Open-Mindedness for ALL Available Research Data

2018 Senior Researcher Award Acceptance Address:
Open-Mindedness for ALL Available Research Data


Earlier this spring, Dr. Harry Price was named the NAfME 2018 Senior Researcher Award recipient. Following is an excerpt of his speech at the 2018 NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education Conference in Atlanta, Georgia:


Beethoven is credited with saying “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” With that, we could stop right now, but that would make this talk a bit too short.

Beethoven is credited with saying “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”

It is important to begin by recognizing some important people. I appreciate the National Executive Board of NAfME, the Music Education Research Council and its Executive Committee, as well as all the members of the Society for Research in Music Education for supporting my nomination. I especially want to thank my skilled colleague and friend Deborah Confredo. She wrote a remarkable nomination letter for this award. It is an honor for me to be named among this award’s previous recipients.

music research
Dr. Harry Price


As an undergraduate in the early 1970s, I assisted a doctoral student, Michael Wagner. My job was as a “technology” aide to him. At that time, our job was mostly to make sure that the stereos were hooked up and the power cords were plugged in. Yes, this was the time of phonograph players, a little machine that was about this size that turned around and around, on which you placed a vinyl disk, and a needle sat on it to transfer the waveforms through an amplifier to speakers. We also made sure that the equipment was turned on, a problem many times. Mike helped me to begin thinking about music education and how it does or does not function. Along with this work, I also helped some other doctoral students with technology in their research.

In my master’s work, Clifford Madsen directed the thesis. Later, after teaching a bit, I was fortunate to work with Cornelia Yarbrough on my doctorate and beyond; strangely, I assisted her with some technology when she worked on her dissertation. Cornelia taught me a great deal about education, research, and life in general. She is responsible for so many good things that have happened to me. What would we do without our wonderful mentors? As for the not-so-successful things that have occurred in my career, those are due to my continued stubbornness.

research data | wavipicture


My colleagues over the years have been so helpful. At Virginia Tech, I was able to further develop my research skills—even as the marching band director. By the way, Jere Humphreys (2006) stated that the ancient Romans fielded marching bands, so I guess I was doing historical research when I was there. Of course, there were the many positive years at the University of Alabama, which was incredibly supportive of my research. Finally, there were many wonderful undergraduate and graduate students in my almost 40 years of teaching. How rewarding it has been for the students and me to share working on papers together! Interestingly, I worked quite a while ago with one of my students, Evelyn K. Orman, and now am assisting her fine research on virtual reality, efforts that she has pursued for more than 18 years (Orman, Whitaker, Price, & Confredo, 2017). In this case, the teacher can also become the student.

Now, I would like to share with you some data that come from an examination of all the citations in Journal of Research in Music Education, from its beginning to 2015. Before going on, however, we need to remember that there are many researchers today who are making wonderful contributions and providing important professional service and excellent teaching.

NAfME members: Read the rest of Dr. Price’s speech in which he addresses the basic concept of questioning ideas and five steps to follow in doing so.

NAfME President Kathleen D. Sanz (left) presents the NAfME Senior Researcher Award to Harry E. Price (center), with James L. Byo (right), Chair of the Society for Research in Music Education. Robb Cohen Photography & Video/

Dr. Price began his career as a high school band director in Chamblee, GA, before earning a Master’s Degree at Florida State University. He was then an Assistant Director of Bands at the University of South Carolina from 1976-1978, before earning his Doctorate at Syracuse University. Since 1981, he has been a professor of music education at various universities. Currently, he is Professor of Music History and Music Appreciation at Kennesaw State University’s School of Music. Dr. Price served as the editor of the JRME from 1994-2000; three terms on the Music Education Research Council of NAfME (then known as MENC); as editorial committee member for JRME; and as advisory committee member for CRME. Internationally, he held various leadership roles in ISME, and is a past and present member of the IJME editorial board. Dr. Price is currently working on the new journal development board for the Jazz Education Network.

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Catherina Hurlburt, Marketing Communications Manager. August 29, 2018. © National Association for Music Education (