The music education of children and youth in U.S. schools was formally established in Boston by Lowell Mason in 1838 as a “songful presence” within the school day. Within a few decades, vocal music education became a common curricular practice in elementary schools as children learned to read staff notation by singing a repertoire of European-based folk songs and traditional hymns. School choirs, bands, and orchestras began to appear in secondary schools by the late 19th century, and experiences in the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Mendelssohn rapidly developed for the aesthetic-expressive education of adolescents. Americans were singing sacred and secular music in their communities far beyond the realm of schools, but Lowell Mason and his contemporaries agreed that music of the German ...

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