John Feierabend

Dr. John Feierabend is considered one of the leading authorities on music and movement development in childhood. He is a Professor Emeritus of Music Education at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford and is a past President of the Organization of American Kodály Educators. He has given presentations in all 50 states and many other countries. He is the author of over 70 books, recordings, and DVDs, several of which served as the inspiration for the award winning PBS children’s television series Lomax: The Hound of Music.

Dr. Feierabend has been honored as a Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME); named University Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Music Educators Association; received the outstanding alumni award from Wayne State University; received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Organization of American Kodály Educators, the James Bent Award for outstanding achievement in scholarship and creativity from the University of Hartford, and was the first U.S. recipient of the LEGO Prize, an international award given annually to “an individual who has made a distinctive contribution to the betterment of children.” 

Dr. Feierabend continues to be committed to collecting, preserving and teaching the diverse folk music of our country and using that folk music as a bridge to help children understand and enjoy classical music. Dr. Feierabend’s creativity and research has resulted in two music methods; First Steps in Music, a music and movement program for infants through elementary-aged children and Conversational Solfege, a music literacy method suitable for elementary through college-aged student.

Dr. Feierabend’s teaching has provided thousands of teachers and their students with the materials and techniques to help build community through music by evoking enthusiastic participation of all people. To that end his approach strives for all people to become tuneful, beatful and artful through research based and developmentally appropriate pedagogies while promoting the use of quality literature. In the summer of 2012 a group of dedicated and like-minded educators honored Dr. Feierabend’s 40 plus years of teaching and research with the formation of the Feierabend Association for Music Education. For more information go to: www.feierabendmusic.org and www.giamusic.com/feierabend.

The full list of Dr. Feierabend’s publications is available through his publisher, GIA Publications.

John Feierabend’s 2019 Fall Institute Events

Thursday, October 17

First Steps in Music: Vocal Development in the Early Years

Breakout 2 (10:30 AM – 11:45 AM) | Gratz Room 4G

During the early learning years, children can acquire musical sensitivities which will provide them with a lifetime of expressive and accurate singing intuitions. This lively session will present insights and activities that can foster those intuitions in children from three to age nine, through the use of folk songs and games.

Building a Community with Folk Dancing

Lunchtime Event (12:00 PM – 1:00 PM) | Anderson Hall

Come gather and learn a few simple and fun American Folk Dances that build community.

Teaching Music Literacy Using Conversational Solfege

Breakout 4 (2:45 PM – 4:00 PM) | Borwell Dining Room

Through carefully sequenced activities, this fun workshop will demonstrate how to enable students to joyfully assimilate the content and skills necessary to become musically literate including the acquisition of listening, rhythmic and melodic reading, dictation, composition, and improvisation in an intuitive manner. Participants will experience a curriculum that grows out of tonal and rhythmic elements that exist in folk song literature. Each rhythm or tonal element will be explored in patters, songs and themes from classical literature.

Endangered Musical Minds

Keynote Address (4:15 PM – 5:15 PM) | Buchanan Chapel

All of us are born with some potential to succeed with music. But, with inappropriate or no music experiences in the early years, we can lose our intuitiveness for making accurate and sensitive musical responses. The future success of musical performers as well as basic musical participation in daily life is significantly dependent upon appropriate early intervention. Here is critical information about how we learn to think music and what can be done to help develop that skill.

Friday, October 18

Adding Harmony and Improvisation to Your Youth Choir

Breakout 5 (10:15 AM – 11:30 AM) | Gratz Room 4G

During this session participants will learn fun and easy strategies for introducing part-singing. Activities will include adding bass-line melodies to songs, partner songs, games for tuning in parts, and delightful rounds and canons organized by difficulty.

Teaching Music Literacy Using Conversational Solfege (repeat session)

Breakout 7 (4:15 PM – 5:30 PM) | Gratz Room 4G

Through carefully sequenced activities, this fun workshop will demonstrate how to enable students to joyfully assimilate the content and skills necessary to become musically literate including the acquisition of listening, rhythmic and melodic reading, dictation, composition, and improvisation in an intuitive manner. Participants will experience a curriculum that grows out of tonal and rhythmic elements that exist in folk song literature. Each rhythm or tonal element will be explored in patters, songs and themes from classical literature.

Saturday, October 19

Adding Harmony and Improvisation to Your Youth Choir (repeat session)

Breakout 8 (10:15 AM – 11:30 AM) | Gratz Room 5G

During this session participants will learn fun and easy strategies for introducing part-singing. Activities will include adding bass-line melodies to songs, partner songs, games for tuning in parts, and delightful rounds and canons organized by difficulty.