The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu
Section Menu

Workshops in Music Theory Pedagogy

at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
June 24-28, 2019

Gary S. Karpinski, Director
Cynthia I. Gonzales
Justin London
Joseph Straus
Leigh VanHandel

Description  |  Who Should Attend  |  Details & Registration  |   Faculty Bios


Workshops in Music Theory Pedagogy: Description

Learn about teaching music theory from five leading authors and scholars.

Sessions will focus on the teaching of undergraduate music theory at the college level.  All teachers of music theory are encouraged to attend these workshops - teachers at the college, university, conservatory, and high school levels (including AP instructors). Various other individuals - including graduate students in music, music scholars, performers, and music educators of all kinds - will also benefit from attending.

In lectures, group discussions, and other settings, the workshops will cover the following topics (and ample time will be allowed for discussion of various other topics in the teaching of music theory):

  • Rudiments
  • Sight Singing
  • Ear Training
  • Harmony
  • Rhythm and Meter
  • Form
  • Analysis
  • Post-Tonal Theory
  • Instructional Technologies
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Project-Based Assignments
  • The Influence of Cognition and Perception Research on Teaching
  • Music and Disability

These workshops will bring together a faculty of music theorists, all of whom are authors of influential books, important contributors to various scholarly subfields in music theory, and experienced classroom teachers.


Who Should Attend

  • Music theory instructors at colleges, universities, and conservatories
  • Graduate students in music theory
  • High school teachers of music theory, including AP instructors
  • Professors and students of music education


Workshops Details & Online Registration

The workshops will be held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, June 24-28, 2019.

Link to Online Registration

Six sessions will be held each day, from 9am to noon and 1:30 to 4:30pm.

The registration fee is:

  • $500 by April 24, 2019
  • $600 by May 24, 2019
  • $300 for students by April 24, 2019

Lodging and meals are available through University Conference Services when you register online.

To join our contact list or for further information, send an inquiry to:
Gary S. Karpinski, Director
Workshops in Music Theory Pedagogy
Department of Music and Dance
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Faculty Bios

Gary S. KarpinskiGary S. Karpinski is author of the Manual for Ear Training and Sight Singing and Anthology for Sight Singing (both published by W. W. Norton, 2017), and Aural Skills Acquisition (Oxford University Press, 2000). He is Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has served as president of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction and the New England Conference of Music Theorists, and Chair of the Society for Music Theory Pedagogy Interest Group. His publications have appeared in such journals as Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, Music Theory Online, and The Computer and Music Educator.

Cynthia I. Gonzales


Cynthia I. Gonzales, an Associate Professor at Texas State University, received the university’s 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition to establishing the Center for Aural and Theory Tutoring at Texas State, she authored an online music fundamentals textbook for incoming music majors to prepare for entrance theory testing, which increased placement into first-semester theory from below 25% to above 80%. Cynthia is a national leader in adapting SmartMusic® as an aural-skills electronic tutor, for which she has created a 4-semester curriculum. As a professional vocalist, Cynthia was soprano section leader for two choral ensembles: Santa Fe Desert Chorale (in the 1980s) and Grammy-winning Conspirare (1996-2011). She is currently President of the Texas Society of Music Theory and Music Director at First Lutheran Church in San Marcos, TX. Her choral works were selected for the Texas UIL Sight Singing Contest in both 2017 and 2018.

Justin London

Justin London is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music, Cognitive Science, and the Humanities at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, where he teaches courses in Music Theory, The Philosophy of Music, Music Psychology, Cognitive Science, and American Popular Music.  He received his B.M. degree in Classical Guitar and holds a Ph.D. in Music History and Theory from the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked with Leonard Meyer. His research interests include rhythm and meter in western and non-western music, music perception and cognition, and musical aesthetics. He has held appointments at The University of Cambridge, the University of Jyäskylä, Finland, and The University of Oslo. He served as President of the Society for Music Theory in 2007–2009, and as President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition in 2017–2018. He is the author of Hearing in Time: Psychological Aspects of Musical Meter published by Oxford University Press.

Joseph Straus

Joseph Straus is Distinguished Professor of Music Theory at the CUNY Graduate Center. With a specialization in music since 1900, he has written numerous technical music-theoretical articles and analytical studies of music by a variety of modernist composers, including books about Stravinsky and Ruth Crawford Seeger. He has also written a series of articles and books that engage disability as a cultural practice, including Extraordinary Measures: Musical and Disability (2011) and Broken Beauty: Musical Modernism and the Representation of Disability (2018). He has also written textbooks that have become standard references, including Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory, now in its fourth edition, and Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony, co-authored with Poundie Burstein. He has received five publication awards from the Society for Music Theory for one book, two technical articles, and two edited collections of essays (one by Milton Babbitt and one by Carl Schachter). He was President of the Society of Music Theory from 1997–99.

Leigh VanHandel

Leigh VanHandel is Associate Professor of Music Theory at Michigan State University. Her primary research areas are music theory pedagogy, music cognition, the relationship between music and language, computer-assisted research, and how those things all relate to one another. She is the author of Oxford University Press’s Music Theory Skill Builder, an online music fundamentals drill and practice program, and has published in journals such as Music Perception, The Journal of New Music Research, Empirical Musicology Review, and The Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy. She is currently serving on the Executive Board for the Society for Music Theory, and is editor and contributor to Routledge’s volume The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, scheduled for publication in 2019.