School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Mindy Damon


music, education, pedagogy, elementary, Andrew Webber


Education | Music


Elementary music educators’ analyze and select song repertoire based upon a variety of factors and influences. These can include an educator’s level of training, the preexisting standard song literature collection, resources obtained in undergraduate study, the context of the song material, and a song’s pedagogical application. Educators must be selective when choosing literature for pedagogical purposes, such as teaching specific melodic and rhythmic elements. The vast body of musical literature by renowned theatrical composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is not often used for that purpose in the elementary general music classroom. In addition, a recent national effort calling for the reexamination of standard song literature, based upon its content, has forced educators to apply more criticism when selecting classroom repertoire. This qualitative research study is two-fold, providing data concerning the use of Lloyd Webber’s music in New Jersey elementary music classrooms and providing multiple examples from Lloyd Webber’s repertoire that can be used pedagogically to teach specific melodic and/or rhythmic elements. An online survey of New Jersey elementary general music teachers (N=60), consisting of grades kindergarten through sixth, was conducted asking specific questions about their familiarity with Lloyd Webber and how they incorporate his music into their classrooms. The survey results indicated that most participants were familiar with his music, but failed to incorporate it pedagogically into their classrooms. A thorough examination of Lloyd Webber’s song literature was also conducted. It yielded various examples that elementary level music educators can use to teach melodic and rhythmic elements along with other musical concepts.