Communities of Musical Practice

Communities of Musical Practice

Helping children say it with music

Traditionally, music—as with other subjects—is taught by an instructor “expert,” who defines what is good or right about a child's musical abilities and compositions.

However, Dr. Joyce Eastlund Gromko, BGSU professor of music education, recognizes that all children have the innate need and ability to express their thoughts and ideas with musical art. She views learning not as expert to novice, but as participant to participant and endeavors to build “communities of musical practice” where everyone has something of value to contribute.

Gromko’s most recent project involving communities of musical practice is the ambitious New Works for Youth— a youth music ensemble comprised of students from the Montessori School of Bowling Green and East Toledo Junior High, Jones Junior High, Libbey High School, Warren Elementary School and Franklin Elementary School all in Toledo.

After weeks of intensive instruction at each individual school, the ensemble met for the first time for their debut performance. Bells rang, hands clapped and voices soared. “It was a magical, magical evening,” explains Gromko. “After all that hard work everything came together beautifully. We all had tears in our eyes.”

To view photos from the New Music for Youth Concert in Kobacker Hall please click here:
Photos by W. Robert Midden, Partners in Context & Community

Please click here for video clips of the New Music for Youth Concert
Clip 1 (1.4 MB) 
Clip 2 (3.6 MB) 
Clip 3 (12.2 MB) 
Clip 4 (17.2 MB)

 Clip 5 (14.5 MB)
Clip 6 (26.22 MB) 
Clip 7 (28.02 MB) 
(*note: these clips are encoded in Quicktime. If you are having problems viewing them in your browser, make sure you have the Quicktime player installed and try to right click and download the clips to your desktop)

For more information about the College of Musical Arts Department of Musical Education please click here: