The Child-Study Movement and Public School Music Education

Jere T. Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The child-study movement was a late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century educational I fashion whose impetus came from the influences of Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) and from the advent of empirical psychology in the 1860s and 1870s. Child-study leaders sought to reform the public schools, calling for widespread and “scientific” observation and study of children. Music educators adopted some child-study principles, incorporating them in certain vocal music series and music appreciation textbooks. These books contained, for example, materials designed to correspond to the various stages of interest and maturity in children. Several nonmusician child-study researchers began to gather data relative to musical learning, while psychological literature on music perception proliferated. Music teachers, more interested in teaching methods, left research activities to future generations of music educators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Research in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


Dive into the research topics of 'The Child-Study Movement and Public School Music Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this