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Preeminent music education scholar recognized with award

Edwin E. Gordon receives one of music education’s most important honors before his death

Dr. Edwin E. Gordon was named 2015 Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Association for Music Education in November for his stature as a researcher into how musical thinking develops. This distinction is one of music education’s most important honors and is designed to recognize the accomplishments of music educators, music education advocates, political leaders, industry professionals, and others who have contributed to music education in their unique way.

Sadly, Dr. Gordon passed away on December 4, shortly after receiving the award in November. View his obituary.

Dr. Gordon, research professor emeritus, Thomas Cooper Library, was a pioneer in research into musical aptitude, the psychology of music, and how musical aptitude develops in the young child. His research into audiation, music aptitude, and his development of music learning theory and sequential music learning have provided the basis for much of what is taught and how it is taught in our music classrooms today.

“Dr. Gordon has been a professor and mentor to many students at USC School of Music, especially during the Gordon Institute for Music Learning Professional Development Levels offered during summers. Those who have studied with him are inspired by his persistence, diligence, and commitment to excellence that has paved the way for his students and their students to offer and experience lifelong music development 'from the inside out'. He has continuously challenged us to honor each person’s music aptitude, each person’s audiation, and each person’s music achievements. He has taught us that listening is the most important job of the musician, and that each one of us is a musician because each one of us is born with a musical birthright that deserves to be nurtured from birth, if not in the womb.” – Dr. Wendy Valerio, USC professor of music education