Two Pioneering Music Educators to Be Inducted into Music Educators Hall of Fame

Two music educators, Satis Coleman and Edgar Gordon, will be inducted posthumously into the Music Educators Hall of Fame at Music Education Week in June 2010.

Satis Coleman is recognized for her work with young children, her publications, and her early interest in musical creativity. She promoted music education for its ability to lead children to relate music to other subjects, such as history, geography, and the study of natural resources.

An MENC life member, Coleman did undergraduate work at Sam Houston State University and earned a PhD from Teachers’ College, Columbia University in New York in 1931. She taught at Teachers’ College from 1925 to 1942.

Her research and publications included Creative Music for Children (1922); Creative Music in the Home (1928), and she wrote on topics as varied as bell ringing, singing for children, folk music … and volcanoes. She was also a member of the Association for Childhood Education, which she chaired from 1940-42.

Coleman was born in Tyler, Texas, in 1878, and died in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1961.

Edgard Gordon was a pioneer in community music education and music education by radio. His Journeys in Music Land was broadcast to all schools in Wisconsin from 1932–1955. He also played a key role in organizing the National High School Orchestra.

He studied at Chicago Musical College, Kansas State Teachers College and Teachers College at Columbia University College. Gordon’s teaching career included Kelso School of Music, in Chicago, Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, the Winfield (Kansas) Public Schools and the University of Wisconsin, 1916–45. Gordon directed the Community Music and Drama at University of Wisconsin and chair of the music education department there, 1925-45.

A researcher, Gordon was also a choral conductor with a variety of groups in Chicago, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wisconsin. He was active in the Wisconsin Summer Music Camp from 1929–50.

He wrote articles about music and music education for MENC journals as well as popular magazines like Good Housekeeping,  and wrote more than 15 music reading instruction books. He was born in Frankfurt, Indiana on March 22, 1875, and died in Madison, Wisconsin in 1961.

The Music Educators Hall of Fame was established in 1984 to honor those music educators who are considered to be among the most highly regarded professional leaders in American music education. Those inducted come from the fields of music pedagogy, scholarship, administration, or organizational leadership, and their contributions must be of lasting value.

Read more about the Hall of Fame

Read an interview with 2010 Hall of Fame inductee and music education historian Bruce D. Wilson.

Roz Fehr, May 27, 2010 © MENC: The National Association for Music Education