In Memoriam: Charles R. Hoffer, MENC President 1988–90

In Memoriam:  Charles R. Hoffer, MENC President 1988–90


Charles Hoffer, a past president of MENC: The National Association for Music Education (now simply National Association for Music Education), was a major player in the effort to create the National Standards in Arts Education and was well-known in the music education community. He passed away May 3, 2017, in Gainesville, Florida.


Charles R. Hoffer


Hoffer earned B.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University in East Lansing and an M.M. degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He taught 14 years in the public schools of Michigan, New York, and Missouri before joining the faculty of Indiana University Bloomington in 1966. He moved to the University of Florida in 1984 and served as head of music education for many years. In addition, he taught summer sessions at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, and twice at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

His professional activities included being president of the Indiana Music Educators Association, president of the North Central Division of MENC, and national president of the MENC: The National Association for Music Education (1988–90). He served on the committees that wrote the National Standards in Music and the Sunshine State Standards for Florida. He spoke or conducted clinics in almost every state and was active in the International Society for Music Education, during which time he read papers or attended research conferences in Moscow, London, Tunis, Christchurch, Mexico City, and Canberra, as well as hosting its research conference in Bloomington.

Hoffer is author of more than thirty books, including Teaching Music in The Secondary Schools (five editions), Introduction to Music Education (three editions), Foundations of Music Education (two editions), and Adventures in Music Listening (three levels). He also wrote a music appreciation textbook, Music Listening Today, which made extensive use of CD-ROM material as an aid to developing listening skills among college students who are not music majors. Its second edition was published in 2002. He has also had many articles published in Music Educators Journal, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and Florida Music Director, which he edited for five years. He also had a chapter published in Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning.