music education. In addition to multiple published monograph chapters and journal articles, she is the coeditor and author of Musicianship: Composing in Choir (2016), Musical Experiences in Our Lives (2009), and Prelude to Music Education (2002), and she is author of Music Across the Senses: Listening, Learning, Making Meaning (2014). Kerchner is an executive board member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME).

Dr. Andrea McAlister is Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she coordinates the pedagogy, group piano, and secondary piano programs. Her research in technology, neural development, and language has been featured in national and international conferences, and she is the lead author of A Pianist’s Guide to Teaching in Groups, an online course offered through the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. McAlister is director of Digital Programming for the Frances Clark Center, senior editor for Piano Magazine, and a member of the Yamaha Master Educator keyboard pedagogy division.