Stephen Shoop

Historical Research

Historical Research in Music Education

Historical research in music education has value in our profession for a number of reasons.  (1) It is important to know background information about how past events evolved into the current state of affairs.  Who were the major decision makers and what were the circumstances?  (2) There is value in understanding the details about contributions made by those who came before us.  We stand on the shoulders of those who made contributions before us!  If not for these individuals, we would not enjoy the benefits what we have today.  (3) It is also valuable to know information about how issues evolved and developed into problems that currently exist.  (4) On another level, the researcher should be able to make interpretations and draw conclusions from data that has been collected and organized.  This is perhaps the greatest value of historical research.  

Involvement with historical research includes my doctoral dissertation titled The Texas Bandmasters Association:  A Historical Study of Activities, Contributions, and Leadership (1920-1997), a major project involving the great early 20th century tuba player Fred Geib (1871-1950), a book about early tuba solos titled Guidebook to the Solo Literature for Tuba, Volume I:  Early Solos from the 1880s Through 1920s Era, and the publication of a number of historically significant out-of-print tuba solos and concert marches.  I have also presented several clinic presentations on historical research in music education.

Now that I am retired for the time being, I am devoting more time to a historical research agenda.  Projects will include oral history, biographies, research in archives, etc.  I will also develop materials designed to assist novice researchers with their projects.

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