Fall 2023 - EDUC 469 E200

Music Education as Thinking in Sound (4)

Class Number: 7822

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Wed, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units.



Understanding the language of music, both historical and contemporary, and use of electronic and acoustic instruments in the general music classroom.


Music and the process/activity of musicking presents us with a powerful and ancient way of being, doing and thinking. The basic premise of this course is that musical ‘ways of being, doing, and thinking’ are relevant to the work of educators generally (not only music teachers) and offer us different ways of practicing and theorizing education. Accordingly, this class explores music from various vantages and perspectives: the personal (our own personal experiences and histories with music), the symbolic (the socio-cultural and historical), the physical (the neuro-biological or sensory-cognitive), the evolutionary (what music has been in human evolutionary history); the ecological (the role/function of sounds and proto-musical signification throughout the more than human world).

Special emphasis is placed on how music and engagement in different musical practices and rituals (e.g. improvisation, sound-scaping, chanting, dance, etc.) reveal important ways of “being in-” and “understanding” the world, relevant to the work of teachers, researchers and artists alike. Thus, this course, through both project work and hands-on musical activities, provides opportunities for students to explore their own ‘reverberations’ and ‘resonances’ with different music and musical ideas, toward the ends of deepening our collective understandings of both music, and music education.

This is not a performance course. As such, it is intended for any student who has a general or specific interest in the musical arts. In no way is it required or necessary to be able to play an instrument or read musical notation.


  • Amplify your definition of music and sound considering diverse traditions, discourses, and social locations;
  • Articulate the relations between sound, music, place, and lived experiences;
  • Reflect on the impact of music and musical experiences in our daily lives;
  • Analyze musical content in relation to historical and social issues;
  • Explore educational, sociological, psychological, biological and ecological perspectives in music.


  • Listening/reading logs 20%
  • Music in the world (term paper and presentation) 40%
  • Group musical improvisation events 10%
  • Musicians on musicking-small group presentations 15%
  • Participation 15%



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.