posted August 28, 2008

Hope to Host Music Education Researcher Edwin Gordon

The department of music at Hope College will host music educator Edwin Gordon on Tuesday-Saturday, Sept. 9-13. Gordon is both an accomplished musician and music-education researcher whose work has been portrayed nationally on the "NBC Today Show," in the "New York Times" and in "USA Today."

Gordon will be interacting with Hope students and the Holland community in a variety of ways.  On Thursday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Mass Center auditorium, Gordon will be holding a psychology and music-education colloquium. On Saturday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon in Snow Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music, he will speak about the development of music-learning theory.

Both events are open to the public.  Admission is free.

Gordon not only played string bass with the Gene Krupa band, but is generally acknowledged as one of the most influential music-education researchers of the 20th century with both his exploration of music development (music-learning theory) and his years of research in developing six music-aptitude tests.

"Gordon is a highly sought after lecturer whose visit will be informative, thought-provoking, and historic for our students and the Western Michigan music education community," said Christina Hornbach, assistant professor of music and coordinator of music education at Hope College.

Although Gordon is known as a researcher and theoretician and not as a philosopher of music education, his work reflects a philosophy about the value of music in the lives of all human beings. "Music is unique to humans," Gordon said. "Like the other arts, music is as basic as language to human development and existence. Through music a child gains insights into herself, into others, and into life itself. Perhaps most important, she is better able to develop and sustain her imagination. Without music, life would be bleak."

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.  Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the central Hope campus at the former 127 E. 12th Street between College and Columbia avenues.