PhD, The University of Wisconsin-Madison; MA, The University of Iowa; BME, The University of Iowa
Janet Revell Barrett is the Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman Endowed Chair in Music Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include the reconceptualization of the music curriculum, secondary general music, interdisciplinary approaches in music, and music teacher education. Barrett has published widely in music education and is an author or editor of six books: Sound Ways of Knowing: Music in the Interdisciplinary Curriculum; Looking In On Music Teaching; Music Education at a Crossroads; he Musical Experience: Rethinking Music Teaching and Learning and the forthcoming second edition of Constructing a Personal Orientation to Music Teaching: Growth, Inquiry, Agency. She has also served on the faculty of Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Prior to her work in higher education, Barrett taught general and choral music in Iowa and Wisconsin. She is a past chair of the Society for Music Teacher Education and editor of the Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education.
Key Professional Appointments
Associate Professor, Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, 2003-2013
Professor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 1990-2003
Chair, Music Department, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2000-2003
Activities & Honors
Editor, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education,2013-
The Center for the Study of Education and the Musical Experience, Northwestern University, 2003-2013
Consultant, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), 2012-
Chair, Society for Music Teacher Education, 2010-2012
Consultant and Strand Leader, Ravinia FestivalReach/Teach/Play, Music Discovery Project, 2004-2013
Coordinator, MENC Centennial Congress, 2007
Searle Teaching Fellow, 2005-2006
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Arts and Communication Excellence in Research Award, Excellence in Service Award
North Central Division President, MENC: The National Association for Music Education, 2004-2006
President, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, 2004-2006
Editor, General Music Today, 2003-2004
Curriculum editor, BandQuest Project of the American Composers Forum, 2000-2004
Council for Research in Music Education, Outstanding Dissertation Award, 1990
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Future Directions Task Force, 1988-1990
Prominent themes in my scholarly work include music teacher education that emphasizes inquiry, reflection, and growth; reconceptualized views of the music curriculum that forward comprehensive visions of teaching and learning; the relationship of music study to other fields and art forms through interdisciplinary approaches; and qualitative methodologies in music education, especially related to the pedagogy of research education.
Campbell, M. R., Thompson, L. K., & Barrett, J. R. (2021). Constructing a personal orientation to music teaching: Growth, Inquiry, Agency (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Barrett, J. R., & Webster, P. R. (Eds.) (2014). The musical experience: Rethinking music teaching and learning. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R. (Ed.) (2009). Music education at a crossroads: Realizing the goal of music education for all. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.
Olson, G. B., Barrett, J. R., Rasmussen, N. S., Barresi, A., & Jensen, J. (2000). Looking in on music teaching. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Primis.
Barrett, J. R., McCoy, C. W., & Veblen, K. K. (1997). Sound ways of knowing: Music in the interdisciplinary curriculum. New York, NY: Schirmer Books.
Book chapters, selected
Barrett, J. R. (2021). Fostering historical empathy through music, art, and poetry. In C. Abril & B. Gault (Eds.), Teaching general music: Dimensions of practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R., Persellin, D., Robbins, J., & Stauffer, S. L. (2020)/ The Mountain Lake Colloquium and the Mountain Lake Reader: Professional learning and conversations on the study and practice of music teaching. In C. Conway (Ed.), Oxford handbook of preservice music education in the United States (pp. 161-187). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R. (2016). Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to general music. In C. Abril & B. Gault (Eds.), Teaching general music: Approaches, issues, and viewpoints (pp. 168-182). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R. (2015). Striving for justice with determination and hope—An epilogue. In C. Benedict, P. Schmidt, G. Spruce, & P. Woodford (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of social justice and music education (pp. 658-668). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R. (2014). Future possibilities for qualitative research in music education. In C. Conway (Ed.), Oxford handbook of qualitative research in American music education.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R. (2014). Case study research in music education. In C. Conway (Ed.), Oxford handbook of qualitative research in American music education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R. (2012). Working within, against, and across the system. In A. J. Palmer & A. De Quadros (Eds.), Tanglewood II: Summoning the future (pp. 283-291). Chicago, IL: GIA.
Barrett, J. R., & Veblen, K. K. (2012). Meaningful connections in a comprehensive approach to the music curriculum. In G. McPherson & G. Welch (Eds.), Oxford handbook of music education (pp. 361-380). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Barrett, J. R. (2007). Currents of change in the music curriculum. In L. Bresler (Ed.), International handbook of research in arts education (pp. 153-168). New York, NY: Springer.
Journal articles, selected
Barrett, J. R. (2020). Policy at the intersection of curriculum and music teacher agency. Music Educators Journal, 107(1), 37-42.
Barrett, J. R. (2014). Forecasting the future of professional associations in music education. New Directions: A Journal of Scholarship, Creativity, and Leadership in Music Education. http://nd.music.msu.edu
Barrett, J. R. (2012). Wicked problems and good work in music teacher education. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 21(2), 3-9.
Campbell, M. R., Thompson, L. K., & Barrett, J. R. (2012). Supporting and sustaining a personal orientation to music teaching: Implications for music teacher education. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 22(1),75-90.
Barrett, J. R. (2011). Judging quality and fostering excellence in music teaching. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 21(1), 1-6.
Barrett, J. R. (2011). Intersections of practice, research, and policy in music teacher education. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 20(2), 1-5.
Barrett, J. R. (2010). Momentum in music teacher education.Journal of Music Teacher Education, 20(1), 1-3.
Invited keynote, “Becoming the Futures of General Music.” Mountain Lake Colloquium. May 21, 2019. Mountain Lake, VA.
Presentation, “I Raised My Hand and Put Down My Name:” Awakening the Social Imagination of Music Teachers through Interdisciplinary Study of School Desegregation. Mountain Lake Colloquium, May 20, 2019. Mountain Lake, VA.
Presentation, Bannerman, J. K., & Barrett, J. R. Creating Gender Inclusive Elementary General Music Classrooms. Mountain Lake Colloquium, May 21, 2019. Mountain Lake, VA.
Invited presentation. “Conundrums and Capabilities: Music Teacher Education in Challenging Times.” North Carolina Music Educators Association. November 11, 2019. Winston-Salem, NC.
Invited presentation. “Shaping the Futures of Schools of Music.” North Carolina Music Educators Association. November 11, 2019. Winston-Salem, NC.
Teaching is a dynamic and reflective process that draws from a well-articulated knowledge of the field. As a music teacher educator, it is crucial that I strive for integrity, acting in accordance with my beliefs about the nature of teaching and learning in order to model thoughtful principles. Putting these beliefs into practice is an ethical dimension especially critical for teachers of teachers. I base my instructional foundation on principles derived from a social constructivist orientation in which meaning making, social contexts, cognitive change, emotional dimensions, and informed action undergird learning and teaching. I strive for a pedagogy that involves student dialogue, questioning, and projects that call for the integration and synthesis of emerging understandings. I also believe that meaningful change in students’ thinking often stems from puzzlement, surprise, or genuine curiosity, so I aim to establish a classroom environment in which students feel safe to challenge ideas, acknowledge ambiguity, and wrestle with multiple points of view. I facilitate group inquiry projects that draw upon students’ diverse areas of expertise and experience in collaborative efforts. I also believe that teaching can be an artistic expression in the way that learning experiences are sequenced, in the way the parts of the course relate to the whole, and through fluid responses to the ebb and flow of planned and serendipitous events. Finally, since the nature of learning to teach is situated, complex, and evolving, I assist students in developing their powers of perception, analysis, and reflection in order to direct their own professional growth and development.