Heather Shouldice

A photo of Heather Shouldice

Associate Professor of Music Education


311 Alexander


[email protected]


Dr. Heather Nelson Shouldice, professor of music education, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, supervises student teachers, and serves as coordinator of the music education program at EMU. She also serves as faculty advisor for EMU's collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education and directs the early childhood music program through the EMU Community Music Academy

Prior to arriving at EMU, Dr. Shouldice taught elementary general music in Michigan public schools for 10 years. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Shouldice was a recipient of MSU's prestigious Excellence-in-Teaching Citation and also was awarded a Leadership Endowment Fellowship from the MSU Council of Graduate Students and a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the MSU Graduate School. She has presented workshops and conference sessions for music educators across the country on topics such as early childhood music, effective sequencing of instruction, music literacy, improvisation, and composition in the elementary music classroom. Dr. Shouldice is a past president of the Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML) and also serves as a GIML faculty member, teaching summer professional development courses on music learning theory for music educators. 

Dr. Shouldice's research interests include music teacher beliefs and their relationships to teaching practice, musical development and musical identity in young children, and issues of gender in music education. Her research and writing have been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, International Journal of Music Education, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, Music Education Research, Journal of Music Teacher Education, and GIML Audea. In 2021, Dr. Shouldice authored a book called "Weaving It All Together: A Practical Guide to Applying Gordon's Music Learning Theory in the Elementary General Music Program" and co-authored another book called "Q & A for MLT: General Music Perspectives on Music Learning Theory," both published by GIA Publications.

Dr. Shouldice hosts and produces a podcast called “Everyday Musicality: Unlocking the Inner Musician Through MLT,” which is available on all podcast streaming apps and on the web. Dr. Shouldice also publishes a blog called “Research to Real Life“, which summarizes recent music education research studies and provides practical suggestions for the classroom.


  • Ph.D., Music Education, Michigan State University
  • MM, Music Education, University of Michigan
  • BM, Music Education, Michigan State University

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