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EPS music teacher featured in Oxford University Press publication

Aerial view of Kuhlman stadium with water tower in foreground.

Teaching methods used in an Edina music class will receive national attention thanks to the efforts of Janet Jans, music teacher at South View Middle School. Some of Jans’ work has been published in the Oxford Handbook of Assessment Policy and Practice in Music Education Vol. 2. It will be featured in a chapter titled “Assessment in the Kodály Classroom,” which was written by Ann Kay and Sue Leithold-Bowcock.

Jans, who has close professional ties with Kay, was approached two years ago about the way she incorporates the Kodály Concept in middle school music composition. “She was reaching out because it’s hard to find music educators using this concept in middle school,” said Jans.  The Kodály Concept is a comprehensive program to train basic musical skills and teach the reading and writing of music. Jans uses the Concept because it encourages independent music literacy among children and it has led her students to compose their own music.

Once students use their music literacy skills to compose, students are able to assess themselves and their classmates. The handbook, which has over 60 authors, seeks to offer a series of practical and U.S focused approaches to music education in assessment. “The difference with this textbook is its focus on assessment,” said Jans. “Music can be qualitative, but with Kodáy there is a sequence of literacy skills that student can demonstrate.”

Jans’ work that will be featured in the handbook include the rubric for the melodic and harmonic composition project and instructions. The handbooks will be used in collegiate music method classes. “There is a void of practical assessments,” said Jans. “I’m hoping these assessments are used to prepare the next generation of music educators.”