Episode 22:  Music Education and SEL: The Heart of Teaching Music

As music educators, we are well aware of the importance of Social Emotional Learening (SEL), especially in the wake of the pandemic learning and teaching.  But what might it look like in the music classrooms?  What opportunities are we including – and missing – for seamless inclusion of SEL in music ed?  This podcast with Dr. Scott Edgar focuses on the possibilities for practicing SEL in the music classroom – both with adults and students.  Dr. Edgar also reminds us of the necessity of an equity lens in our SEL practice, common SEL stumbling blocks (and how to overcome them), as well as future learning opportunities for teachers in regards to SEL in music classrooms.  Listen in and get a few new ideas to try this week – and beyond!

Dr. Scott Edgar

Associate Professor of Music, Music Education Chair and Director of Bands at Lake Forest College

Director of Practice and Research at The Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning


Dr. Scott N. Edgar (he/him) has dedicated his career to highlighting the potential music education and educators have to build life skills students will utilize long after they leave the classroom. As a notable authority on music education and Social Emotional Learning, Dr. Edgar has emerged as the leading researcher, best-selling author, and internationally sought-after clinician on the subject. He is the author of Music Education and Social Emotional Learning: The Heart of Teaching Music, The ABCs of My Feelings and Music (co-authored with his wife Stephanie), and editor of Portraits of Music Education and Social Emotional Learning (published through GIA Publications). Dr. Edgar prioritizes facilitating spaces where people can explore their identity, build a sense of belonging, and experience agency. He is grateful for the many experiences he has had at Bowling Green State University (B.M.E.), University of Dayton, (M.S.), and the University of Michigan (Ph.D.) to learn from his mentors. He is Associate Professor of Music, Chair of the Department of Music, and Director of Bands at Lake Forest College, and serves as Director of Practice and Research for The Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning. Dr. Edgar is also a Music for All Educational Consultant, a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician, and VH1 Save the Music Foundation Educational Consultant. Striving for work/life balance, he enjoys grilling, exercising, and spending time with his wife Steph, their son Nathan, and their cats Elsa and Wolfie.

Nyssa Brown: I have always believed that anything is truly possible – and my life experience reinforces this belief. I have had the honor of teaching in schools in 5 different countries and facilitating professional development for teachers from 6 continents. And just when my mind and heart seem full, there is a person or an experience that broadens my world even further.


Resources and contacts mentioned in the podcast:

The Center for Arts Education and SEL – https://artsedsel.org/

Jonathan Rush –  https://www.jonathanrush.com/

Further Resources:

Music for All – https://education.musicforall.org/sel/

Music Education and Social Emotional Learning Resources – GIA – https://giamusic.com/store/mesel

Music Education and Social Emotional Learning Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/MusicSocialEmotionalLearning

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