Eastern Michigan University

College of Arts and Sciences

Music & Dance

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Heather Shouldice

Heather Shouldice


  • Ph.D in Music Education, Michigan State University
  • M.M. in Music Education, University of Michigan
  • B.M. in Music Education, Michigan State University

Courses Taught


Heather Nelson Shouldice, Associate 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.

Dr. Shouldice specializes in early childhood and elementary general music, which she taught for 10 years prior to entering higher education. 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 currently serving as 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, music teacher identity development, and musical development and musical identity in young children. Her research and writing have been published in numerous journals, including Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Education Research, Research Studies in Music Education, and Journal of Music Teacher Education. Recent book chapters include “Audition-Based Improvisation and Composition in Elementary General Music” (published in Engaging Musical Practices: A Sourcebook for Elementary General Music, 2018 by Rowman & Littlefield) and “Helping Students Develop Music Literacy” (published in Musicianship Focused Curriculum and Assessment, 2015 by GIA Publications). Dr. Shouldice has presented her research at numerous conferences, including the Symposium on Music Teacher Education, the Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium, the Desert Skies Symposium on Research in Music Education, the NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education Conference, and the Instrumental Music Teacher Educators Colloquium. Since joining the faculty at EMU in August 2013, she has been awarded a Provost’s New Faculty Research Award, a Josephine Nevins Keal Professional Development Fellowship, and a James H. Brickley Endowment to further her research. “Dr. Shouldice maintains an active blog called “Research to Real Life: Practical Applications of Music Education Research for Teachers,” in which she summarizes important research findings pertaining to music teaching and learning on a regular basis. This blog can be found on her website and followed on Facebook (www.facebook.com/everydaymusicality/).

Contact Dr. Shouldice: hshouldi@emich.edu
Visit Dr. Shouldice’s website: www.everydaymusicality.com

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The School of Music & Dance is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold • Faculty Resources